Bik Bent Braam is a 13-piece improvising big band from the Netherlands, led by pianist/composer Michiel Braam. Michiel Braam writes his material with his musicians in mind, thus getting the best out of each orchestra member. Compelling themes, echoing the complete jazz history, and precise ensemble work alternate with wild, screaming improvisations. The CD \'Extremen\' is a live recording made at the Bimhuis, Amsterdam, February 1st, 2008. As always, during this concert Bik Bent Braam performed without a setlist - it employed a strategy in which the musicians all provided input, calling out tunes in mid-phrase and deciding tempo and instrumentation on the spot, to generate a new musical direction for the ensemble. Michiel Braam developed some special cues that the musicians can use to force each other to musical extremes. A sheet with cues is included with the liner notes. Line-up: Michiel Braam (piano), Wilbert de Joode (double bass), Michael Vatcher (drums), Frank Gratkowski (altosax, clarinet, bassclarinet), Jan Willem van der Ham (altosax, bassoon), Bart van der Putten (altosax, clarinet), Frans Vermeerssen (tenorsax, baritonesax), Peter van Bergen (tenorsax, clarinet, bassclarinet), Peter Haex (euphonium), Carl Ludwig Hübsch (tuba), Eric Boeren (cornet), Angelo Verploegen (trumpet), Wolter Wierbos (trombone).
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