In 2013, Baars – Kneer – Elgart released their debut album Give No Quarter on Evil Rabbit Records, featuring Ab Baars on tenor saxophone, clarinet, and shakuhachi, Meinrad Kneer on double bass, and Bill Elgart, on drums.
The album is comprised of free improvisations co-written by the three principals including “Anacrusis,” “Eurus,” “Give No Quarter,” “Zephyrus,” “Late Preamble,” “Song for Our Predecessors,” “Specific Gravity,” “Notus,” “Logical Consistency,” “Tale of the Bewildered Bee,” “Complementary Progress,” “Fundamental Ambush,” and “Boreas.”
The trio recorded Give No Quarter at Sound Balance Studio in the Dutch city of Foxhol in 2011 after playing a series of well-received concerts in the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany.
Baars – Kneer – Elgart’s “Give No Quarter,” the title track, is on YouTube:
The album marks the return to the recording studio for Kneer and Elgart, two players whose musical chemistry was first established on the earlier Evil Rabbit Records’ release Modern Primitive. Klare – Platz – Kneer – Elgart’s 2011 album also features multi-reedman Jan Klare and guitarist Jeff Platz.
Give No Quarter is also an opportunity for Ab Baars and Meinrad Kneer to extend a musical relationship that began with their Windfall album, recorded in 2008.
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.”*
An excerpt of that show featuring Ab Baars on tenor saxophone, Meinrad Kneer on double bass, and Bill Elgart on drums is online:
In May 2013, the Baars – Kneer – Elgart trio were one of the featured acts at Jazzatelier Ulrichsberger in Kaleidophon, Austria.
A video clip from that performance was uploaded to YouTube.
Baars – Kneer – Elgart live at Kaleidophon, with Ab Baars on clarinet, Meinrad Kneer on double bass, and Bill Elgart on drums is here:
Give No Quarter is now available in CD from most major music retailers including Amazon, Discogs, and directly from Evil Rabbit Records. The album is also available as a digital download from the Dutch label.
And 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 one for the title track.
Baars – Kneer – Elgart’s “Specific Gravity” is online:
Ab Baars – Tenor Sax, Clarinet and Shakuhachi
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.
In 1998, the Ab Baars Trio + Roswell Rudd recorded their Four album live at the Bimhuis Amsterdam.
The DATA Records release features Wilbert De Joode on double bass, Martin Van Duynhoven on drums, Roswell Rudd on trombone, and Baars on tenor saxophone and clarinet.
The Ab Baars Trio + Roswell Rudd’s “The Year Was 1503: Bartolomeo Tromboncino” is on YouTube:
Meinrad Kneer – Double Bass
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.
Around 2013, Meinrad Kneer joined a quartet to perform a live version of “The Art Men Tried To Go To Tibet” with Bart Maris on trumpet, Albert van Veenendaal on piano, Yonga Sun on drums, and Kneer on double bass:
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 in the early 1960s.
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 Stańko, 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 Kučan Quartet, and quite a few more.
Klare – Platz – Kneer – Elgart’s 2011 Modern Primitive album released by Evil Rabbit Records features Jan Klare, Jeff Platz, Meinrad Kneer, and Bill Elgart.
The album was recorded 29 October 2010 at a live concert in Bielefeld, Germany.
A video for Klare – Platz – Kneer – Elgart’s “Impish Episode” is online:
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 www.toondist.com
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
Ab Baars Wig Foundation bio (English)
and Dutch http://www.enola.be/muziek/live/19924:konfrontationen-2012-19-22-juli-2012-jazzgalerie-nickelsdorf-
This article initially appeared 8 November 2013 on http://hapsnowswhirlwinds.com, which spawned Bill’s Blue Note as well as sister site http://the6thdimension.com.