"Yuri's own way ..."De nieuwe Muze, 04-9-2020
Honing had his first major success in 1996 with his album Star Tracks, which comprised recordings of pop songs as an alternative to the American Songbook. The album became a hit in the Netherlands and Germany, and gained significant notice in the UK as well. The album contains songs by Abba and The Police among others. Honing uses their material as a basis for improvisation; he gladly points out that jazz musicians of previous generations were doing exactly the same. The album Sequel that Honing records in 1999 is in the same vein, using material by Björk, Blondie and others.
The CD Playing (1998) finds Honing performing alongside veteran pianist Misha Mengelberg in twelve freely improvised tracks. Two years later the project gets a sequel at the North Sea Jazz Festival, with cellist Ernst Reijseger as third improviser. The recordings find their way onto the CD Lively (2000).
In 2001, Honing met Paul Bley and recorded the album Seven with Bley on piano, Gary Peacock on bass and Paul Motian ondrums. This album garnered Honing the Dutch Edison Award in 2002. In The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (Eighth Edition) this CD was recognized with four (out of five) stars.
Memory Lane is recorded by Honing in 2002, together with members of the Amsterdam based Concertgebouw Orchestra. It is his first project with musicians from the world of classical music.
In addition to his activities in acoustic and classical music, in 2005 Honing starts a new electric band, Wired Paradise. It features Tony Overwater (on bass guitar) and Joost Lijbaart plus the German guitarist Frank Möbus, best known for his work with the trio Der Rote Bereich.
The saxophonist enters into a new classical collaboration with the Metropole Orchestra in 2006. With conductor Vince Mendoza at the rostrum he records the CD Symphonic with this orchestra. Just like he considers contemporary pop music to be the continuation of the Great American Songbook, Honing sees a parallel between that particular song form and Franz Schubert's lieder. He therefore decides to record a full instrumental version of Schubert's song cycle Winterreise, accompanied by the classical pianist Nora Mulder (2007). He also uses Winterreise as the title for a special concert evening with guests which the saxophonist organizes every year on December 29 at the Amsterdam Paradiso.
In 2009 Honing forms an acoustic band with a chordal instrument for the first time! In his Acoustic Quartet Wolfert Brederode is the pianist, Ruben Samama on double bass, and Joost Lijbaart once again the drummer. That same year Honing also invites dance producer Floris Klinkert for a collaboration, resulting in the CD Phase Five. On this album Floris makes use of samples from the saxophonist's entire discography to produce new compositions. The resulting songs are sung by pop singers like Leine, Sarah Bettens (known of the band K's Choice) and Lilian Vieira (of the band Zuco 103); in addition Honing himself is featured as a soloist. January 2012 Yuri Honing won the Dutch Boy Edgar Prijs.
Other career highlights
Yuri's own way ...
De nieuwe Muze, 04-9-2020
... All eight compositions pass at a time like a petal in a small stream - slow and lazy, but hymnic and balladic!
... Congenially he is accompanied on the album by his acoustic quartet around Wolfert Brederode (piano), Gulli Gudmundsson (bass) and Joost Lijbaart (drums). Recommended!
Literature, painting, history, jazz and classical music: it all comes together on the albums with his acoustic quartet.
With Bluebeard, Yuri Honing has pulled off something quite exceptional.
Sandy Brown Jazz, 01-6-2020
Dutch saxophonist Yuri Honing’s tenor horn floats with melancholic grace through this album
The Scotsman, 30-5-2020
Deeply lyrical, meditative and uplifting, Bluebeard is a fine addition to Honing's impressive discography, and a high-water mark in the quartet's trajectory thus far.
All about Jazz, 26-5-2020
His sound and approach are mirrored by his bandmates, who are equally adept at such a distinctive form of creativity. The resulting album is the perfect partner for a few minutes of quiet, individual, reflection—an ideal way to diminish stress and wallow in the beauty of the music.
All about Jazz, 14-5-2020
... With big breath and an even bigger tone on the tenor saxophone Honing plays his way through the winding paths and the rhythm section harmoniously strikes out in other interesting ways again and again...
Jazz'n More, 12-5-2020
Yuri Honing Quartet creates new poetry with "Bluebeard"
Bluebeard crawls under your skin and shows the different faces of ominousness. Love and power can be a dangerous combination. And that sounds in this case - wonderful.
Three years after the success of Goldbrun, Yuri Honing presents his new descendant Bluebeard. The theme refers to the dark fairytale that has many faces. The saxophonist naturally gives it his own twist. "Composing is nothing more than using your imagination."
Bluebeard is the third CD of this quartet and a provisional highlight. Thematically, the music tells the story of King Bluebeard who murdered his seven wives. The pieces sometimes sound threatening and ominous, but the refined harmonies certainly have a comforting and healing function.
nederlands dagblad, 10-4-2020
The saxophonist Yuri Honing, when creating the songs for his latest album, was inspired by the 17th century legend about Sinobrody.
Jazz Press/ Poland, 02-4-2020
... Honing breathes with his saxophone, but not in the style of Ben Webster, but then already more like Garbarek and other Nordic colleagues, in the mood carrying far away, seemingly lost in thought, trance-like and floating...
Musik an Sich, 02-4-2020
hessischer Rundfunk, 02-4-2020
The music explodes with restraint.
Le Soir, 01-4-2020
... Be that as it may. Bluebeard by the Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet is an acoustic gem that friends of relaxed sounds should definitely listen into.
Intimate and very atmospheric. “Bluebeard”, the new, magnificent CD by Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet.
Indescribable beauty ... Interaction of an eerily high level. Plate of the year.
Het Parool, 28-3-2020
The Dutch saxophonist Yuri Honing should actually have been headlining the big festivals long ago and leading the charts with his recordings. After all, he has been one of the outstanding aesthetes of his instrument for a quarter of a century, and on "Bluebeard" he also shows that his tenor tone is hard to beat in terms of delicacy and suppleness...
The music is characterized by poetry, great musicality, transparency and space, in which every note, every tone inflection, every chord and every slap and swipe matter and seem to reveal to us deep secrets, without ever being able to find words for it.
Het Parool, 24-3-2020
Dreaming and wandering with Bluebeard.
... music imbued with solemnity, with 'claires obscures' coloring, of an alto with clear sound, smooth, without roughness, and well supported by fluid piano playing by Wolfert Brederode, sometimes accompanied by some notes of vibraphone ('Bluebeard Maze'). Gulli Gudmundsson's double bass has a beautiful sound, full of lyricism and Joost Lijbaart plays his drums with such delicately.
Music that evokes an atmosphere very close to ECM albums.
...This album is characterized by mature artistic expression and emotion in the recordings of all instrumentalists. I like their interesting, imaginative improvisations, the wide range of articulation and technical means they use, the consistency in building their stylistic idea, the mutual inspiration, the full partnership and the great musicality.
Jazz Fun, 16-3-2020
... for the time being there is this beautiful album, on which Honing takes you along with pianist Wolfert Brederode, bassist Gulli Gudmundsson and drummer Joost Lijbaart on a discovery tour through the bluebeard catacombs, where you are immersed in fountains of music in hidden rooms.
Another impressive album from the Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet.
Every note from Yuri Honing is striking on his album Bluebeard.
De Volkskrant, 05-3-2020