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groups & projects The Flatlands Collective CDs:

The Flatlands Collective: Maatjes
Clean Feed Records CF127

NOTE: unfortunately, on the back of the sleeve of "Maatjes", some of the tracks are listed with the wrong titles. Please click here for the correct order of titles.


The Flatlands Collective: Gnomade
Skycap Records Cap035

Press Quotes on "Gnomade":
**** (4 stars)”
“This music has a lot of moving parts. Keeping them synchronized is a credit to each member of the Collective, but the exemplary tandem work of Roebke and drummer Tim Mulvenna merits special attention.” (Downbeat, August 2007)

Each piece on this great disc is filled with surprising twists and turns and unique combinations of players and directions. Quite a wonderful offering! (Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery)

“near-Dixieland clarinet riffs and punk-rock-like slashing cello screeds in the centre of contrapuntal call-and-response vamps”
“three-dimensional timbral protuberances, that vary according to the musical make up”
“Harmonized horns plus occasional vibrating pulsation find the backing varying from outer-space splashes to mellow harmonics”
“slurry pitches on which sharp saxophone obbligatos are displayed”
“repeated aviary split tones; nearly inaudible percussion squeaks and rubs plus slinky, squeaky trills; a thick carpet of echoing and descending tones, drum rumbles and pops”
(Ken Waxman Jazzword.com)

“The music is a satisfying combination of composed and free jazz sounds.”
“The beauty here is Dijkstra’s ability to organize these sounds into coherent passages.”
“The Collective has a strong sense of song and a responsibility to carry listeners along for the ride.”
(Mark Corroto All About Jazz.com)

“Refreshingly, although the music here frequently skirts the frayed edge of the irrational, there is a pervasive sense of joy throughout much of Gnomade and the performers are clearly enjoying themselves.”
“This CD will be a worthwhile listen for those of you among us who have the appropriate constitution for this particular brand of quirky improvised music.” (Cadence Magazine, June 2007)

“Dipje”, the last track, is a crushingly great groove – so mellow and so rich (Signal to Noise #46: Summer 2007)

“...angular, abstract, quirky.”
“...the most compelling feature are the melodies, jaunty little things (by everyone but Mulvenna) that allow for delicious textures that sound at once modern and very nostalgic.”
“This is the music of the country fair, the slightly off-kilter roller coaster, the barker asking passers-by to test their strength. It is like cotton candy: big, colorful and sticks to your face.” (Andrey Henkin All About Jazz.com)

“...anything but flat.”
“Richly textured, subtly nuanced and built on multiple layers of melody...”
(Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune)

For full reviews click here

  the whammies play steve lacy

pillow circles

flatlands collective

jd solo

duo dijkstra-hollenbeck

tone dialing


talking pictures and jd

drones in the bones

trio jd

Photo: Henriëtte Lohman. Download this picture in high res (2.9MB) here.

Jorrit Dijkstra - alto sax, lyricon, analog electronics
James Falzone - clarinet
Jeb Bishop - trombone
Fred Lonberg-Holm - cello, analog electronics
Jason Roebke - bass
Frank Rosaly - drums

"...a rewarding record by a band with a singular identity." *** (Bill Meyer on "Maatjes" in Downbeat Magazine June 2009)

"Tuneful yet adventurous, Maatjes reveals the missing link between Chicago jazz and the famously capricious Dutch jazz scene. Dijkstra's Flatlands Collective is a vision of the future of jazz, today." (Troy Collins in allaboutjazz.com)

“In one of the festival’s strongest sets, Dutch saxophonist and composer Jorrit Dijkstra, and his Flatlands Collective on Friday reinvented American Jazz in a way that remained true to its template, while finding new territories to explore.  Earthy, meditative and very accessible, the Flatlands Collective was the perfect fusion of composition and improvisation.” (Will Stewart in the Ann Arbor News on the Edgefest gig 10/17/08)

More reviews here

The Flatlands Collective brings together the remarkable Dutch alto saxophonist and composer Jorrit Dijkstra with some of Chicago’s most interesting improvisers.  In Chicago, one of the most important musical cities in the US, he found a common ground in a more trans-national way of improvising, using open forms, and a looser interpretation of the American jazz tradition.  Dijkstra says: ”I believe that the landscape in which you grow up has an effect on how your music sounds.  This is what’s so interesting about jazz: musicians in New York, Barcelona, Moscow, Shanghai or Addis Ababa play this music, but there is always a distinctive local interpretation.”  And he adds: “I called this group The Flatlands Collective after the landscape heritage I share as a Dutchman with the Chicago players.”

Dijkstra provides most of the compositions, in which he strives towards a balance between composed material, clear guidelines for musicians to improvise, and openness for the most adventurous kinds of improvisations.  The group has developed a way of improvising that blends Chicago-style free jazz, texture-based minimalism, and melodic layering into an eclectic yet organically coherent repertoire. Dijkstra’s use of the Lyricon (a vintage analog wind synthesizer from the 1970s) and Fred Lonberg-Holm’s amplified cello adds an electronic touch to the rich variety of ideas, structures, and textures of the group sound.  The Flatlands Collective has released their debut CD Gnomade in December 2006 on Skycap records, which has received 4 stars from Downbeat Magazine, and much critical acclaim by the international press. Their second CD Maatjes has been released on Clean Feed Records in December 2008.

Photos: Cees vd Ven

Fragment of The Flatlands Collective Live in Eindhoven January 14, 2008: Scirocco Song