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Senne Sing Song

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Album Review

This 70th birthday tribute to Dutch pianist Misha Mengelberg opens with a track that appeared on the first album that he appeared on back in 1964, Eric Dolphy's Last Date (there it was entitled "Hypo Xmas Tree Fuzz"). The affectionate twiddle he inserts into the theme here is like a conniving wink to an old friend. On Senne Sing Song, his third John Zorn-produced trio album after 1994's Who's Bridge (Avant) and 1997's No Idea (DIW), Mengelberg is joined by the remarkably responsive rhythm team of bassist Greg Cohen and drummer Ben Perowsky. Several Mengelberg "standards" appear ("Reef und Kneebus," "Brozziman"), plodding amiably along at the pianist's by-now-familiar if slightly stodgy mid-tempo. The element of surprise comes from the pianist's unerring ability to find and follow the right wrong notes; Mengelberg's music remains a quintessential example of how recognizable idioms — from Baroque counterpoint to the Duke-ish left-hand thunks and Monk-ish whole-tone runs — can be extended (and subverted) into something both musically profound and profoundly musical.


Born: 05 June 1935 in Kiev, Ukraine

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Acclaimed pianist Misha Mengelberg is the respected leader of the Dutch ensemble ICP Orchestra, yet is equally known for his integral role in the development of the jazz-influenced creative music that sprang up in the Netherlands starting around the 1960s. Most often found in lineups with drummer Han Bennink, Mengelberg has been mixing composition and improvisation since the '60s and, due to his developed and distinctive style, has come to be regarded as one of the top pianists in jazz. Despite a...
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Senne Sing Song, Misha Mengelberg
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