Wolter Wierbos – trombone
Wolter Wierbos has a running project under the name Wollo’s World, where he forms groups of varying size, instrumentation and line-up. It’s a very flexible format and ranges from solo performance through duets (for instance with Wilbert de Joode) and quartets to Wollo’s Funky World, a project around the music of Franky Douglas. Guests have included Misha Mengelberg, Mats Gustafsson, Marije Nie, Simon Nabatov and Michael Moore.
“A concept that was easily applied to the final two performances of the evening. First, the duo of Wollo’s World—trombonist Wolter Wierbos and pianist Kris Defoort—delivered an all-improv set that posits Wierbos as one of the most accomplished trombonists in improvised music. Between a surprisingly broad range of extended techniques that turned the trombone into an almost impossible sound controller, from vivid melodism to blaring brashness and percussive punctuations. A number of mutes and plungers were swapped in and out at near-light speed, further expanding Wierbos’ palette; and if that weren’t enough, Wierbos’ approach to the instrument’s more conventional range bordered on the frightening, as he made clear that his command of the instrument transcended even the extremes of virtuosity, as he made full use of its expressive tone; as close to the rich variations of the human voice as any instrument.
In the face of Wierbos’ knockout performance here (and throughout the festival), Defoort’s pianism was, perhaps, overshadowed, though he proved himself a sensitive partner as he moved inside and outside the box, with a more eminently selfless stance than the commanding Wierbos, who avoided any kind of superfluous “look at me” excesses, yet was impossible not to watch, nevertheless. The other strength of the performance was its relative brevity: at somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes, it never became tired or overdone, when a typical, longer performance might have done just that. Here, with its limited time, Wierbos and Defoort’s set was a marvel of improvisational ingenuity, and one that never lost either focus or direction, as the music moved from extremes of quiet and economy to those of power and frenzy.”
John Kelman, All About Jazz