Trumpeter Angelo Verploegen’s The Ballad Album (CR 73318) has slow, lyrical and beautiful interpretations of ten melodies.
Quite often when a musician is young, he or she will treat ballads by playing double time lines, discarding the melody quickly and improvising on the chord changes, sometimes with an excess of youthful energy. But when a musician interprets a ballad by sticking close to the melody, letting each note breathe, and putting plenty of emotion into every sound as if they were a vocalist, that is a mature player.
Verploegen, a trumpeter from Holland who has worked with the Houdini’s and Bob Brookmeyer’s New Art Orchestra, has a melodic style and a warm tone. On The Ballad Album, his playing sometimes recalls Chet Baker’s in spots although he has his own musical personality. Joined by the sensitive rhythm section of pianist Marc Van Roon, bassist Guus Bakker and drummer Jasper Van Hulten, Verplegen performs ten ballads with taste, understanding, and not a single double time line.
Among the songs that Verploegen embraces and caresses are a slow version of “What Is This Thing Called Love,” “Besame Mucho,” an obscure Herbie Hancock tune (“Jessica”), his own “For The Time Being,” and the ballad section of “Django.” Whether on “I Fall In Love Too Easily” or “Over The Rainbow,” Angelo Verploegen adds beauty to each song, takes his time, adds beauty to each song and successfully lets the music speak for itself.