Linger

Benoît Delbecq  |  prepared piano, bass synth

Jorrit Dijkstra  |  alto sax, lyricon, analog electronics

John Hollenbeck  |  drums, percussion

Dijkstra and Hollenbeck have been collaborating as a duo since the mid-nineties. Recorded as a follow-up on their well-received album Sequence (Trytone Records, 2005), Linger adds French prepared piano master Benoît Delbecq to the mix. Dijkstra and Delbecq met at the Banff Jazz Workshop in 1990 and have collaborated occasionally over the years. As on Sequence, the same process of instant composition was used in the studio: to establish some textures and atmospheres first, then record a few takes per texture, and choose the best takes afterwards without further editing. The titles of the ten tracks all reflect movement of some sort, represented by the multi-layered rhythms, the dense microtonal textures, and the lyrical, lingering melodic interactions of Dijkstra and Delbecq. Delbecq’s mumbling bass synth lines, Dijkstra’s analog synth and processed saxophone sounds, and Hollenbeck’s hard-hitting grooves and almost electronic-sounding percussions give the album a unique sound that defies categories.

CDs

Press Quotes

Linger is an electro-acoustic set of ten pieces by the formidable trio Benoit Delbecq, Jorrit Dijkstra & John Hollenbeck, which is definitely something special in its own right. Although they occasionally make use of elements from various jazz and improvisation traditions as well as from the realm of minimalism, they create a highly original world of sound through the surprising, highly original use of electronic instruments as an extension and continuation of the acoustic, which has probably never before been heard. About Hollenbeck’s really astounding base, which often consists of several layers created with different percussion devices, in addition to his drumming, sometimes seems as if it were created with the help of overdubs, Dijkstra and Delbecq also throw out further lines here and there, but also like to stay with the abbreviation, with the fragment, with the punctual. Delbecq’s prepared piano produces strange sounds, shimmering like unknown stars above everything, and the bass synth sounds next to them. Dijkstra’s lyrical alto saxophone is supplemented, also simultaneously, by Lyricon and electro sounds, which on the one hand seem to exceed the structure of mere music-making in the trio, but on the other hand also light new, different lights on the plan of the event. In this way, a truly unique and innovative acoustic-electronic brew with suction power can be created that can captivate. This recording is especially recommended to all those who would like to hear “something different” in the field of free jazz or improvised music.
Bertl, FreiStil Magazine (Austria) 

 

Benoît Debecq and saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra met at the Banff Jazz Workshop in 1990. In 2012, the latter founded with the pianist Pandelis Karayorgis the label Driff Records to produce “Transatlantic Improvised Music”. In addition, Dijkstra has been playing a duo with John Hollenbeck for twenty years. After Sequence (Trytone Records, 2005), the two musicians wanted to re-record for Driff, and it is quite natural that they invite Delbecq for a total improvisation session. An exercise that can be austere. It’s just the opposite here. Dijkstra possesses a sense of melodic line that, combined with a mellow yet assertive sound, takes the listener to unexpected places with a certain comfort. On this side of the Atlantic we know enough about the delicacy, finesse and refinement of Delbecq’s piano not to need to insist. As for Hollenbeck, he acts like a pointillist painter adding light touches and working his palette with infinite care. In addition, there is an appropriate use of electronics, in the form of bass synthesizers for Delbecq and echo effects, harmonizations, multiplication of Dijkstra’s alto. Each track has its own texture and expression, with ecstatic, simultaneous multiple time depositions, or attention to micro-details describing only a few aspects. What a pleasure!
Ludovic Florin, Jazz Magazine (France), February 2019, CD of the Month.

 

Linger is the very example that an impromptu meeting can turn out to be a summit. We know too little about Jorrit Dijkstra in France, but we know that the host of the Driff Records label and the Dutch saxophonist (but based in the USA) of this trio is a long-time companion of John Hollenbeck. On his label too, he was noticed close to the pianists, and Benoît Delbecq’s presence on this record recorded in January 2016 but recently available, testifies to this. The ten tracks on the album are models of intensity, nervousness and power. Undoubtedly “Relay”, where complicity with Hollenbeck is strong, is the most brilliant example. The blower, who had dropped his alto for a lyricon, this wind synthesizer, faced the inventive strikes of the drummer whose usual musicality was buried in the scrap metal, and let Delbecq outline a winding and steep path. Further on, in “Linger”, the frenzy gives way to an abstract discourse, where the tension is always palpable and where piano and drums can unite in their approach and sounds, offering Dijkstra the opportunity to leave here and there some traces, as one treads on a virgin expanse.

