Albert van Veenendaal: (prepared) piano
Meinrad Kneer: double bass
Yonga Sun: drums
During some inspiring duo encounters, Meinrad Kneer and Albert van Veenendaal discovered that their conceptions about improvisation and interplay are very similar. Very naturally the desire arose to establish a piano trio in which they could give shape to their musical ideas.
In the young drummer Yonga Sun they found their perfect partner. These three authentic musicians are led by intuition and mutual inspiration. Drawing on a vast vocabulary of improvisational techniques they welcome the surprise and cherish the unexpected. Composition and improvisation are organically merged. Their performances are led by a strong sense of form and groove and can best be described as epical musical adventures.
The second release from the Amsterdam-based label Evil Rabbit Records features a trio, existing of Albert van Veenendaal (prepared piano), Meinrad Kneer (double bass) and Yonga Sun (drums, little things). The music is difficult to pigeonhole, raginging from Merit Becker-like cabaret moments, to swinging jazz improvisations. Even within the songs the style can change suddenly. In general the music is sparkling and tuneful. Songs such as Alex the Woitec guy are moody and sensitive, whereas the piece Wolf hunt (inspired by Lev Tolstoi''s novel War and piece) starts minimal and introvert and ends in a climax. The title track is a non-lineair improv. session which gets exciting in the end as well. All in all this is eclectic unpredictable improv. jazzy music.
Phosphor Magazine number 123, September 2007
Another disk released by this new, innovative label. When listening to this traditional (piano) trio, you can catch nuances of silence burgeoning. If you take your time, these musical intruders from the infernal cellars of darkness will lovingly entrap your attention. It’s worth it to listen to them attentively.
The CD proffers plenty of surprises, and the “spars and parries” are executed with precision.
Mitter, Freistil – Magazin für Musik und Umgebung, No. 14, July, 2007, translated by Gabriele Günther
evil rabbit is a young dutch jazz label started by the jazz musicians albert van veenendaal and meinrad kneer, who, according to a growing tendency, decided to start their own label in order to steer the destiny of their own artistic creations. the first of the two records, ‘predictable point of impact’ offers highly rhythmical jazz, build on evolutions between drums and piano; it is very similar to the more recent releases of matthew shipp with ‘thirsty ear’, but without electronics. albert van veenendaal presents himself as a solid and tasteful pianist while bassist meinrad kneer is frequently involved in stylistic refinements (‘easy uneasy’). their style includes a basic melodic component, the theme, which the three musicians take distance from to take off on their individual solos, never superfluous but always developed in line with the original context. listen especially to the pressing performances in ‘happy hour’, ‘posthume verleumdung’ and ‘dance to sing strangely with’, in which the improvised part and the melodic line are masterly rejoined (with strong quotes by pianist van veenendaal), or the more elaborated, refined, wide breathing suites ‘alex the woitek guy’ and ‘as cucumbers’. (...) evil rabbit presents itself so highly promising that it’s interesting now to find back the first two releases from the catalogue for other beautiful surprises.
alfredo rastelli, 20 july 2007, sands-zine, translated by sara ercoli
The new Dutch label Evil Rabbit Records shines through its graphic design which is equally simple as it is good-looking. The same criteria match the music played by the trio Van Veenendaal/Kneer/Sun. Pianist Van Veenendaal’s preference are transparent, uncomplicatedly sounding melodies with a clear and gripping undercurrent. He’s a highly imaginative player who has found a perfect match in the young drummer Yonga Sun. The deep bass lines played by Meinrad Kneer provide the necessary cement that keeps the music together. This is how the trio’s enthusiastic explorations toe the line in a satisfying way. Their witty playfulness gets all the space it needs but never winds up being feeble or uncommitted. Not every composition manages to hold the tension throughout the entire piece but it is quite remarkable how this band has created a sound so distinctly their own. After all within the piano trio format many bands sound alike.
mischa andriessen, jazzmozaïek 2/2007,
translated by anna feilchenfeldt, https://www.tradebit.com
The trio’s main feature is a non hierarchical approach, free of any cliché. Predictable Point of Impact is a powerful statement of a matured collaboration. They combine the adventurous content of improvisation with the subtlety of a classical chamber music trio, topped off with the vigour of a rock band. They often use grooving figures where each one of the members might take on the roll as grooving element, allowing the other two to move freely. The suppleness with which they shift roles and take over is amazing. The effect is kaleidoscopic music that transforms into a movie in the listener’s head. Above all, Van Veenendaal and Kneer write gripping compositions that take a whimsical course and reach a lot further than the typical theme-solo-theme setup found in most jazz music. Their music is definitely not American maid. The joyful marches, the circus-like music or the almost rocky vamps are absolutely European by origin.
Jazzflits, Herman te Loo, 11th February 2007
HYPERLINK "https://www.tradebit.com https://www.tradebit.com , translated by Anna Feilchenfeldt
Pianist Albert van Veenendaal, double bassist Meinrad Kneer and drummer Yonga Sun travel Jazz’s modern mainstream on this album with thrilling tension in abundance. Their music tells a story. Like visual artists and dancers, they leave us with memories that linger; memories that spark images of Latin dancers, forest hunters, urban dwellers, and pastoral serenaders. Each selection carries a fair amount of lyric melody, while constantly shifting moods avoid any sense of predictability. The trio’s spontaneous adventures contain seamless transitions and gentler textures that assure a smooth performance; yet, the content of their message remains filled with dramatic sequences.
