Bill Bruford & Michiel Borstlap: In Concert In Holland
Supplementing the Nijmegen show is an additional 35 minutes of footage from a performance in Maastricht. Bruford's backstage banter is wryly amusing, and provides a light-hearted introduction to the actual concert footage. But the real meat is the roughly 30 minute performance that includes the only carry-over to their '03 and '04 performances that would be used for Every Step a Dance, being an unusually abstract reading of Monk's "'Round Midnight." Recorded with a single camera and with sound coming from the house rather than a board mix, this is decidedly low-tech compared to the Nijmegen performance. Still, it provides further insight into the inner workings of the duo, with plenty of excitement all around and, surprisingly, even a fairly straightforward blues on "Sintar Klaas is Boos."
Keyboard and drum duos clearly have a more limited audience. But if one can get past the stigma attached to a format that is less-than-traditional, there is the opportunity to experience a collective that, while almost as exposed as a solo performance, delivers a considerably broader sonic palette. Between Borstlap's keyboards and Bruford's drums all the bases really are covered, with a sound that is complete and lacking in nothing. In Concert In Holland is the kind of performance that shows, like Every Step a Dance, just how far Bruford has come as an improvising musician. Lively and filled with the kind of intuition that is remarkable for a duo at such an early stage in its development, the DVD is essential viewing for anyone interested in watching two artists in an environment of pure risk without a safety net.
Personnel: Bill Bruford: drums; Michiel Borstlap; keyboards.
Track Listing: Nijmegen: Prologue; Game of Chess; Conception; Cmailla; Two Left Shoes; Mister B.B.; Arabian Quest
Maastricht: Backstage footage; Happenstance; Peacock Strut; Sintar Klaas is Boos; 'Round Midnight.