For many people, jazz equals improvisation. In mainstream
jazz, improvisation is often limited to playing
solos in a strict framework: theme, solos on chord
progression, theme again. Dissatisfied with these
limitations, musicians in the 1960s started playing
‘free jazz’, completely improvised music.
This supposedly free music wasn’t always what
it claimed to be: for some artists in this genre,
all other/previous ways of playing were ‘forbidden’.
In the process, the music became very inaccessible
to most listeners.
earswideopen searches to find a third way, with
the attitude of free jazz, but also using solid
grooves and melodies from more conventional forms
of jazz (and rock, funk, or salsa as the case may
be). Without losing the improvised character. Thus,
halfway through a song, a fragment of another song
may be inserted, or something else can be started.
The equilibrium in rhythm or harmony can be deliberately
shaken, and in constant musical dialog, the trio
finds a new way.
Because of the many hours they have played together
(over 150 performances as a trio) Achim, Felix
and Jurriaan are well versed in playing ‘free,
but not freaky’. This concept has proven itself
many times in various environments: jazz podia,
festivals, cafés and parties. Their music
sounds different each time, making each performance
truly unique. earswideopen searches for a dialogue
with the audience as well. And audiences vary, even
in the same venue. This keeps the musicians on the
edge of their seats: playing by routine is hardly
possible. And the audience feels something of this
attitude; earswideopen gets responses like ‘I
could really hear that you guys are having a musical conversation’.
Music that happens in a specific time and place,
that is what earswideopen is about. To expand the
adventure, they invite guests with the same open
minded attitude. So far, this has resulted in collaborations
with Dutch jazz giants like Eric Vloeimans, Benjamin
Herman, Yuri Honing, Efraïm Trujillo and Oene
van Geel. But they have also shared the stage with
rappers and dj’s, singers from different backgrounds,
and others who share their sense of musical adventure.