On Friday, December 5th, New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will present the penultimate event of its 2008 Fall Jazz Series, a two-set performance by The Flatlands Collective. The group, which will be touring the Northeast in November in support of its new CD, Maatjes (Clean Feed Records), pairs Dutch-born saxophonist/composer Jorrit Dijkstra with five of the most respected names from Chicago’s celebrated creative music scene, James Falzone (clarinet), Jeb Bishop (trombone), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello and analog electronics), Jason Roebke (bass) and Frank Rosaly (drums).
Critics have called the band’s music “infectious” (David Kane, Cadence) and “the perfect fusion of composition and improvisation” (Will Stewart, Ann Arbor News), noting its combination of “the intellectual firepower of the Dutch free-jazz scene with the instrumental virtuosity of some of Chicago’s most accomplished creative improvisers” (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). “Dijkstra hears the stylistic diversity within the networks that link his cohorts, and gives it space not just to breathe, but also occasionally to snort, howl and laugh riotously, writes DownBeat‘s Bill Shoemaker. “The music has a discernible Dutch tinge, which is alternately audacious and austere.”
The Flatlands Collective takes its name from the geographic characteristic shared by both Chicago and Dijkstra’s hometown of Amsterdam, but Time Out Chicago argues, “In truth, the music of this group is as dynamic as downtown San Francisco, with bustling melodies and grooves built of rangy swing and dub-inspired meditations.” The ensemble works within the framework of Dijkstra’s eclectic compositions, with the musicians’ improvisations blending Chicago-style free jazz, texture-based minimalism and melodic layering to create a distinctive sound that is further defined by Dijkstra’s lyricon (a vintage analog synthesizer) and Lonberg-Holm’s amplified cello. Maatjes is the follow-up to the band’s 2006 debut, Gnomade (Skycap Records).
2008 Fall Jazz Series Schedule:
09/19: Steve Lantner Trio
09/26: Conference Call
10/03: Ned Rothenberg’s Sync
10/10: Shakers n’ Bakers
10/17: Josh Roseman’s Execution Quintet
10/24: Bad Touch
11/07: George Schuller’s Circle Wide
11/14: Jamie Baum Septet
11/21: Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings
12/05: The Flatlands Collective
12/12: Donny McCaslin Trio
Tickets and more information available at: