Cel Overberghe - tenor and soprano saxophone
Patrick De Groote - trumpet & Flügelhorn
Erik Vermeulen - piano
Paul Van Gysegem - double bass
Marek Patrman - percussion

Recording: Piet Vermonden, live recorded at Jazzcase in Pelt, Belgium on September 19th 2019
Mixing: Rudy De Keyser, Paul Van Gysegem and Patrick De Groote at DK Recording Studio, Destelbergen, Belgium
Mastering: Rudy De Keyser at DK Recording Studio, Destelbergen, Belgium
Executive Production: Rogé Verstraete for el NEGOCITO Records
Artwork cover: Paul Van Gysegem, mixed media on canvas, part of the series "scores" 2016
Artwork inside: Paul Van Gysegem, oil on canvas 2018
Photographs of musicians: Cees van de Ven
Photographs of paintings: Firmin De Maître

Available on CD and Vinyl
CD release 9 february 2021
Vinyl release tba 2021


Based upon his versatile personality, Paul Van Gysegem has found a way to interweave jazz music with his work as a painter / sculptor. The formal language he uses is close to the spirit and structure - the way of thinking - of the music he plays. In improvised music he finds it important to discover a relation in attitude amongst those who come together to make music. From 1965 he has performed as a bass player in almost all of Belgiumwith leading Belgian as well as foreign prominent jazz musicians with whom he has (had) a close relationship (like Fred Van Hove, Mal Waldron, ...) and is co-founder of the legendary Avant Garde Jazz Festivals in the Castle of the Count in Ghent in the late sixties.

Don't judge a man by the size of his discography. Paul Van Gysegem can only be heard on a handful of releases, but he played a crucial role in the development and visibility of improvised music in Belgium. More than half a century ago, he started inviting international heavyweights to Ghent and performed with many of them. Aorta, recorded by his Sextet in 1971, was one of the key documents of that turbulent era and was rightfully reissued by French Futura label in 2011. However, let's not focus too much on accomplishments of the past. As the music on this new album confirms, Van Gysegem has never been one to look back on the 'good old days' and rehash what has been done before.

For his first album as a leader in almost half a century (!), Van Gysegem has surrounded himself with some remarkable colleagues. Cel Overberghe and Patrick De Groote were already musical allies in the second half of the sixties and artists that also pursued various courses in life. Like Van Gysegem, Overberghe has dedicated himself mainly to the visual arts, while De Groote disappeared completely from the music scene for years, to return about a decade ago as an eager participant in a variety of contexts. Erik Vermeulen and Marek Patrman, who have been bonding for years in the pianist's trio, are among the open-minded musicians of their generation, effortlessly moving in and out of the jazz idiom.

The music on Square Talks is testimony to the musicians' ingenuity and maturity. There's no grandstanding here, no impatient urge to impress with decades of experience and technique. Bass player Barre Philips recorded one of his finest, most lyrical statements (End To End) as an octogenarian, while Joe McPhee is still playing some of the best music of his career, partly because he knows how to surround himself with like-minded souls that respect him, but also keep pushing him. Likewise, things don't get too comfortable here. The music often remains sparse and probing, with tentative ideas that can dissolve or lead to others. Opener "Haaks" is the perfect illustration of this approach, with each musician contributing to a patchwork of steadily emerging ideas and suggestions, gradually lending the piece its shape.

Throughout the remainder of the album, atmospheres and temperaments shift, with more energetic or dense moments popping up (just check out the frenetic edginess of album closer "Square Talks"), or the musicians verging closer to the jazz idiom (for just a few seconds even with a hint of Charles Lloyd's mysticism?). Just as often, they find themselves involved in a collective architectural act, looking for new ways to construct spontaneous structures (and that's no contradiction) with familiar building blocks and an unpredictable end result. The interplay involves abstraction without becoming an exercise in cerebrality, as the appropriately titled "Melancholia (for Joske)" shows.

Age doesn't matter. Van Gysegem already proved it with Boundless (recorded with De Groote and Chris Joris) a few years ago. With Square Talks, this veteran of improvised music adds another gem to a discography that makes up for its diminutive size with a remarkable spirit and quality. Contrary to his paintings and sculptures, this music is a collaborative effort of course, but his personality and indomitable creativity remain just as impressive, luring the listener into a multi-faceted journey, an engrossing universe of its own.

Guy Peters, Geraardsbergen, 18th of October 2020





"Top!" Patrick Auwelaert, Ohlalala Be!Music Magazine (29/04/2021)

"This is improvised music at its best. Spontaneous, interacting, both giving and taking space. Beautiful." Peter Van Laarhoven, United Mutations (13/03/2021)

"This album, witnessing an indestructible feist, takes you to the guts from start to finish! And it's amazing!" Jacques Prouvost, Jazzques (11/03/2021)

"De leider zelf imponeert met sonoor strijkwerk en solistische bijdragen die ademen. Hij plaatst zich hiermee in een categorie van leeftijdsgenoten als Barre Phillips of de onlangs overleden Gary Peacock." Herman te Loo, Jazzflits NL nummer 353 p.11 (08/03/2021)

"le quintette nous offre avec Square Talks rien de moins que le premier chef-d'oeuvre discographique de cette année." Le Focus Vif (25/02/2021) appréciation 10

"Stel, je leest een boek over de verscheurde kunstschilder Francis Bacon en je hebt daarbij nood aan een passende soundtrack. Deze ‘Square Talks’ van contrabassist Paul Van Gysegem en zijn kwintet is precies dat." Georges Tonla Briquet, Jazzenzo jazzmagazine Nederland (19/02/2021)

"Boeiende cd waar je bij elke luisterbeurt meer schoonheid in ontdekt." Peter De Backer, de Standaard (09/02/2021) ****

"Deze cd is dus een absolute aanrader, puur luistergenot ! Voor mij al CD van het jaar 2021, en er zal veel moeten gebeuren om deze te overtreffen!" Kris Vanderstraeten, Jazzepoes (08/02/2021)


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1. Haaks
only on CD - 6:41

2. Brisk
vinyl side A - 4:53

3. Shouts
vinyl side A - 4:54

4. Wings
vinyl side A - 6:00

5. Woodpecker
vinyl side A - 5:46

6. On the edge
vinyl side B -7:18

7. Melancholia (For Joske)
vinyl side B - 7:53

8. Square Talks
vinyl side B - 6:41

total time vinyl - 43:43
total time CD - 50:24

eNR079 © 2021
instantaneous improvisation by Cel Overberghe,
Patrick De Groote, Erik Vermeulen,
Paul Van Gysegem and Marek Patrman







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