Jaap Blonk

Baba-Oemf

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Six poems by Hugo Ball are put to music by vocalist Jaap Blonk, alto saxophonist Bart van der Putten, and bassist Pietro Meurs. Much more than poetry-meets-jazz, the three performers wrestle, bark, and spat, with mixed results. First read by Hugo Ball in 1916 at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland, the texts of the nonsensical dada poems are enclosed. Even without understanding the words, the results are often compelling. Van der Putten plays a slippery, jazzy, highly effective horn and is given plenty of time to stretch. Meurs supports and spars with attractive rubbery lines, and Blonk is as outrageously off-the-wall as ever. Recorded live at the famed Bimhuis in Amsterdam, the sound is less than perfect and the performance drags at times, though there are still plenty of absurd forays into Blonk's bizarre sound world. While this recording is a fine early example of Blonk's work, there are better and more accessible recordings available.

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