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Busch & Van Kemenade - Reviews

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Dedication is a worthy successor to the last album Contemplation - subtle and gentle, intelligent music … 
Overall the Duo Busch & Van Kemenade shows one of the most appealing variants of New Jazz that I have heard.

Stevko and Paul interpret here (…) a well-known medieval Georgian hymn… And believe me, the free form jazz language that the Dutch musicians speak proves more than suitable to convey the beauty of this ancient music, as well as the passion that is hidden within it. 

...The sound of Busch’s piano has something melancholy about it, while Van Kemenade’s alto saxophone is clearly sanguine, vivacious and fiery... above all in the four pieces “Contemplation IX... XII - for Paris” via the contrast between the fragile lyrical lines of the piano and the penetrating sound of the saxophone.

LEONID AUSKERN- Belorus - Nestor



Thanks a lot, dear Paul, for the great album - finest dialogues!

Greetings - BERT NOGLIK



… a great reflection … melodic embellishments like feathers in the wind … drops of spring dripping softly on to young, freshly emergent greenery … unparalleled musical contemplation ... Different influences which the two musicians have selected as a starting point to proceed from. The great strength here is that the signature of both artists stands out in every work.

RINUS VAN DER HEIJDEN  jan 2016 - jazznu.nl



Spirit and Power

Magnificent concert of Duo Busch & Van Kemenade


...  an almost suggestive beauty
… drop-dead powerful tone of Paul van Kemenade´s also sax, in a range of bluesy lament and melting lyricism.
… solemn spirit can also be felt in all their playing, that for all their powerful approach always keeps close to the meditative.

No matter what material subsequently forms the basis of their music: whether Russian Orthodox songs, self-composition by Stevko Busch (Pace) or pieces by Paul Motion or Abdullah Ibrahim: The duo’s interpretations and improvisations create an intense musical language of their own, which recognisably partakes of the different directions in style of the improvised music and thickens into miniatures of a style of its own. Starting from melody lines, their music develops a narrative richness, in its phrasings an imaginativeness that converts the lyricism of the melodic curves partly into elegiac heights and partly into expressive outbreaks.

HEINRICH BRINKMÖLLER-BECKER dec 2015 about concert in Flottmannhallen . nrwjazz.net



“A feather on the breath of God” , the medieval abbess and composer Hildergard van Bingen would have distinguished the performance. Because the “stilling”, the deep emotion it generates and the convincing ability of both musicians penetrate deep into the soul.

RINUS VAN DER HEIJDEN dec 2015 , jazznu.com



A short and serene set, full of “stilled” but powerful melodic lines...
… thoughtful and moving, the rich collective experience of the duo permeating brightly…
… a fascinating piano solo with thunderous chords
ERNO ELSINGA, Dec 2015 - jazzenzo.nl



With the Busch & Van Kemenade Duo, the stone kept rolling, and on to its very own musical path.
That Eastern Orthodox chants and compositions by Russian composers inspire pianist Stevko Busch to compose and improvise jazz can be heard since the 2010 album “Contemplation”. In particular what comes from saxophonist Paul van Kemenade sounds like perfect reflectiveness, almost wise.
NINA SCHRÖDER - WAZ Dec 2015  on the concert in the Flottmannhallen




“… moments of creative intimacy enthralled audiences, as those for example created by alto saxophonist Paul van Kemenade in a duo with pianist Stevko Busch. … In actual fact these were the European moments that Nils Landgren would have hoped for, moments that were unspectacular yet inspired, rooted in tradition yet humorously individual….”

Süddeutsche Zeitung 11/11/2010 on the Berlin Jazz Festival




On Songs, Russian Chants, Miniatures


Stevko Busch – p, whistling (tk 15)

Paul van Kemenade – as


DNL2010, 16 tks / 47 mins



Marc Hoogma (NL), by email

The CD is wonderful. I've never heard Paul play like that before.

Regards, Marc



http://www.jazzpodium.com/pivot/entry.php?id=1035   31 July 2010 - 16:48 (NL)

Paul van den Belt for JazzPodium.com 


Rating: *****

...on Contemplation Van Kemenade plays like a young god. 

.. a great intensity that almost feels religious. 

...they hit the mark. 

...it can actually put you in a contemplative mood.


In brief, it's richly varied, and it never becomes dull or tiresome. 


