Wilson, Cadence may 1993
All you need to know about Guus Janssen is that he's from the part
of the world that gave us Willem Breuker and Han Bennink. He's not as
willfully wacky as those two gents but the Dutch playful spirit lives
on in his set of piano solos.
Janssen deals in agitated little themes that hop up and down the scales
with seemingly little improvisation. He's great fun to listen to, running
through an endless arsenal of springing chord, childlike themes and startling
dabs of the familiar like the heavy gospel chords that invade the Alpine
lift of 'Ostinato 1' and the melodramatic trills of a silent movie piano
that break up the slashing runs of 'Koprol'.
There is even a nod to jazz in 'Hi-Hat', one hand tinkling a rythm evoking
the named cymbal while the other methodically lurches up and down the
keyboard. Janssen plays a lot of games but he does it with much style.
You'd think he was Chico Marx after studying with Misha Mengelberg or
maybe the other way around.