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William Breuker Collective

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Album Review

The only occasion that the Kollektief recorded for an American label, this 1983 session is one of the ensemble's best, documenting the band near the end of the ten-year period when it was one of the most exciting musical groups in jazz. Though the individual instrumentalists in the ensemble have always been undersung, they were some of the finest in the music and several are given particularly bright spots to shine herein. Belgian altoist Andre Goudbeek, German trumpeter Andy Altenfelder, and Breuker mainstay Maarten van Norden all demonstrate what creative and fiery players they could be. Additionally, the record features two of Breuker's most accomplished compositions: "Amsterdam Rhapsody Overture" and the intriguingly titled "Women's Voting Rights." The latter uses a deliciously lopsided rhythmic pattern to support several rich and juicy melodies and some sublime soloing by the aforementioned Altenfelder. "Preparations and Farewell," a fun conflation of a few national anthems, among other things, was recorded earlier for the Driebergen-Zeist album (under the title "Wolkbreuk III"), as was the Kurt Weill song "Benares." Tenorist van Norden's "Kontrafunkt" is a loose, lively number giving the band some room to rock out, and the record closes with yet another Weill piece, the sprightly and delicious "Road to Mandalay." Long a collector's item as a vinyl release, Willem Breuker Kollektief was finally issued to disc by About Time in 2000. Highly recommended.


Born: 04 November 1944 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Genre: Jazz

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

Dutch saxophonist, clarinetist, composer, and bandleader Willem Breuker was probably the single most well-known, prolific, and influential figure in 20th century Dutch music. From his early free jazz days to his role as longtime leader of the successful Willem Breuker Kollektief, he accomplished much in creative music from the 1960s into the 21st century. In addition to performing, Breuker helped instigate changes in government subsidies for jazz and improvised music, he co-founded two important...
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William Breuker Collective, Willem Breuker
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