A couple years ago I immersed myself in the music of Belgian keyboardist Jozef Dumoulin, who’s basically a jazz improviser and has created a unique sound on the Fender Rhodes. On his 2014 solo album, A Fender Rhodes Solo (Bee Jazz), he used an elaborate rack of filters and effects (reverb, chorus, distortion, looping, octave splitter, bit crusher) to render the instrument’s sound otherworldly, only occasionally evoking the warm, enveloping glow of the unprocessed keyboard.
Dumoulin has also placed these techniques in a variety of band contexts, including the Bureau of Atomic Tourism, a fantastic combo led by Belgian drummer Teun Verbruggen that makes its Chicago debut at Constellation on May 21. Last year Dumoulin brought his gripping sound world to a duo project with singer Lynn Cassiers called Lilly Joel. On the album What Lies in the Sea (Sub Rosa) he employs a fascinating array of keyboard sounds, occasionally enhancing the manipulated Fender Rhodes with a Casio, and Cassiers generally provides wordless melodies and colors rather than singing lyrics. Today’s 12 O’Clock Track is “I Can See You From Afar,” one of the most direct and soothing pieces from What Lies in the Sea. Though there’s more challenging material on the album, this song nonetheless demonstrates the richness of the duo’s imagination.
Nicolas Masson, Third Reel (ECM)
Roland Dahinden, Flying White (Mode)
Barbara Lynn, The Jamie Singles Collection 1962-1965 (Jamie)
Masayuki Takayanagi & New Direction Unit, Eclipse (Iskra, Japan)
Peter Herresthal, Catch Light (Aurora)