Ab Baars Quartet - Kinda Dukish

They wrote…….

Ab Baars Quartet KINDA DUKISH Wig 12

The Dutch phenom Baars splays 10 'Kindas' on us with this invigorating survey of styles. Typically oddball, eccentric and thoroughly refreshing, the tenor saxophonist/clarinetist leads trombonist Joost Buis, bassist Wilbert de Joode and drummer Martin Van Duynhoven through reinvented takes of 'Solitude', 'Caravan', 'Perdido' and others. It¹s quite fetching: out there, straightahead, swing, classical, more out there. And it's all Baars.
John Ephland Downbeat May 2006


It takes balls to tackle a whole album of Ellington covers, even if you try and protect your back by appending the word "kinda" to each track, but if anyone can do it it's clarinettist and tenor saxophonist Ab Baars. (…) Baars' arrangements are skilful, and appropriately enough for the music of Ellington, his preference for the clarinet over the tenor serves to shift the focus away from bop to swing. And there's nothing the Dutch like to do better than swing (so no prizes for guessing who wrote the liners for this one - Kevin "New Dutch Swing" Whitehead himself), and Duynhoven and de Joode can swing like hell, either uptempo or in the slow dirge of "Kinda Braud". Duynhoven also turns in a magnificently melodic drum solo on "Kinda Harlem" ("Drop Me Off in Harlem"). Dannie Richmond would have been proud of him. But what makes it all so good is that however well the four musicians know their Tizol, Nanton, Brown, Hamilton, Bigard, Procope, Braud, Blanton and Woodyard, this is no fusty, crusty play-it-straight homage, but a vibrant, dangerous and thoroughly sparkling update of a great tradition.
Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic Magazine

(…) Either way this is a joyous disc that should keep many of us Duke Ellington fans smiling, as well as those fans of the great Dutch players of today, not that they are mutually exclusive.

(…) Here we have the trio, plus Joost Buis on trombone. Kinda Dukish is a homage to Ellington which can be approached from many points of view, and which could prove to be liked by many kinds of listeners. We have some very famous compositions such as Solitude, Caravan, Prelude To A Kiss, Perdido, and others not so famous. It's a very intelligent approach absolutely devoid of any commercial cheap means.
Beppe Colli © Beppe Colli CloudsandClocks.net | Jan. 25, 2006

(…) Alternant les morceaux de swing irréprochable (tenté par la déconstruction sur Kinda Bear ou imperturbable sur Kinda Perdido), les réécritures fantasques (valse saccadée pour Kinda Gentle, pose velléitaire pour Kinda Lafitte) et les bouleversements passagers d'un free savant (Kinda Solitude, Kinda Prelude), le groupe maintient sans faiblir une vitesse de croisière judicieuse.
Domestiquée, l'improvisation incorpore la conduite des interprétations, et inocule souvent une inventivité bienfaitrice à l'ensemble. La méthode est prouvée, qui sait gérer l'entente entre respect du thème écrit et bienveillance vis-à-vis de l'instinct apparu soudain, et fait mouche une fois encore. Si loin, si proche, Kinda Dukish. Ou la relecture fidèle et dégagée d'un patrimoine universel par 4 musiciens en verve.
Chroniqué par Grisli, Infratunes january 2006

(…) Throughout, drummer Martin van Duynhoven plays the tunes instead of demarcating the bars; and when the improvisations veer farthest from the idiom, van Duynhoven finds ways to provide an elegant forward movement. Certainly, the rapport of Baars, de Joode and van Duynhoven, gained through years of playing as Baars' trio, is a big reason that both the scripted and improvised ensembles are crisp. But, it is their ability to become a quartet with the addition of Buis that makes the music cogent.
Bill Shoemaker Point of Departure March 2006

Dutch tenorsaxophonist/clarinetist Ab Baars' "adaptations" of 10 Duke Ellington tunes render the source material almost unrecognizable, which ain't a bad thing, at least in this case - the more oblique the reference the fresher the result. Baars tackles lesser-known Ellington compositions (…) and some chestnuts (…) with respect, not idolatry. His original take on Ellington makes most other dead-hero tributes seem downright plagiaristic.
Baars is the most compelling soloist, combining gutbucket expressionism with just the right amount of boppish exactitude.
Chris Kelsey - Jazztimes April 2006

(…) The arrangements are bold and come off without a miss. Baars takes deeply recognizable music and makes it his own, from the opening Gonsalvesian tenor bleat to the lovely "Kinda Perdido" that closes the set. It's thoroughly modern, but without any sort of irony about or destruction of the past.
Kurt Gottschalk - All About Jazz NY march 2006