Daring Dutch drummers Han Bennink and Joost Lijbaart for UK dates

Heavyweight Dutch jazz bands Quartet NL and Under the Surface (an adventurous trio led by drummer Joost Lijbaart, above right), make their UK debuts with gigs in London and Scotland on 19 and 22 February respectively as part of the Jazz Promotion Network's Going Dutch project.

Formed by drummer Han Bennink (above left), bassist Ruud Jacobs, saxophonist Benjamin Herman and pianist Peter Beets to play a New Year's Eve gig in 2013, Quartet NL brought together two generations and two very different musical approaches – Bennink being an internationally acclaimed master of free improvisation, as well as having featured with Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon; his bandmates having followed a largely more straightahead jazz path. They were an instant success, resulting in a chain of bookings. Later, in 2016, a series of concerts featuring the music of Dutch pianist and composer Misha Mengelberg brought further acclaim.

Jacobs, who followed a career that included gigs with Louis Armstrong, Cannonball Adderley and Hank Mobley by becoming a record producer with numerous million-selling albums on his CV, has recently suffered from ill-health. His place at the quartet's gig at Pizza Express Jazz Club in Dean Street, Soho on 19 February will be taken by Ernst Glerum. The latter recently toured England and Ireland with the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra alongside Bennink and has performed with luminaries including Steve Lacy, Lee Konitz, Teddy Edwards, and John Zorn.

Under the Surface met in 2015 when the Dutch Foundation Beaux Jazz, which offers young talents artistic support, invited the young singer Sanne Rambags to choose more experienced musicians to work with for its Generation Next strand. Rambags, an improvising vocalist who uses texts and poems to build rhythmical phrases, selected Joost Lijbaart, best known for his work with saxophonist Yuri Honing, and guitarist Bram Stadhouders, who had previously worked in electronic music and with Norwegian singer Sidsel Endresen, and the trio struck up an immediate understanding.

Within a short time, their mixture of jazz with elements from unspecified folk traditions had found particular favour with world music festivals, resulting in appearances in Mali, Mexico, China, Norway, and India, and since releasing their first album, Under the Surface, last year they have also appeared at major jazz events including Jazz International in Rotterdam and the Sound Of Europe in Breda.

The band play the Blue Lamp, Aberdeen (22 Feb); Hippodrome, Eyemouth (23 Feb) and the Blue Arrow, Glasgow (24 Feb).

Rob Adams

For more info on this series of concerts visit jazzpromotionnetwork.org.uk/goingdutch/

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