Anna Webber - tenor saxophone
Adam O' Farrill - trumpet
Nick Dunston - upright bass
Raf Vertessen - drums

Recording: Christian Heck at Loft, Köln Germany on September 2018
Mixing: Jaimie Branch
Mastering: Eivind Opsvik at Greenwood Underground Studio
Production: Raf Vertessen & Rogé Verstraete for el NEGOCITO Records
Artwork: Hery Paz
Lay Out: Lut Vandebos

Available on CD
release 25 september 2020


You can often judge an artist by the company he or she keeps, and  drummer-composer  Raf Vertessen keeps excellent company, indeed. Born and raised in Belgium, he came to Brooklyn in 2016, quickly developing close mentor relationships with such key avant-jazz figures as Joe Morris, Joe McPhee, Ingrid Laubrock and Ches Smith. Now, Vertessen presents his debut on record,  LOI,  featuring a band with trumpeter Adam O'Farrill, tenor saxophonist Anna Webber and bassist Nick Dunston – all fixtures on the New York scene.

"Raf Vertessen is a deeply inventive, expressive musician. His art is informed by a thorough knowledge of what has come before him, and he builds on that through a rigorous use of both technique and imagination." — guitarist/bassist and educator Joe Morris

The music of LOI is deeply influenced by progressive jazz from the New Thing of the '60s to the inspirational free-improv scene of Europe to the fertile creative-music community in 21st-century America. Yet, for all the intrepid energy that implies, the Raf Vertessen Quartet also has a loose, afterhours feel: woozy and wild, its edge enticing.

"This band's music has an abstraction to it that can make it more accessible than some might think – allowing listeners to find their own, personal way in," Vertessen says. "It's that way for us, too, as players. The music is constantly shifting, like a living thing, as our responses and feelings change. I really hope people can take a trip with this record."




Ceci n’est qu’un début. Mais un début assurément remarqué et remarquable." Eric Therer, Jazzaround magazine (15/03/2021)

triumph. That noun could probably define LOI in general. Hopefully soon there will be a follow-up to this impressive debut." Ken Waxman, Jazzword Canada (26/02/2021)

"This Belgian percussionist is a perfect fit with the avant-jazz approach developing in Brooklyn, releasing an interesting debut with a focus on garrulous collective free jazz and prog." Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise UK (dec. 2020)

"this unexpected 2020-issued gem" Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz (14/11/2020) ****1/2

"LOI is an intriguing and compelling release from a relative newcomer. It covers a great deal of ground sonically and texturally. Highly recommended." Mike, Avant Music News US (07/11/2020)

"The dense vocabulary that Belgium-born, Brooklyn-based drummer, percussionist, and composer Raf Vertessen possesses is fit for a wise veteran. The catch is, he's only 27. In just a short stint, Vertessen has quickly established himself as a force in New York City's improvised music scene, counting avant-garde titans like Joe Morris, Joe McPhee, Ingrid Laubrock, and Ches Smith as mentors." Brad Cohan, Jazztimes US (03/11/2020)

"Dette er åpen, løs og empatisk musikk med masse dynamikk der fire mer enn lovende og lyttende musikanter møtes på likefot og med ønske om og evne til å skape noe eget. Dette er Raf Vertessen sin debut som bandleder og jeg føler meg trygg på at vi får høre mye mer fra den stemma i tiåra som kommer." Tor Hammerø, Nettavisen Norway (16/10/2020)

"This is boundary-pushing jazz. An album tending toward exploratory cadences and rasp dissonance with a gift for evocative images. Energy is palpable throughout the album's 9 tracks and it is impossible to not appreciate the band's effortless proficiency to create in the moment." Pierre Dulieu, Dragonjazz (10/2020)


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1. LOI
R. Vertessen - 05:26

2. #1
R. Vertessen - 04:35

3. #4
R. Vertessen - 07:22

4. Layers
R. Vertessen - 06:35

5. #14
R. Vertessen - 04:23

6. FAKE 3:7
R. Vertessen - 06:56

7. IRR(1) & #3
R. Vertessen - 07:52

8. Cardinali 2+3
R. Vertessen - 08:09

9. #2
R. Vertessen - 09:49

total time - 61:09
eNR097 © 2020








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