The album’s title song, “Predictable Point of Impact,” flows with the anxiety of a turned-on rhythmic groove, while “Lonely Weekend” describes the feeling that we hold when we’re left with nothing but our thoughts. Van Veenendaal adds prepared grand piano on “Alex the Woitec Guy,” “Wolf Hunt,” and “Papperlapapp” to add off- the-wall impressions, while Kneer and Sun add an array of unique sounds on their respective instruments. Together, they create a rare collection of musical timbres that aid them in relating the stories that they’ve created. Commissioned by Fonds Voor de Scheppende, the ten selections hold distinct colors in tow. “Wolf Hunt” was inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, while “Papperlapapp” is presented in memory of Russian author Velimir Khlebnikov. Piano and bass drift slightly out of tune during some of the session’s slower periods, giving the program an added taste of tension. It works out just right for this recommended trio performance and its genuine flavor.
cadence, july 2007, Jim Santella
Regarding Roscoe Mitchell''s last work (Composition/Improvisation Nos. 1, 2 & 3), the eternal diatribe on the meeting / battle between composition and improvisation was purposely discussed. It was reasonably argued that a large part of the better products of creative music of this last/new millenium actually ensue from fruitful and unedited collisions between the monolithic persistence of the written page and the inequivocable spontaneity of improvisation.
It would be really interesting to hear what a fully rounded musician like Albert Van Veenendaal (recently heard duoing with our Fabrizio Puglisi in the wonderful Duets for Prepared Unprepared and Toy Pianos) thinks. Founder of the Evil Rabbit label, author of scores for theatrical works and dance shows, esteemed interpreter of the contemporary repertoire, unrelenting experimenter, not to mention funambulist improviser: this Dutch pianist is a paradigmatic character from this point of view.
On the other hand, without dragging the phantasmatic genius loci latino into it, his nationality is already in itself, index of an elevated quotient of unpredictability, of a shattering resistence to let himself be pigeon-holed and of a certain taste for the absurd. Characters of the calibre of Willem Breuker and Misha Mengelberg, acknowledged paladins of music without fences and supporters of some of the more successful contaminations between the timeless rigidity of forms and the eternal instantaneity of improvisation back this up.
And, starting with the dialectic paradox of instantaneous composition coined by Mengelberg, a timid approach to the essential dinamics of the surprising Predictable Point of Impact can be attempted. This because the sensation is really that of a rigorous score that takes life only and exactly in the instant in which it is heard.
In an irresistably unstable and precarious equilibrium; the ten tracks alternate, overlap and intertwine rigidly and masterly structured passages with shining shreds of anarchy, convoluted rythmic-harmonic juxtapositions of blinding flash musicality, unmistakably academic suggestiveness and unexpected jazz explosions. All this without resorting to censorship, stagnant interludes or predictable chains of command. In short, improvisation and composition are interpenetrated, confounded and chased in a satisfying game of rejections, reflections, recalls and reverberations.
In the boiling cauldron prepared by Veenendaal and associates the obsessive “Happy Hour”, the fluttering “Posthume verleumdung” (in which an irresistible crescendo and a compulsive little walzer cohabit with disarming genuinity) and the languid “Papperlapapp” (made more precious by a suggestive introduction and improvised dissonant explosions) are most notable.
Needless to add that the phenomenal bassist Meinrad Kneer (here represented also in the guise of author) and the eclectic drummer Yonga Sun move on an absolutely even plane with the leader. The group breathes in unison in total absence of dominant positions and gerarchic constraints. Has the old formula of the piano trio found the way to be reborn from its ashes again?
Luca Canini, https://www.tradebit.com 21 may 2007, translated by Emma Ryan
On the first sight it seems to be the setting of a classical piano trio. But appearances are deceiving, because this trio doesn’t stick to the traditional role allocation of a soloing pianist and his accompanists. Within this group everybody is equal and that provides particularly exciting music. The cd counts 10 pieces, written by Van Veenendaal and Kneer, with intriguing titles as ‘As Cucumbers’ and ‘Dance To Sing Strangely With’. The interaction of the three sounds surprisingly good; the composed and improvised passages merge organically from one into another. This gives us an album which doesn’t bore for a moment and it get’s better every time we listen to it. Too, the design of this cd is very original. Including most pictorial music.
Jos van den Berg, Plato Mania nr: 227, 06.03.2007
the trio, has been an item for the past few years and has developed into one of holland’s most interesting contemporary jazz groups, especially since they’ve given the classic piano trio new meaning. the arrangements and the collaboration are so cunning that even after repeatedly playing the cd new details appear. these musicians are unfailingly aware of each other. their music is made of tight, fast harmonic changes that go hand in hand with rhythmical phrasing, keeping a firm hold on the band’s sound. the improvisations are interesting and it’s the subtle movements of role play between the instruments that keep on drawing one’s attention.
draai om je oren, ken vos, 6th march 2007
translated by anna feilchenfeldt
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