SERRIES/VERHOEVEN/WEBSTER – “PRAXIS” (a new wave of jazz, 2020)

Dirk Serries (acoustic guitars), Martina Verhoeven (piano) and Colin Webster (alto sax) gathered together to improvise, experiment and create something new, fresh and exciting. Three central figures of avant-garde jazz scene are collaborating with numerous of other jazz stars – they form the music on the basics of avant-garde jazz, free improvisation, fusion, noise and experimental music. As a result, they usually get a suggestive, bright and expressive sound.

All these elements mentionned already are the fundaments of “PRAXIS”. It’s the newest album of this trio released on “a new wave of jazz” records. The musicians are demonstrating their wide musical knownledge, exclusive language and innovative instrumentation. Saxophone player Colin Webster is heading to luminous culminations illustrated with persecuting sessions, waining shrieky exclamations, sharp timbres and sonoristic experiments. His compositions frequently begin in silent, solemn and relaxing mood – when it suddenly gets risky and ambitious, rapid, furious, hysteric and bursting. Expressive melodies, tremendous riffs, moving thrills and passionate solos are the main elements of it – that shows improviser’s splendid virtuosity, invention and creativity. An ability to switch between different moods and change them suddenly is detected in all three improvisers playing – they get on brave furious strikes, terrific solos or blowing riffs and suddenly go deep down to depressed, dark, heavy or relaxing and solemn mood. So a saxophone is an example of vitality, passion and drive – trendy riffs, transcendental passages, remarkable charming melodies, sonoristic experiments, extended playing techniques, home-made resonators and original decisions make a great combo together. A saxophone becomes one of the leading instruyments of the melody line. It makes it sparkling, bright and dynamic. More energy. drive and surprises are brought in by piano. If saxophone is somewhere between free improvisation, avant-garde jazz, modern jazz styles and some relations to experimental or contemporary academical music, the piano also stays on free improvisation, but has much more relations to contemporary academical music. Extended playing techniques, strict exclamations, hysteric radiant riffs, vibrant perturbations, tremolo, soft trills, gentle ornaments, transcendental passages, sharp persecuting sequences of sharp disonances contrasting to consonances – all these elements contain the fundament of the compositions. Synthetic forms based on open form and some classical forms gives a possibility to experiment and explore new fields of musical language. Martina Verhoeven is using huge range of playing techniques – rarely used, exotic, unusual, extended, experimental, specific or home-made ways of playing related to academic avant-garde are connected to very well-known playing techniques. Piano also has another side filled with fragility, meditation, solemn and light sound played in relaxing and suggestive way. Acoustic guitars make the music more colorful and variable. Dirk Serries is balancing between free improvisation and experimental music. His music frequently gets similar to extravagant bebop, nervous harsh neo bop, aggressive hard bop, fusion or other modern jazz styles. The will to experiment, evocative ideas, integration of strange, crazy and original musical decisions makes the music bright, exciting and vital. “PRAXIS” is a great collaboration of three jazz masters who are searching to new, original and passionate decisions and together make an exclusive and bright sound.


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