Swinging the BIM

Alexander von Schlippenbach

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Swinging the BIM Review

by Eugene Chadbourne

This is everything it ought to be. This high-test modern jazz trio taped a 1998 gig at Amsterdam's Bimhuis, and the members were happy enough with the results to release a double CD containing both sets in their entirety. Only a good jazz group could get away with something like this; so fear not, the Schlippenbach Trio is not just good, it is great. So here we have a great group in front of a demanding audience, in a venue that is actually historic enough in the development of the international jazz scene to be looked at as a kind of touchstone musicians return to from time to time, that is if they pass muster with the booking honcho! The first set is a controlled build, the musicians feeling out the sounds of each instrument in the room as if all the keys on the saxophone and piano were being knitted together by Paul Lovens' drum sticks. The group must have felt pretty good about this first set, because they came back and whammed out a bit more than an hour non-stop piece as episodic as a 19th century novel, which is the Schlippenbach Trio norm. To haul out a reviewer's cliché, this is recording by this trio to grab if a choice of only one has to be made. After nearly three decades on the road, it is the group's best yet.

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