Two rare albums from Dutch reedman Theo Loevendie – both amazing little records that sound beautiful here on a single CD! Mandela features complicated lines from a hip Netherlands combo of the late 60s – one headed up by Theo Loevendie on alto sax, but which acts a lot more like a collective of modernists working together – Hans Dulfer on tenor and bamboo flute, Willem Van Manen on trombone, Nedly Elstak on trumpet, Joop Mastenbroek on baritone and clarinet, Maarten Altena on bass, and Martin Van Dunhoven and John Engels on drums. The tunes all have a nice sense of structure – energy that's more like the early 60s modernism of the European scene – particularly some of the more rhythmic styles – than the looser freedoms that some of Loevendie's contemporaries were hitting at the same time. There's definitely plenty of offbeat sounds in the mix – but the group also knows how to swing, too – on titles that include "Trombomanie", "Mr
Brook", "Timbuktu", "Trompedly", and "Pepy". Chess is a really playful outing from a very cool Dutch combo – one with lead alto from Theo Loevendie, but a rich array of sounds from the other members too! The reeds are especially nice – often coming together with a complex
ity that goes back to older European modern traditions, yet with a swinging sensibility that's still plenty jazz, too – kind of a mix of composition, arrangement, and inherent swinging – with standout work from Hans Dulfer on tenor, Leon Van Oostrom on baritone, Leo Cuypers on piano, and Willem Van Manen on trombone – a player we barely know at all, but whose bold tones really bring a lot to the record. Titles include "Lapsang Souchong", "Scratch", "Brasilia", and "Tremolo".