Willem Breuker, the Dutch composer sadly passed away last week in Amsterdam. The Willem Breuker Kollektief’s music has been described as “throwing Kurt Weill into the blender with ragtag circus music” which does a good job of telling some of the story but for me, this music somehow goes beyond any kind of written expression.
As a young musician, I was lucky to hear/see this group along with many other musicians who were a part of the Dutch improvised music community. There was an important era in the late 80’s and 90’s where a variety of groups like the Kollektief, the Clusone Trio and ICP orchestra would come and perform at the Vancouver jazz festival. As nerdy jazz fan, I was doing my best to see as much music as I could and just happened to stumble across a WBK concert. I had no idea what I was witnessing. It was just…wild…and ridiculous…and utterly amazing. Click here for more about Mr. Breuker’s passing.