Chris Abelen has produced 4 CD's and 1 EP. On these recordings Chris Abelen wrote all the compositions, for a quartet to a tentet. These titles are performed by some of the finest improvising musicians from the Netherlands, such as Tobias Delius, Corrie van Binsbergen, Wilbert de Joode and Charles Huffstadt on his 2 Quintet CD's (Dance of the Penguins and What a romance). On Space this quintet also plays with the Zapp ! String Quartet and Ab Baars (clarinet).
Plint ! is an EP, with one new release, Plint, performed by a quartet with Martin van Duynhoven on drums, and Delius and De Joode. The other 4 pieces are from previously released recordings.
This EP can be seen as an introduction to his music.
PROOST is a live recording for the Dutch broadcasting NOS, recorded during an end of the year festival in Amsterdam, Klap op de Vuurpijl, organized by Willem Breuker.
Sheet Music of all the recorded titles is available, as print or download. Please sent a request if the line-up doesn't match, or the titles are not published and available in the shop.
Quotes from the international press reviews
What a relief to be able to breathe and stroll around freely in a 'space' that is not unnecessarily cluttered. There is no need for excessive loudness, as the clarity of the performance enables the listener to hear every single detail of what is on offer. A virtue only too easily forgotten in contemporary orchestral jazz. Chris Abelen has undeniably reached a very high standard
One does not hear from trombonist Chris Abelen very often, but whenever the former member of Contraband and the Willem Breuker Kollektief makes his appearance, he always succeeds in making up for lost time
De Volkskrant (Space)
Abelen plays a scintillatiing trombone, Corrie van Binsbergen coaxes magnificently nostalgic wah-wah sounds from her guitar, Tobias Delius creates with his saxophone again and again the most surprising turnabouts. Wilbert de Joode defines musical space in a masterly manner, and Charles Huffstadt shows himself to be a thorough melody-conscious drummer
Jazzpodium (What a romance)
Abelen's music is full of unexpected turns. He allows his listeners but little time to get used to a rythmic or melodic phrase. The five musicians not only come from various bands, they also have their roots in a wide diversity of musical styles. But that is exactly what makes this music so exciting and full of tension
Jazz Live (What a romance)
Chris Abelen on trombone, who not only leads but does so in glorious style
All Music Guide (What a romance)
Imagine the Art Ensemble Of Chicago jamming with Duke Ellington and the Willem Breuker Collective, injecting their jam with elements from the New Orleans funk, blues and brass band music, and you'll get a pretty good picture of what this CD by this Dutch trombone player sounds like.
This CD offers the creme de la creme of Dutch adventurous free jazz
Abelen focuses on multi-voiced wind arrangements in order to do full justice to the group's combined sound potential. The result is eight titles that make up an imaginary suite. Atmosphere and rhythmical structure are in good hands with Chris Abelen. In Eric Boeren he also has a trumpeter whose brilliance gives the whole added drive
Delius is featured over pedal tones on "Delay," just before Corrie van Binsbergen breaks out with a nasty electric guitar solo. Charles Huffstadt's march drums on "Who's Next" recall Henry Threadgill's Sextet, but this group's got a wholly original sound. The leader's a fine melodist, as well, and bassist Wilbert de Joode wields an enviable high-action, matte-timbre sound
Downbeat (Dance of the Penguins)
Abelen is a great believer in less-is-more: this is a refreshingly short CD, leaving one wanting more, and the band seem reluctant to play as a group, one or other musician always dropping out to listen to the others, the quirky little tunes laid skeletally bare by their delivery, the cranky rhythms and rising-falling dynamics constantly pulling the rug out from under
Penguin Guide to Jazz (Dance of the Penguins)
Chris Abelen has played with the Willem Breuker Kollektief (1984-1987), Dick de Graaf Septet (1988), J.C.Tans Orchestra (1988-1989), Contraband (1989-2000), Eric van der Westen Octet (1991-1992), and Paradise Regained Orchestra (1995).
Chris Abelen started at the age of 7, with playing the trumpet. This seemed to be a little early, so he tried again at 11.
After 7 years he switched to trombone and studied classical trombone in Tilburg with Charles Toet and Henri Aarts and also formed a big-band to conduct and arrange.
After 4 years of classical study he switched to jazz and improvisation in Amsterdam with Willem van Manen.
Chris Abelen, trombone
29 september 1959
(b) Tilburg, the Netherlands
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