Eric Boeren - cornet
Michael Moore - alto sax and clarinets
Wolter Wierbos - trombone
Ernst Glerum - bass
Michael Vatcher - percussion
Expect the unexpected. That is the best advice to give someone going to an Available Jelly concert. Through the years, the line-up and the repertoire have changed many times. But there is one thing that you can be sure of: there’ll be some strong melodies. The music can be wild, dense, smooth, empty, swinging or pointillistic, but it’s always interesting.
Available Jelly emerged from the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe when this American group of clowns, dancers, mimes and musicians visited Amsterdam in the mid-seventies to perform at the ‘Festival of Fools’. The musicians stayed on, and a number of line-up changes later the group has developed into a constant feature of the Dutch improvised music scene. The music has maintained the theatricality and eclecticism associated with the theater but has gradually moved toward a more personal improvisational style. The current Available Jelly has been together since 1995 and brings together an all-star line-up.
The influences on Available Jelly’s music range from New Orleans jazz via Ellington to contemporary composition techniques, and from ethnic music (worldwide from the Balkan to Madagascar) to popular music, such as Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and the Beach Boys. The compositions and arrangements come from Moore and Boeren.
The “simple” musical ideas in Moore’s compositions show great variety: they can be baroque-like arrangements for the wind instruments, elaborate hymns or plain sweet melodies reminiscent of chamber music miniatures. With his rampant eclecticism, he incorporates European folk traditions, Nino Rota themes, fragments of Dizzy’s Salt Peanuts, and pop songs.
Eric Boeren’s compositions give an important place to improvisation, allowing the individual members of the group to put their stamp on the music. He is influenced by many musical and non-musical ideas, whether a figure from the cartoonist Kamagurka, a favourite one-eyed pet dog, or South-American rhythms. But influence does not equal imitation: in Boeren’s hands, it is the attitude of the original that shows up in his work.