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Polyphony

by Jasper Blom

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    High quality, 180 gram, 12" 2x Gatefold LP (4 sides of music - A, B, C, D) - comes with download code containing the digital album in multiple formats

    Includes unlimited streaming of Polyphony via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days
    edition of 300 
    Purchasable with gift card

      $39 USD

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    High quality, 6-panel digifile with 2 CDs and velvety soft-touch laminate finish

    Includes unlimited streaming of Polyphony via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $18 USD

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Comes with album artwork booklet PDF + album cover photo as a jpg
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD

     

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about

PERSONNEL

Disc 1 - Jasper Blom Quartet with Bert Joris

Jasper Blom – tenor saxophone
Bert Joris – trumpet
Jesse van Ruller – guitar
Frans van der Hoeven – double bass
Martijn Vink - drums

Disc 2 - Jasper Blom Quartet with Nils Wogram

Jasper Blom – tenor saxophone
Nils Wogram - trombone
Jesse van Ruller – guitar
Frans van der Hoeven – double bass
Martijn Vink - drums

ALBUM CREDITS

Recorded at Bimhuis (2018) by Micha de Kanter of MiDeka Productions
Mixed and mastered by Misha de Kanter
Produced by Jasper Blom and Frans van der Hoeven
Executive Producer – Michael Janisch
Album Artwork Design – Sophie Moates
Photos – Anne Reinke
Cover Design Concept – Philip de Josselin de Jong and Annne Reinke

credits

released January 25, 2019

ABOUT THE ALBUM

A lustrous double album showcasing just why Jasper Blom is one of the Netherlands’ most prominent, forward-thinking saxophonist-composers in contemporary jazz, Polyphony documents two sold-out live concerts from his quartet at Amsterdam’s BIMHUIS in collaboration with two special solo artists – trumpeter Bert Joris and trombonist Nils Wogram. Blom has been performing in different line-ups for over twenty years with guitarist Jesse van Ruller, bassist Frans van der Hoeven and drummer Martijn Vink; and as this band since 2006, they have released four studio albums.

But Jasper Blom isn’t a musician for standing still: “A few years ago, I began experimenting with the idea of guest soloists, inviting US saxophonist Dick Oatts and the late Italian trumpeter Marco Tamburini. That started me thinking about the project in a more structural way.” His creativity is centered around a fascination with mediaeval polyphony. “It’s an intuitive process”, he reveals, “often starting with a fragment of, say, a 500-year-old manuscript, maybe only a couple of bars; and then I mold it, adding or removing elements.”

The first set features the quartet’s longtime friend Bert Joris; and Nils Wogram, in the second set, has been on Blom’s radar for years as a particularly original player, composer and improviser: “I’m a fan, and his freer approach is a good match for my music.” The saxophonist revels in that extra voice to write for, more polyphonically, while maintaining improvisational space. “Most of my experimentation begins from the question, ‘What if…?’, with the band reinterpreting my ideas – an exciting way of getting beyond the realm of what I first imagined.” And that phrenology model on the album cover? Owned by a neuroscientist friend and displaying terms such as ‘ideality’, ‘contructiveness’ and ‘self criticism’, it’s seen by Blom as a metaphor or ‘road map’ for what musicians can encounter.

Across more than 100 minutes, these 16 tracks deliver a polychromatic throng of styles and influences – from mellow dual horns and gyrating guitar in ‘Walz for Magnus’ to pop-mediaeval ‘Virelai’ (after Guillaume de Machaut). Soft ballad ‘Fontayne’ and percussively playful ‘Ciconia’ are derived from the works of 14th century Belgian composer Johannes Ciconia, while Bert Joris’s fluid trumpet phrases intertwine with a walking-bass swagger in ‘Guidonean Hand’ (referencing mediaeval theorist Guido of Arezzo).

‘Decidophobia’ introduces Nils Wogram’s deliciously bluesy, growling trombone; and more abstract expressions in ‘Running Gag’ and technically-demanding ‘Least of Your Worries’ run fast and hard with spiky, chromatic melodies and boisterous extemporization. Grooving ‘Macedonian Candidate’ produces lithe solos from Wogram and Blom, and the quintet’s more spacial ambiences are heard in dreamy ‘Nancy in the Sky’ and the attractively tiptoed tones of ‘Antidote’.

“I now think about my band as a flexible unit, either as a quartet or moving in all kinds of directions”, says Jasper Blom, “so it feels natural to have a fifth person there, and to work with a variety of timbres. It’s great to have the opportunity to take the listener into these different worlds in Polyphony.”

PRESS HIGHLIGHTS

"The catalyst for the album was Blom's fascination with medieval polyphony and how it translates to twenty-first-century jazz... The two CDs are essentially different in tone and texture, characterised by Blom's clever and frequently complex compositions."
★★★★ All About Jazz

“The mastery of its melodious musical arcs gives free rein to the superb exchanges that capture all the energy of this album.”
Radio REC

“A wonderful combination of the composed and the improvise.”
Jazzenzo

Two atmospherically different sets recorded live... A beautiful album.”
Topics

“Joris fits right in, harmonizing seamlessly with Blom and taking solos that honor the group’s existing methodology... Wogram is a slightly noisier and wilder player, the music becomes slightly more abstract and high-energy, but all of this material is worth hearing.”
Stereogum

“Polyphony' should absolutely be savored as one whole.”
JazzFlitts

"This excellent quartet provides a solid foundation for each soloist to flourish."
Jazz Bulletin

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