The Ploctones is a colorful and eclectic quartet that plays music a bit reminiscent (but not derivative) of early Bill Frisell in its ability to switch styles while always being passionate. They can be melodic and mellow yet suddenly explode with unexpected dissonances. Their music is consistently unpredictable and certainly holds one’s interest for one is not sure what will happen next. At times they might sound like an avant-garde country band, then switch to playing intense rock before caressing a melody.
Based in the Netherlands and formed in 2004, the Ploctones made their first album in 2009. Comprised of guitarist Anton Goudsmit, Efraim Trujillo on tenor, soprano and flute, bassist Jerden Vierdag and drummer Martijn Vink, the band always keeps one guessing. On 3…2…1 from 2011, the Ploctones perform nine originals by guitarist Goudsmit along with Bill Evans’ “Time Remembered.” Goudsmit and Trujillo are the main solo voices, but Vierdag and Vink do not exactly play laidback patterns, closely interacting with the lead soloists.
The musicians are clearly very well acquainted with each other’s playing for throughout 3…2…1 there are no missteps or moments where the musicians hesitate or clash accidentally. Despite the constant change of moods, grooves and styles, the Ploctones think musically as one.
This stimulating set will appeal to a wide variety of open-eared listeners.