The word ‘naive’ comes from the Latin ‘nativus’, meaning native, or natural. Today, to be naive is often seen as pejorative, a lack of experience or judgement, but in the art world the word retained some of its original meaning: a quality acquired through birth, a childlike innocence and wonder that produces spontaneous, unaffected art. For Mitchel Van Dinther, the Dutch producer known as Jameszoo, it is this quality that lies at the heart of his debut album, 'Fool', which he calls “naive, computer jazz”.
Van Dinther emerged from the small town of Den Bosch in the southern Netherlands in the late 2000s. First as a DJ - with wide-ranging crates of avant-garde jazz, prog and kraut rock, electronic experiments, and beat oddities - and then as a producer capable of impressive sonic and rhythmic incongruities. This spring, Van Dinther joins Brainfeeder with an album that fits right into the label’s expanding take on the modern evolution of jazz music.
'Fool' began life as just a simple debut album, but soon grew into something more audacious. During the recording process Van Dinther became obsessed with classic albums by Steve Kuhn (1971’s 'Steve Kuhn'), Arthur Verocai (1972’s 'Arthur Verocai'), and Robert Wyatt (1974’s 'Rock Bottom'). The melodies, compositions, and idiosyncrasies of these works made the young Dutch producer reconsider his approach, moving him away from the colourful, electronic productions he was known for.
Not only did Van Dinther take inspiration from these works, he eventually contacted the artists he’d been studying and convinced Kuhn and Verocai to lend their inimitable touch to the recordings. Tapping into jazz’s tradition of playing standards and covers, ‘The Zoo’ re-imagines Kuhn’s playful ‘Pearlie’s Swine’ with Rhodes and vocals that the man himself recorded with Van Dinther in New York City.
Across its 11 tracks, 'Fool' plays out Van Dinther’s journey to find a musical voice he can be proud of and which can also inspire others. Alongside Verocai, Dafé, and Kuhn, the album features a stellar cast of classical and jazz musicians including pianist Niels Broos, drummers Julian Sartorius and Richard Spaven, bass guitarists Raphael Vanoli and Stephen Bruner (aka Thundercat), and saxophonist John Dikeman. All of these different contributions and approaches are weaved together into a whole by Van Dinther, armed with electronics and naivety. At times coherent, at times seemingly haphazard, the album is always joyful.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: Limited white vinyl pressing.
Includes MP3 Download Code.