Willem Breuker Kollektief

Summer Music

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Summer Music is a fine, relatively early outing by the Kollektief, tending toward the jazzier aspect of the ensemble's multifaceted persona. The title number, in fact, is about as close as Breuker ever came to a "traditional" big-band piece (not very), and it's a solid work indeed with imaginative fanfare-like themes and beautiful solos from Leo Cuypers and a youthful Arjen Gorter. Other fare includes a giddily lurching, Middle Eastern-tinged vehicle for Breuker's soprano, a nicely ragged and complex piece by and featuring trumpeter Boy Raaymakers, and a lovely dirge (mockingly titled "Wake Up"). Breuker's sly sense of humor may be gleaned from the inclusion of an unashamedly schmaltzy version of "Let's Fall in Love," with Cuypers delivering the heartfelt (if Dutch-accented) vocal rousingly backed up by the rest of the band, sounding for all the world like the last patrons at a particularly low dive. Summer Music fits very nicely into the string of superb releases the Kollektief compiled in the decade between 1975 and 1985, giving a good idea of the immense amount of territory this band was capable of covering.

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