AMN Reviews: Campbell, Dikeman, van der Weide, Jacquemyn, Kugel – When The Time Is Right (2021; 577 Records)

It is no secret that Europe has generally been a more accepting place for free jazz than the US, and this release drives that point home with the great American trumpeter Roy Campbell teaming up with countryman John Dikeman on sax, as well as three compatriots from across the pond. Recorded live in Amsterdam during the 2013 dOeK Festival, less than one year before Campbell’s passing, this scorching performance demonstrates how outside music can be an exercise in contrasts while emotively communicative.

Joining Campbell and Dikeman are Raoul van der Weide on cello and percussion, Peter Jacquemyn on bass, and Klaus Kugel on drums. None of these gentlemen let up for the entire 38 minutes of the single, self-titled track. Campbell and Dikeman wail, combining to support and counterpoint one another. Particularly compelling is when they do this while playing at different tempos.

Another overall high point is Jacquemyn’s bass contributions, which are active and maintain rapid pacing. His duet passages with van der Weide and trio improvisations with van der Weide and Kugel are nothing short of revelatory, especially when Campbell joins back in for a plaintive theme.

This is dense material, full of notes, textures, and moods. The main impression is one of intensity, even when the tempo occasionally slows. Campbell, Dikeman, van der Weide, Jacquemyn, and Kugel take their improvisation seriously, whether playing slightly outside or staying closer to the beaten paths. When The Time Is Right gets an enthusiastic seal of approval.

The album will be released on October 22.