Give No Quarter, the debut CD from Baars, Kneer, and Elgart, is now available on Evil Rabbit Records. Recorded by the jazz trio in 2011 after playing a series of well-received concerts in the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany, the album features Ab Baars on tenor saxophone, clarinet, and shakuhachi, Meinrad Kneer on double bass, and Bill Elgart, former member of Hap Snow’s Whirlwinds, on drums.
Baars, Kneer, Elgart – Give No Quarter (2013) Evil Rabbit Records (ERR 20), design by Lysander Le Coultre (Strangelove Creatives), photography by Monique Besten
The album is comprised of thirteen free improvisations co-written by the three principals. It also marks the return to the recording studio for Kneer and Elgart, two players whose musical chemistry was first refined on Evil Rabbit Records’ release Modern Primitive
in 2011, along with Jan Klare and Jeff Platz (“Puppet Party,” a track from Modern Primitive, is located under elgart audio on the right-hand side of the browser window).
Here’s the title track, “Give No Quarter:”
After recording Give No Quarter in the Netherlands in late 2011, Ab Baars, Meinrad Kneer, and Bill Elgart appeared at the Konfrontationen Festival in Nickelsdorf, Austria on 22 July 2012. An attendee offered this impression: “Baars, Kneer and Elgart won over the entirely filled church with perhaps the most intensely concentrated concert of these four days. Mighty beautiful.”* Here’s an excerpt of that show:
Ab Baars – Tenor Sax, Clarinet and Shakuhachi
Kneer Elgart and Baars (www.meinradkneer.eu:groups.php)
Ab Baars started playing the saxophone at age 15 in a marching band in the city of Eindhoven in his home country of the Netherlands. After studying with Leo van Oostrom at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music, he went on to study with American saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell in 1986, an important musical influence. Three years later the Dutch government granted Baars a scholarship that enabled him to study with clarinetist-composer John Carter in Los Angeles. Over the last 30 years he has performed in concerts around the world, in addition to finding time to master the shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute, and participate in the Monk Project, an event that helped to spur the development of his unique, bare-bones style that seldom employs recognizable song forms or swing rhythms.
Meinrad Kneer – Double Bass
Ab Baars, Meinrad Kneer, and Bill Elgart at Kaleidophon 2013 in Ulrichsberg, Austria (photo from Meinrad Kneer)
Meinrad Kneer took a less direct route, first working in civil service and studying biology at the University of Tübingen in his native country of Germany before opting to study music formally in the Netherlands between 1995 and 1999. The year before graduating, Kneer co-led the quartet and septet Dalgoo, together with reed player Tobias Klein, through 2005. One highlight in this period was winning the “Jur Naessens Music Award” for a project around the work of Russian absurdist and writer Daniil Charms. In recent years, the active sideman has toured Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. He is currently involved as a co-leader in Dutch contemporary jazz piano trio Veenendaal, Kneer, Sun, the quartet Klare, Platz, Kneer, Elgart, and Spoon 3, in addition to Baars, Kneer, Elgart. Although the Netherlands has remained a home base for nearly 20 years, Kneer is also active in the Berlin music scene.
Bill Egart – Drums
Bill Elgart has been making jazz records, as a sideman, leader, or co-leader, since his 1968 recording debut on the album Mr. Joy with Paul Bley and Gary Peacock. With the release of Give No Quarter in 2013, Elgart not only joins an elite group of working musicians that have created original albums in six straight decades, but he has now averaged at least one new album release each year since 1980. Elgart’s music career started in his home state of Massachusetts where he studied with Alan Dawson at the Berklee College of Music (the same school attended by fellow Whirlwind band member Leonard Hochman). After playing rock and roll for a few years, Elgart decided to play jazz exclusively.
Meinrad Kneer, Bill Elgart and Ab Baars at Jazzkeller Sauschdall in Ulm, Germany (photo from Karin Mitschang)
In 1976, Bill Elgart moved to Europe where he has lived ever since. The long list of Europe-based jazz and experimental outfits Elgart has worked with includes a trio with Wayne Darling and Peter O’Mara from 1982 to 1990, the Kenny Wheeler Quintet with Stan Sulzman, John Taylor, and Dave Holland, Bründl’s Basslab, the Eric Watson Trio, Caoma with Ed Schuller, Sigi Finkel, and Thomas Stanko, Zollsound 4 with Carlo Mombelli, Lee Konitz, and Thomas Zöller, the Peter Fulda Trio with Henning Sieverts, the Hubert Winter Quarttet, Günter Lenz Springtime, Claudio Fasoli, the Franco D’Andrea Trio, the Bernd Köppen Trio, the Vlatko Kucan Quartet, b.k. structures, and quite a few more.
Kaleidophon, Austria 3-5 May 2013 poster
In May 2013, Baars, Kneer, and Elgart appeared at the Kaleidophon Festival in Ulrichsberger, Austria. Here’s an excerpt of that performance:
Recent Reviews of Give No Quarter
The following is a round-up of a some recent online reviews of Baars, Kneer, Elgart’s Give No Quarter album in Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, and Italian.
His Voice by Zdenek Slaby
All About Jazz by Eyal Hareuveni
French and English
Aufabwegen magazin by Zipo http://www.toondist.com
Here’s one more track from 2013′s Give No Quarter, “Specific Gravity”, with a special thanks to Evil Rabbit Records’ co-founders Albert Van Veenendaal and Meinrad Kneer for graciously granting permission for the creation of this video and the one for the title track for use on this site:
Recorded by Sebastian Demydczuk, 9 October 2011 at Soundbalancestudio, Foxhol, the Netherlands
Mixed by Sebastian Demydczuk and mastered by Rob Elfrink
All compositions by Baars / Kneer / Elgart ©Buma
Design: Lysander Le Coultre (Strangelove Creatives)
Photography: Monique Besten
Evil Rabbit Records is a member of http://www.toondist.com
More Info about the Album and Musicians
album page on Evil Rabbit Records website:
Ab Baars Wikipedia (Dutch):
Ab Baars Wig Foundation bio (English)
Meinrad Kneer website:
Meinrad Kneer Quintet blog
Bill Elgart Wikipedia
Bill Elgart allmusic.com bio
Bill Elgart discography
and Dutch http://www.enola.be/muziek/live/19924:konfrontationen-2012-19-22-juli-2012-jazzgalerie-nickelsdorf-
Finally, here’s “She,” a track Bill Elgart cut around 1962 or 1963 with Steve James, Michael Kaye, and Hap Snow. This original song written by James is one of three tracks Bill (then Billy) Elgart recorded back in his rock days with Hap Snow’s Whirlwinds–efforts to upgrade the sound quality of “She” as well as “He Can Have Her” and “Whole Lot of Rockin’” are underway. This video features Hap Snow on his first visit to Europe in 2012: