Jasper van't Hof

At the Concertgebouw-Solo

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At the Concertgebouw-Solo Review

by Ken Dryden

Jasper van't Hof should be considered one of Europe's best keyboard improvisers and he is at his very best during this solo piano concert at the Concertgebouw, focusing primarily on his original compositions. His playful opener, "Equivalent," toys with the listener before adding a childlike chant vamp for a bassline as he hums and improvises with his right hand. The pastoral "Stuttgart" seems more like an impression of a quiet scene in the country than a big city. "Zaire" is more suited to its title, quickly building upon its insistent African-like rhythm and never letting up the intensity. He adds a couple of familiar jazz compositions as well. He clearly savors Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss," performing it at a much slower than usual tempo, humming along with this lovely ballad in a spacious, lush arrangement. His interpretation of Horace Silver's "Peace" make it seem like a requiem. This intimate recording adds to the value of this impressive concert.

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