As always with these musicians, we border on electronic music, when we don’t enter it frankly, like “Stir”. This piece, which testifies to the great freedom of these improvisers, has the appearance of Musique Concrète with these blips drawn from a spatial narrative that dance on the percussion. When the piano gets rid of its many preparations, it is filled with sweetness, as if to better tell an adventure. One might think that we are dealing with architects whose sound is the raw material, like the solid construction that is “Hold” where Delbecq and Hollenbeck merge, but there are too many imponderables and latitude in a moving and almost acrobatic approach claimed by the trio. And rather than the impeccable but cold structure that could emerge, it is a total change of scenery that welcomes us, tinged with an effluvium of Africanity nicely fantasized.

Great exegete of Steve Lacy, to whom he pays tribute in the sextet Whammies (with Jeb Bishop and Han Bennink), Jorrit Dijkstra finds with this trio the opportunity to embrace all his influences, beyond the electronics also very present in his playing, which he traditionally uses alongside Jason Roebke or Frank Gratkowski. From Lacy, he keeps a taste for adventure that does not let go of a deep respect for tradition. Listening to “Push”, certainly the most stirring track on an album that jumps around the listener with jubilation, it is easy to understand that despite the sudden flights of fury and spectacular reversals, the saxophonist and his classmates never lose a thread built with rigor. It is a rather universal cable, proudly universal, that plugs into all sockets and concentrates a crazy energy that we are given without manners, with a quite delightful simplicity. A great record, served by musicians in great shape.
Franpi Barrieaux, CitizenJazz (France), February 2019

 

The New England-based record label, Driff Records, was established in 2012 by Jorrit Dijkstra (reeds, electronics) and Pandelis Karayorgis (piano) with the intentions of creating “transatlantic improvised music.” Dijkstra and drummer, composer John Hollenbeckhave enjoyed a productive working relationship since the 1990s, and invited forward-thinking French pianist Benoit Delbecq into this beguiling and uncanny improvisational trio setting for Linger. It definitely goes against the grain, even by free jazz nomenclatures. But the intermixing of acoustic and electronics yield some notable surprises along with Hollenbeck, sounding like he has eight arms, or if some of the percussion grooves were indeed overdubbed. This acoustic-electric set is largely about unorthodoxies coexisting on an elevated plane of sorts, as the musicians make it all seem natural. Odd noises blurt out from nowhere with Delbecq’s electric bass lines, refined prepared piano textures and Dijkstra’s processed sax, analog synths and lyricon lines. But Hollenbeck’s rolling, tumbling and polyrhythmic drums, layered with small percussion instruments denoting a multi-purposed mode of attack. Coupled with the saxophonist’s darting, popping and supple notes, the trio rather softly jolts your neural network.

“Linger” is devised with a jagged sense of minimalism and microtonal sound-sculpting, dappled with subtle background effects. Whereas, “Stalk” seems like an alien march progression, stoked with ominous implications and a metronomic ending. Yet each track has its own delineation. For example, “Push” features an outside-the-box funk groove motif with Dijkstra’s weaving lyricon lines atop Delbecq’s unassuming bass pattern and flickering piano statements, gravitating towards a blustery free-form jaunt amid world-beat undertones. However, the album closer “Edge” is enacted with muttering effects, accentuated by the drummer’s cymbal swashes and the pianist’s simple, childlike theme.

Part of the album’s success is due to the artists’ sensitivity, and by not overheating matters into rambunctious, cacophonous blowouts. Simply stated, it’s an idiosyncratic musical event that defies rigid categorizations, and presents newly discovered revelations on subsequent listens.
Glenn Astarita, AllaboutJazz.com, November 2018