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VandeVen Band – Off The Road

juni 1st, 2010 at 12:30

Feeling for the groove.

Veteran Clemens van de Ven made his previous CD Ticket To Paradise under his own name, but it was just as much hís music as that of his musicians. Now they are named after the way they sound: a compact band. Ten songs long Van de Ven and his companions again play flowing and at the same time soulful grooves: Harry Hardholt on guitar, Arend Bouwmeester on saxes, bass and percussion and newcomer Sin Banovic on drums.

In that tight line-up they evocate New Orleans in the Rhine delta. Van de Ven’s piano and growling singing are at the centre, but the propelling swing of his three musicians proves that they know how to reduce da fonk to its essence effortlessly. Doing so, they couple refinement to tradition and combine jazz, funk, rhythm ‘n’ blues and dixieland to a rootsy stew.

That way, Heart Of Gold is a distinct tribute to Fats Domino, one of the innovators of back then. In Mystery Hardholt and Bouwmeester sprinkle Caribbean influences through the rhythm and in Hee-hoo and Life Is For The Living they funk hard and playful.

All the time, they weave their instruments together seamlessly, elegantly provided with overdubbed horns. It results in a rich and varied gumbo, in which Van de Ven in the passing also sings two melancholic ballads.

Off The Road is only distributed by a company, but the four wheel drive VandeVen Band was created for this terrain.

***1/2

Published on www.popmagazineheaven.nl together with Heaven no. 23,  March-April 2003/ no. 2

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