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2022-01-19 Flophouse Magazine

Joris Teepe & Don Braden Chemistry (Creative Perspective Music 2021)

January 19, 2022


Chemical brothers of jazz strike again.


Joris Teepe (bass), Don Braden (tenor saxophone, flute), Jeff “Tain” Watts (drums), Louis Hayes (drums)

on May 1 & August 10, 2018 and 2021 at Creative Perspective Studio

as CPM 3006 in 2020

Track listing
Steepian Faith
One Finger Snap
Song For My Father
The Optimist
Dizzy’s Business
Unit 7

The Dutch bassist Joris Teepe and American tenor saxophonist Don Braden have been closely associated since the early 1990’s. Their Trio Of Liberty focuses on piano-less jazz featuring different guest drummers. Their first Trio Of Liberty album, 2017’s Conversations, featured Gene Jackson and Matt Wilson and their latest, Chemistry, proudly presents Jeff “Tain” Watts and Louis Hayes.
Sought-after Teepe, collaborator of Benny Golson and Rashied Ali, educator at the conservatory of Groningen in The Netherlands, has immersed himself in the New York scene since 1991. Quote: “I love American jazz and have practically turned into an American. I have a place in Englewood, a work permit and passport.” 20+ albums with Don Braden, exponent of the American school of jazz musicians that steadfastly, regardless of fashion or hype, prowls the borders of mainstream jazz, speaks volumes about their chemistry, evident again on this set of intriguingly arranged modern standards and original compositions.

Braden tells balanced stories with a beginning, plenty of tension, an end and unwavering tone. Teepe anchors Braden’s urgent lines on ‘veird’ blues songs, the funk-meets-swing of his composition The Optimist and solos strongly throughout. Watts is especially melodic on Hancock’s deconstructed One Finger Snap, which is marked by nifty time changes that subtly put you off your feet without entirely knocking you down. Mildly dizzying and quite enjoyable and remarkable. Rhythmic ping pong games round the table, by all concerned, intensify Braden’s lush Steps, which oozes Coltrane and finds Braden in a fiery mood.

Subtle groove pervades Horace Silver’s Song For Your Father, featuring Louis Hayes, veteran of the epic late 1950’s Silver line-up. His semi-slow shuffle on Unit 7, composition by Sam Jones, Hayes’s former band mate from the Cannonball Adderley Quintet, underlines a relaxed and bluesy flute solo by Braden, heir to forebears as Jerome Richardson and James Spaulding. The hard-swinging Dizzy’s Business completes Hayes’s sprightly contributions, typically shaping the movement of tunes with care and punch. With both Watts and Hayes in tow, you get contrasts and similarities of styles and consequently an extra layer of satisfaction.

The warm embrace of bass and tenor climaxes with Braden’s ballad Morning, a duet of modern jazz arrivés that grow old(er) together in perfect harmony.