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BIO

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The music that the young drummer Jens Meijer makes with his various formations has at least one common thread: a desire for freedom, a joint search for a way of playing that leaves as many options open as possible. His approach to rhythm and measure contains a remarkable amount of dynamics and variation. Not that Meijer completely abandons the role of drummer as time keeper, but within the suggestion of a steady beat that persists despite everything, Meijer constantly sees opportunities to speed up or slow down, in sync with the fluctuating rhythms of his fellow musicians. Certainly in conjunction with the expressive style of saxophonist Jesse Schilderink with whom Meijer plays together in several groups, this approach often leads to an intensification of the atmosphere of the compositions. It can also vary greatly. Take only the opening tracks on the debut CD of Meijer's group Ezthetic. "Simple Dark" is a lingering song steeped in melancholy, while "Mountain Oak" that follows has a much more optimistic undertone, even sounds cheerful in a way.

Perhaps the most important thing that Meijer was taught at Codarts is the beauty and importance of working together. It is not for nothing that Meijers bands invariably have shared leadership. The pieces are either the result of collective improvisations or have been contributed by several band members. Characteristic of Meijer's approach is that all his groups lay different accents and often sound quite different. Ezthetic excels in sparkling, usually melancholy melodies and, in contrast, cheerfully jumpy rhythms. Emiresmiation is fiercer, sharper and, in extremis, seeks the extremes of improvisation and composition. In his group with trumpeter Pete Somuah, Meijer explores a completely different musical range with more attention to polyrhythms inspired by High Life and Afro-Beat, among others.

All this not only characterizes Meijer's versatility, but it also underlines his broad view and interest. His very diverse early examples, such as pop guitarist John Mayer or the virtuoso jazz/rock drummer Dave Weckl, resonate just as well as Meijer's fascination for literature and philosophy. It always reflects that there is not just one direction, but side roads in abundance. In essence, Meijer's music has only one certainty, the certainty that there is still an infinite amount to discover.

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However much Meijer is after freedom and flexibility, in his music he certainly provides an anchoring, a solid foundation that is the consequence of the clear and accessible melodies on the one hand and the, despite all the freedoms and variations, in the pieces on the other hand. recognizable structure. Meijer's music is free, but certainly not free jazz or hardcore improv. And although piece after piece breathes the listening feeling of pure jazz, there is also an audible influence from other genres. The rough gray of rock, the direct of pop. In that respect it is as striking as it is logical that Meijer often chooses a guitarist in his bands. And that Marzio Scholten, who previously successfully fused indie rock and jazz, produced Ezthetic's debut, is in that context as sensible as it is understandable.
 

Jens Meijer graduated in .... from Codarts. Teachers such as the drummers Hans van Oosterhout, Joost Patocka and Mark Schilders encouraged Meijer to further develop his musical ideas and to allow his interest in philosophy and conceptual thinking in his compositions. They also helped him keep in mind that drumming can also be fun and a well-done roll or break is a pleasure in itself. In addition, musicians such as bassist Stefan Lievestro and pianist Harmen Fraanje were also an important inspiration and stimulus for Meijer. Lievestro is part of the album "Emiresmiation" and Harmen Fraanje has a glorious guest role on Ezthetic's first album.

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