Jeroen DeRijk

Speak Low

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Jeroen de Rijk is a Dutch hand drummer who came to New York City in 1994 for a three-month visit to absorb its jazz scene; there, he met pianist Dado Moroni and bassist Joris Teepe, and ended up recording the eight tracks of this CD in four hours. This is fine, swinging, straight-ahead jazz, freshened up with a conga pop. While de Rijk gets leader billing, he's never obtrusive -- usually, he stays in the background keeping time and adding accents unless he launches an extended solo, as he does at the beginning of his own quirky "A Long Stroll With Micky." Teepe contributes fine bass work throughout, taking the lead on "Work Song," while Moroni's strong, sensitive piano is in the Oscar Peterson/Monty Alexander style of formidable technique and lyricism seasoned with wit. It's a satisfying mix of ups and mid-tempos and one ballad -- a lovely, languid reading of Peterson's "Nigerian Marketplace" -- all tastefully done with great collegial energy. The trio takes Herbie Hancock's "One Finger Snap" at a slow burn, renders Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma" with respectful tenderness, and romps all over the closer, Moroni's delightful, infectious "Dado's Blues." This CD is squarely in the tradition of the best swinging trios, with two surprises: the conga in this setting, and the fact that the three haven't been playing together for years.

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