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Review of the day by Scott Yanow: Eef van Breen Group - Changing Scenes


The inspiration for Changing Scenes took place during the filming of the documentary Playing New York which had members of singer-trumpeter-trombonist Eef Van Breen’s group singing on the streets of New York. Most of the music on Changing Scenes is cinematic and beyond any simple category. There are touches of jazz along with folk singing and atmospheric ensembles, with the music being filled with constant change, lots of variety, and surprises. While much of the music is laidback and thoughtful, there are some intense and passionate moments.

On various selections, Changing Scenes features van Breen, Eve Tebbe on concert harp, pianist Walter Wolff, violinists Merel Junge and Hadewych Holland, cellist Genevieve Verhage, bassist Brice Soniano and percussionist Joao Lobo. Most of the musicians also double as singers who participate on some of the selections as a chorus.

The 11 originals include three songs from Oscar Wilde’s there play Salome, four are from a sequel to the ballet Swanlake, and two were written for the film Chapman For President. Also included are “At The Fair” and the melodic “Playing New York.”

The music ranges from whimsical to haunting and there is not a dull moment to be heard. The musicianship and singing are first-rate. Changing Scenes should be explored by listeners with open minds and no preconceptions as to what to expect.

Scott Yanow

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