Silvester Battlefield – Reviews


Peter Hum – Thriving on a Riff – “Out There: CD Reviews”
(October 1, 2008)

“Silvester Battlefield” and “Animal Forum”
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“…I was glad to hear two newish discs from the Canadian-born, Berlin-based saxophonist Peter Van Huffel… His quintet outing, Silvester Battlefield, winningly blends edgy but engaging themes and outward-bound abstractions. I wrote here about my interest in “no-borders” playing as the sequel to 1960s-style “free jazz” — and Silvester Battlefield strikes me as an especially fine example, with music that can be spacious and pastoral one moment, skittering and dense the next”.

All About Jazz New York – From the February, 2008 issue
by Elliott Simon)

“Silvester Battlefield” – Peter Van Huffel Quintet (FSNT 290)
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“New York City continues to be a nexus for jazz musicians from all quarters. Unmatched conservatory performance curriculum combined with world-class working venues and an audience open to creativity continues to make NYC the most vibrant jazz scene in the world. Silvester Battlefield, from Canadian saxophonist Peter Van Huffel’s quintet, is illustrative of the kind of synergy that results when musicians get together and play in this fertile breeding ground.”

Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter – September 28, 2007
(by Bruce Lee Gallanter)

“Silvester Battlefield” – Peter Van Huffel Quintet (FSNT 290)
Featuring Peter Van Huffel on alto & soprano saxes & (all but one) compositions, Scott DuBois on guitar, Jesse Stacken on piano, Michael Bates on bass and Jeff Davis on drums. This is former Canadian-based saxist, Peter Van Huffel’s second disc and he has brought together an impressive downtown crew. Scott DuBois is one of the best and most adventurous jazz guitarists in NY at present with two superb discs out on Soul Note. Another former Canadian-born musician, Michael Bates also has two fine discs out. Local drum wiz, Jeff Davis, can be heard on both discs by his wife & pianist Kris Davis, as well as with Tony Malaby in Tone Collector and a recent Black Sabbath jazz tribute. I hadn’t heard of Jesse Stacken before this, although he wrote the only other song not written by Van Huffel.

“Closed Tight” opens with tight and difficult theme, followed by spirited solos from the piano and tenor sax, What I dig about this piece is the way the rhythm team swings tightly and flexibly as each soloist spins his lines of notes. “Delirium” shows how the piano and guitar swirl together in tight, intricate formation while Huffel sails on top. After a short but inspired bass solo the quintet slows down to a lovely, ballad-like section with sublime piano, guitar and sax interplay that builds to hypnotic dream-like conclusion. Mr. Stacken’s one tune is called “Good Mornings” and it features some superb contrabass from Mr. Bates, with a lovely, dreamy melody played exquisitely by the soprano, guitar and piano in a poignant harmony. Although “The Traveler” begins freely and spaciously, it soon hits its stride with a powerful two-handed piano solo and then it concludes with slow, eerie guitar solo. The title piece opens with a great free bowed bass and tenor sax duo, yet then builds into a fast, furious piece the continues to ascend higher and higher until it fades into the sky.

What is most interesting is that most of these pieces start one way and then turn into something unexpected. “Luminescence” begins slow and haunting but soon builds into a more intense, free-swinging piece. On the final piece, the dynamic rhythm team flows together in tight waves while Scott takes a great guitar solo that is followed by another spirited tenor solo from Peter. It never to amaze me when an under-recognized gem like this turns out to be one of the year’s best.

From http://www.All About – August, 24, 2007 (by Budd Kopman)

“Silvester Battlefield” – Peter Van Huffel Quintet (FSNT 290)
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“Armed with a sharp tone and attack, keen rhythmic sense and a wry compositional attitude, saxophonist Peter Van Huffel makes one sit up and listen on Silvester Battlefield. The album is brimming with ideas that manage to sound abstract in their tonality and phrasing while, at that same time, being extremely logical…”

From http://www.jazzenzo.nlJazz op myspace: (by Mischa Andriessen)

“Sylvester Battlefield” is de derde cd die de Canadese saxofonist Peter van Huffel onder eigen naam uitbrengt en de tweede met ditzelfde kwintet dat verder bestaat uit Scott Dubois; gitaar, Jesse Stacken; piano, Michael Bates; bas en Jesse Davis; drums. In een ander project speelt Van Huffel onder meer samen met saxofonist Gebhard Ullmann wat al indiceert dat Van Huffels muziek niet bepaald naar de mainstream neigt. Zijn stukken worden gekenmerkt door veel complexe tempo- en melodiewisselingen die de muziek jachtig laten klinken, maar dan wel op een goede manier. Bovendien is het Peter van Huffel Quintet ook in staat om heel sober en indringend te klinken zoals in “Good mornings” waarin zowel Van Huffel als Stacken heel lyrisch voor de dag komen. “Sylvester Battlefield” vraagt veel tijd en aandacht door de soms wat ongemakkelijke sound die geleidelijk went en zijn eigen eigenwijze schoonheid prijsgeeft. Peter van Huffel geeft in oktober vier optredens in België.