When guitarist and composer Marnix Busstra invited the renowned vibraphonist Mike Mainieri for a guest appearance in his band, he had no idea that this would be the start of a long lasting cooperation – but that’s what happened. Why? Simply because Mike feels perfectly at home in Marnix’s compositions and music.
Downbeat Magazine couldn’t agree more: “With this quartet […] we get to hear Mainieri in a setting that rivals his best work with Steps Ahead.”
The musical bond between Marnix and Mike goes back to the year of 2003, when Marnix invited the vibist to join him for the recording of ‘It’s All In The Mind’, a CD with his electric band, Second Vision. After a number of national and international tours, both musicians developed a strong desire for a more acoustically inclined setting, with an accent on musical intimacy and interaction.
For the rhythm section, the duo invited bassist Eric van der Westen and drummer Pieter Bast, musicians whose approach would seamlessly fit the concept that Mike and Marnix had in mind. And it did, says Mike: “Eric and Pieter play with such authority and balance that they allow Marnix and me to pry loose a few gems in every performance, and to go as deeply and freely as we dare in order to excavate the outer edges of this music.”
The music of the quartet is basically jazz in its purest form, subtly seasoned with influences taken from a wide variety of musical styles and concepts. The characteristic timbre of vibraphone combined with Marnix’s instruments, including acoustic and electric guitars, and an electric sitar and bouzouki, makes for a coherent and recognizable musical identity that easily exceeds the diversity of the repertoire.
Jazz Inside Magazine says (about their debut-CD ‘Twelve Pieces’): “The group you hear on this album and the compositions they play through are world-class. This is music for music’s sake and you can hear that they are coming from a deep and humble place, even when they have fun, which they often do.”