Bert van den Brink


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American tenor saxophonist Rick Margitza traveled to the Netherlands to record Conversations with Dutch pianist Bert van den Brink's trio in 1998, with exemplary results. One especially refreshing piece is the mid-tempo funky treatment of John Coltrane's normally slow-paced, emotional ballad "Naima"; Margitza exploits the light touch of the rhythm section, floating over it while enjoying the ride. "All the Things You Are" is a mandatory part of any jazz musician's repertoire, yet the quartet's slightly off-kilter arrangement explores new ground. Bassist Hein van de Geyn's moving solo introduces Thad Jones' lush "A Child Is Born," as the remainder of the group gradually enters and caresses this timeless melody. Margitza shifts to a Coltrane-like approach to the roller coaster ride through "Secret Love." Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love" can sound extremely trite in the wrong hands, but the quartet's dark but brilliant arrangement transforms the piece into one of pure longing that isn't likely to be fulfilled. Margitza and van den Brink mostly go it alone in a playful miniature of "Emily" that only vaguely hints at its theme until the remainder of the group is added near its conclusion.

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