Watch Trailer video here
(Live at the Bimhuis -March 15 2014)
A concert with a festival flavour – music, visuals and poetry
The Clazz Ensemble programme made the Bimhuis watch and listen breathlessly for a whole evening A convincing answer to what may be the most important question facing jazz. Bert Vuijsje – Jazzism – May 2014
A valid addition to the Dutch Jazz landscape. Downbeat (USA)
In Monk Inside Out, the twelve musicians of the Clazz Ensemble play works by seven composers who allowed themselves to be inspired by one genius: the legendary musician Thelonious Monk (1917 – 1982). The ensemble commissioned both young and established composers from various musical styles. Maud Sauer, Frank Carlberg (NY), Jasper le Clercq, Arend Niks, Guus Janssen, Dick de Graaf, Leonard Evers and Jesse Passenier were inspired by Monk to write new work and to arrange existing work for this programme. The setting of the project provides variation. During the show, the musicians are not only on the main stage but also spread out around the concert venue evoking the mood of a festival. In this way, the listeners see soloists and small ensembles juxtaposed with the twelve-man band. Throughout the evening, unique video projects are also screened of the master himself and texts can be heard about Monk by the Dutch writers Bernlef and Lucebert.
It must be heard—and heard repeatedly!!
Taste, aplomb, and virtuosity. All About Jazz (USA)
With the programme Monk Inside Out the Clazz Ensemble shows that the music of Thelonious Monk is still an important breeding ground for innovative music. Through its choice of performers and composers, it consciously goes a step further than the inspiration that Monk’s music has for years given to many generations of jazz musicians. With this project, they also stress the fact that his often angular melodies, dissonant chords and his unorthodox approach to the piano also inspire composers to write new and exciting work. When these new compositions turn out to be fertile “vehicles for improvisation” for the musicians of the Clazz Ensemble, the circle is closed and the listener again experiences the spirit of the musical genius Thelonious Monk.
Since its foundation in 2007, the 12 musicians of the Clazz Ensemble have played repertoire of daring compositions, sharply performed brass music, inspiring solos and rhythms in the groove. The Clazz Ensemble breaks down the boundaries between musical genres and proves that stuffing things in boxes doesn’t belong in the 21st century. Both for the musicians and for the audience, this small big-band provides a surprising musical adventure. The performances are often combined with multimedia and theatrical elements. The many concerts and the three CDs by the Clazz Ensemble have attracted widespread attention in the media. The CDs received universally good international reviews. The ensemble has been seen extensively on Dutch television (De Wereld Draait Door, VPRO Jazz Live and Vrije Geluiden). With the projects Avonturen (2007), Clazz in Zeeland (2009) and His Master’s Choice (2011-2012), the ensemble sought cooperation with composers from jazz, pop and classical music. In seven years, this varied collection of musical characters has firmly established its position in the vanguard of European jazz.
Dick de Graaf, Nils van Haften, Arno Bornkamp, Werner Janssen saxophones/flute/clarinet
Gerard Kleijn, Charlie Biggs, Frank Anepool
Vincent Veneman, Koen Kaptijn
Frank Carlberg(USA) piano
Guus Bakker double bass
Joost Kesselaar drums
Mercilessly noisy and screamingly melancholy. Clazz Ensemble powerful in new jazz. NRC
If you go to see a 12-man big band, you still end up watching a piano trio. This ensemble of three, so popular in jazz, is only one of the many ways in which the Clazz Ensemble presents itself to us. Musicians from the ensemble turn up in all kinds of combinations from all corners of the building, not always visible for the audience.
Jan Jasper Tamboer / Parool
A smart balance of classical precision and unhinged ferocity.
New York Music Daily
Not only in individual and group improvisation is the Clazz Ensemble fascinating, but the group also provides an impressive and universal sound. Jazzenzo
We heard very pure teamwork, excellently timed by virtuoso musicians. A glowing and well earned ode.Muziekrecensie.nl