Chris Abelen


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The troubling themes and musical expressiveness of Songs on the eve of dismissal are suggestive of a dramatic theater piece or opera, and indeed, Abelen and Geleijnse are finalizing the script for a stage production comprising the Songs. But the wonderful thing about this recording is that you can either get out the Kleenex or enjoy the music the way you would any great jazz vocalist with a terrific band. This dual function of jazz is part of a tradition. You can listen to Billie Holiday or Frank Sinatra either way. It’s only possible with a composer, lyricist, singer, band, and arranger like those in this album who know how to make it work.

Victor L. Schermer - liner notes
'The proof’s in the final report. The players don’t sound like they’re watching the clock, waiting for work to be over. They sound psyched, rested and ready. Putting this music together, Chris Abelen struck a blow for worker comfort, efficiency, and effective time management.'

Kevin Whitehead - liner notes


‘The pharmacy was closed when the many tired ghosts of Miles Davis decided to in vivo freak this band. Suitable for zombies and psychedelics. #livingdeadcharm’

Fiona Ord-Shrimpton’s comment on ‘Fix’ (All about jazz):
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Trombone improvisations as a warming-up, with Logic Pro X samples, also available as minus one files.
New album, work in progress, single released in 2018,
next year the album.

Is it too much to suggest that on his four CDs so far, Chris Abelen has taken a thesis-antithesis-synthesis approach to bandleading?
His first albums, Dance of the penguins and What a Romance, featured his working quintet. Proost, his third (though recorded first), was for an ad hoc tentet. Now for Space he’s come up with another ad hoc tentet built around the working band. Two working bands, actually: the Abelen quintet and the Zapp! String Quartet, plus rogue clarinetist Ab Baars, returning from Proost.

Kevin Whitehead - liner notes
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Plint is an EP, as an introduction to my music. From a quartet to a 10-piece band, with a string quartet. 4 pieces are on previously published albums, the title track is new, with a great Tobias Delius tenor solo.
Imagine the Art Ensemble Of Chicago jamming with Duke Ellington and the Willem Breuker Collective, injecting their jam with elements from the New Orleans funk, blues and brass band music, and you'll get a pretty good picture of what this CD by this Dutch trombone player sounds like.

GROOVEMASTER
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A much stronger effort than his earlier Dance of the Penguins, What a Romance features a more confident, mature, and gruff-sounding Chris Abelen on trombone -- who not only leads but does so in glorious style.

Steven Loewy - All Music Guide


Delius is featured over pedal tones on "Delay," just before Corrie van Binsbergen breaks out with a nasty electric guitar solo. Charles Huffstadt's march drums on "Who's Next" recall Henry Threadgill's Sextet, but this group's got a wholly original sound. Bassist Wilbert de Joode wields an enviable high-action, matte-timbre sound.

John Corbett - Downbeat

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