January 2018, a new album, "Crime", by Penguins Too was released. The duo formerly known as "Two Penguins In The Desert" was founded in 1987 to play at Frank's and Michiel's finals at the conservatory, more specifically to play the Lennie Tristano tune "Wow". The cooperation felt very comfortable and the duo continued to play for 16 years, specializing in cool jazz and the "hotter" bebop tunes, resulting in its first album "Jazzs". After a sabbatical between 2003 and 2017, the duo currently focusses on music written for or associated with crime films and television series, such as the twelve tone music from the 1974 movie "The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three", Ennio Morricone's music from the television series "La Piovra", the main title of "Narcos", Duke Ellington's "Anatomy of a Murder". All these pieces, plus a Chopin prelude, a Misha tune and several duo improvisations will be issued as a suite. Visit our shop page to hear samples of the mentioned tracks.
Flex Bent Braam
Flex Bent Braam, Michiel Braam's newest ensemble, is a continuation of Bik Bent Braam. While Bik Bent Braam consists of thirteen permanent musicians, the septet Flex Bent Braam is flexible: every year some new members will join Flex Bent Braam while others will leave the ensemble. The 'old' members function like a sourdough starter: they safeguard experience and continuity. The new members, among which young talented musicians and musicians from different musical backgrounds, bring in fresh ideas and new dynamics.
Within Flex Bent Braam, Michiel Braam further explores the transitions between composition and improvisation. Again the musicians will have total freedom. Flex Bent Braam performs without a set-list, it employs a strategy in which the musicians all provide input. They can call out tunes in mid-phrase and decide tempo and instrumentation to generate a new musical direction for the ensemble. Compelling themes echoing the complete jazz history and precise ensemble work alternate with wild, screaming improvisations.
In 2013 Flex Bent Braam did present the program 'Lucebert'. When Simon Vinkenoog in 1965 asked eleven fellow writers to comment on “De beweging van de vijftigers” Lucebert, a jazz lover, replied writing a telegram with a listing of jazz standards: Hot House, Dizzy Atmosphere (Misty), When Your Lover Has Gone (Get Out Of Town), Straight No Chaser, I May Be Wrong (So What), Let's Cool One, Better Git It In Your Soul and Stratus Seekers. For the 'Lucebert' program Michiel Braam will arrange these jazz standards and write new compositions, inspired by Lucebert's Japanese epigrams. While performing, Braam's compositions can be picked by the band members at will, combined or adjusted. Each concert is improvised yet totally accessible.
Michiel Braam piano/compositions, Oleg Hollmann baritone saxophone, Joost Lijbaart drums, Tony Overwater double bass, Bart van der Putten alto saxophone, Angelo Verploegen trumpet, Wolter Wierbos trombone.