Jorrit Dijkstra: 30 Micro-Stems (2001)
When Dutch saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra plays saxophone alone, he is never alone. His latest recording 30 Micro-Stems, while a solo effort, is filled with the loops and delays that process sound, keeping him in good company. Dijkstra, a Dutch saxophonist is one of the stars on the Amsterdam scene releasing recordings on the BVHaast label. He works in various groups including his Trio Jorrit Dijkstra (sax/bass/drums), a quartet Sound-Lee! that plays the music of Lee Konitz, Jorrit Dijkstra + Strings (guitar/banjo/viola plus saxophone and electronic processing) and his recent critically acclaimed association with the Vancouver-based Talking Pictures. Last year's release Humming (Songlines) found Dijkstra collaborating with a sympathetic cast of trumpet/cello/guitar/drums, all of which was richly augmented (or maybe influenced) by electronic sound processing.
This solo disc pares away the sidemen, but doesn't lose the creativity of Dijkstra's other projects. While other saxophonist like Evan Parker and Luc Houtkamp's electronic project come to mind, Dijkstra neither repeats their approach nor follows their paths. He simply (and mostly sticks with very simple variations) records live improvisational responses to electronically processed sound. "Lines Recta" is a flowing piece of gently layered saxophone lines with a touch of digital pop-and-click that is at the same time futuristic and retro, like a 1970's sci-fi movie. He uses looping repetitions on "Mind The Gaps" and "Hickory" to engage the listener. So often the electronics dominate the affair, but with Dijkstra's work processed sound sets up his saxophone as the center stage presence. He also takes up the lyricon, an electronic wind-synthesizer on "Transducer (Contrapunt #14)." He has in effect a band in an electronics box. Sometimes he responds to the electronics and sometimes the processors respond to his sounds as on the title cut. What is ultimately noteworthy here is that this saxophone improviser builds engaging and very human music in collaboration with and in response to a machine presence. Jorrit Dijkstra can be further explored at www.jorritdijkstra.com.
Track Listing: Contrapunt #5; 30 Micro-Stems; Koot; Residence; Faster Than My Shadow; Old Roman Road; Contrapunt #8; Hickory; Lines Recta; Mind The Gaps; Transducer (Contrapunt #14); Carpet.
Personnel: Jorrit Dijkstra - Alto Saxophone, Lyricon, Electronics.