Volume 1 of this two-volume LP set showcases Dutch composer Loek Dikker's 15-piece band performing an album-length composition with the unlikely title of "Health Food & Bug Spray." Though Dikker cites Ellington and Mingus as primary influences (and one can certainly hear aspects of the styles of both), the live performance is rather similar to one of his compatriot Willem Breuker's more staid works. The structural framework is fairly mainstream with thematic material (none very memorable) introduced in sequence followed by individual solos with background riffing by the band. Some of the soloists do manage to stretch things a bit, notably the youthful tenorist Ab Baars (who would go on to become a member of the far more adventurous ICP Orchestra), Breuker trumpet stalwart Boy Raaymakers, and American expatriate Keshavan Maslak. But what's lacking, besides especially rich or catchy melodies, is the wit and energy one normally associates with the Dutch jazz scene. There's a certain lethargy and plodding quality to the whole affair that no amount of strong soloing can compensate for.
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AllMusic Review by Brian Olewnick