.. a lot of talent. Both men have got it, and it shows too. Van Kemenade in particular pulls out all the stops. From lyrical and melodic, to screaming and ecstatic. Occasionally, his sax sounds almost like a flute, and then later like a babbling brook. And all without histrionics, and deeply sincere. Or, as the English like to say, a 'heartfelt performance'.


... enigmatic, but intensely fascinating five Contemplations 

... delightful abundance ...


An album that grows on you the more you play it. (Or is it that you grow on the album?)



Volkskrant (NL) 10/06/2010 http://extra.volkskrant.nl/select/music/artikel.php?Id=3218

Intimate and reflective * * * *

By Frank van Herk


... a real duet album. 

Busch's accompaniment strongly influences the course and the atmosphere of the sixteen, mostly short pieces. 

..his touch and phrasing are more under-cooled than swinging, which makes for a nice contrast with the often preaching, blues-drenched sax

Most of the album is intimate and reflective, the passionate saxophonist showing his reflective side, but 'For Russia' fortunately offers a real party element.






by: Leonid Auskern


Two pieces ... are based on the works of famous Russian composers Glazunov and Taneyev. If there is no doubt that these compositions are jazz in nature, and close to the Avant-garde, they are composed with highest regard to the original and are unlikely to meet the objections of the strictest adherence to Orthodox canons. 

Busch and Van Kemenade convincingly demonstrate that the jazz language can speak any theme and any trend if dedicated and talented people are involved.


.... get thoroughly absorbed if you need the meditative calm. 

....an inspirational, highly skilful alto saxophone performance by  Paul Van Kemenade.

... deep philosophical content.




http://webmagx.jazzrytmit.com/index.php/kaikki-arvostelut/1577-stevko-busch-paul-van-kemenade 3 JULY 2010


... the duet’s playing is purposeful and effective. Paul van Kemenade’s alto saxophone plays keenly and beautifully, brilliantly linked to Stevko Busch’s subtle piano playing. The pieces on the disc are generally very short, integrating South African rhythms with the liturgical melodies of Russian Orthodox Church. 

At times the passionate roar of Kemenade’s alto and Busch’s fury on the keyboard has Taylor-like aspects. 

Some of the pieces are very slow, soulful and minimalist, creating an ambience of spiritual tranquillity. 

...moments of great intensity when Paul van Kemenade gets carried away and tears abruptly into his alto with great strength at high tones.

This is alternative music combining basic harmonic jazz rhythms with skilful playing


Jazzenzo (NL) 18/06/2010 http://www.jazzenzo.nl/pivot/entry.php?id=2967

by: Rinus van der Heijden


.. a special CD. 

...works like a charm. 

It's a unique take!


They have found a form where there is not only space for thoughtful music, but where joy and exuberance can also bask in glory. When performing duets, a sense of timing and feeling for your partner are of course of paramount importance. When this happens in an atmosphere of contemplation, you get a kind of musical philosophy. 


... the musicians explore their deepest thoughts and expose their most vulnerable side in some intricate miniatures. 


...diversity of attitude in which both piano and saxophone are played. 


.. the serious listener will be drawn into the depths, where the skill of both musicians has settled and where emotions are hooked together like the carriages of a train. 





http://www.jazzflits.nl  (NL) NO. 140, 28 JUNE 2010 

by: Herman te Loo


'Contemplation', the title of this CD says a lot. Pianist Stevko Busch and alto saxophonist Paul van Kemenade are lost together in thoughtful musings. 


Van Kemenade fans, in particular, will be surprised because I've rarely heard him play so modestly. Herein lies the power of Busch, because he chose the material. Besides his own compositions, we are also treated to chants from the Russian Orthodox church, and these of course create a rather ethereal, pensive mood. The performances given by Busch and Van Kemenade mean that their pieces fit perfectly with the two pieces by pianist Dollar Brand / Abdullah Ibrahim (who also always uses ecclesiastical melodies in his music). 


Sophisticated music, where every note seems to count, and the two musicians co-exist in complete harmony. 



http://www.jazzpress.org/ (NL) 19/06/2010


by: Hans Schulte


No machine-gun-speed solos, no super-fast octave leaps, but contemplative play

... the music is not polished or sugary. It does get under your skin, though



"Draaiomjeooren" (NL)

concert review about "Borderhopping" in Bimhuis, Amsterdam, Feb. 2007

"...the Duet's playing is intense and impressive. The beautiful and sharp tone of the alto saxophone and the  delicate accompaniment of Stevko Busch made this part the climax of the  concert.”