NRC (national paper) by Kester Freriks. Tales of a Blue Heart/

NRC (national paper) June 23, 2023 **** by Kester Freriks: On “Tales of a Blue Heart,” Colen and Markerink pay tribute to Piazzolla, offering an intense version of “Libertango” and a heartfelt rendition of “Oblivion,” but there is more. The duo also includes their own compositions, variations on Piazzolla, as well as pieces by Enrique Delfini (“Recuerdos de Bohemia”) and Bobby Troupe (“The Meaning of the Blues”). The combination of neoclassical tracks and new compositions creates an exciting and powerful whole, as if it were one composition. The saxophone and piano blend together, spur each other on, and explore contrasts with surprising dissonances and slowed harmonies. The opening track, “En Route,” a composition by Markerink, swings and sets the stage for a musical journey through tango, fado, and bebop. The recurring hammering blues chord of the main theme seamlessly transitions into the theme of “Café 1930.” It is remarkable how the soprano and tenor sax, in collaboration with the piano, are equal to Piazzolla’s bandoneon; at times, you might even think you are hearing that instrument. Piazzolla’s oeuvre has inspired musicians such as violinist Gideon Kremer, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and singer Grace Jones. With “Tales of a Blue Heart,” Colen and Markerink beautifully join this tradition.

HEAVEN**** Tales of a blue Heart

HEAVEN: **** “They know how to perfectly capture the inherent melancholy of tango. Markerink and Colen have a great understanding of each other and skillfully connect the melancholy of tango, jazz, and neoclassical music. The lyricism of Colen and the compelling touch of Markerink, combined with the beautiful compositions, are enough to captivate the listener for seventy minutes.”These reviews highlight the captivating and emotive nature of the album, showcasing the seamless fusion of different musical genres and the exceptional chemistry between Colen and Markerink.

Concertreview van Concert in Ainsi Jazz Maastricht op 9 januari 2020 in Jazzflits

door Mathilde Löffler (27/1/2020)

“This approach resulted in an enjoyable jazzrecord where inventiveness, jumpiness and sometimes absurdity come together. For instance in beautiful harmonies between cello and soprano sax.”. If you pay attention, you can hear the birds sing in your living-room.”

Concertrecensie Bimhuis in Trouw door Mischa Andriessen. Bimhuis 2/2/2019 “ The music also reflects the emotions certain birdsongs evoke. Some compositions sound as joyful as birds do early in the morning”.

Mooi recensie in het NRC door Kester Freriks. “A Wonderful homage to bird song.”

Recensie in Jazzism “This approach resulted in an enjoyable jazzrecord where inventiveness, jumpiness and sometimes absurdity come together. For instance in beautiful harmonies between cello and soprano sax.”. If you pay attention, you can hear the birds sing in your living-room.”

Concertreview (concert Bimhuis) in Jazzhalo Belgium by Robin Arends


VOLKSKRANT XXXX Review Dutch daily paper ‘A BIRDS EYE VIEW’ by GIJSBERT KAMER. ” The album offers much to enjoy, upon every listen you will discover something new’

Older Reviews on CD’S Spark and Free


Rheinische Post (D) biy Doris Schlemermeyer. The leader and Gé Bijvoet, partner at the piano , from the beginning showed their wide spectrum of music with rhythmical nuances and interesting compositions…” Rheinische Post (D) by Bert Keim.
Cadence Jazzmagazine (US) by Jerome Wilson anual edition decembre 2013
“…Colen really stretches out beautifully here. All the members of Colen’s quar- tet, Bijvoet, Mahieu and Sun, do their part to make this group effective and make its overall sound strong….”

WartaJazz(Indonesia) by Thomas Y. Anggoro
With his 5th album ‘Spark’ Ad Colen gives a new fresh sound and touch to the somehow traditional jazz quartet. A Cd with interesting compositions and catchy melodies.

De Limburger XXXX  by Paul van der Steen
“.Colens sound and compositions are gaining more and more expressiveness with each CD he’s makes. He sounds fresh, to the point and relaxed. In the meanwhile he creates nice surprising hooks and barbs so the music never gets boring”.

Volkskrant XXXX  by Tim Spranger (Spark)
:Also on this album the music is nononsense, straightforward without too much decorations. The harmonies alway move in a nice way asnd the cheerful grooves make you wanna jump from your chair:”.

Jazzreview.com (USA) by Randall Parrish

“Free is the title of the fourth release on the Sweet Briar Music label for the Ad Colen Quartet. Covering a wide-ranging scope of tuneful sound-vistas, this newly restructured Dutch Jazz Quartet put forward a collection of compositions imaginatively full of richness and depth. The title Free is appropriate. The Ad Colen Quartet are unobstructed by any restrictive limits, and stretch out to meet whatever creative artistic ideas best suit their jazzy endeavors.Free is sophisticated and full of powerfully involving pieces which exhibit a sense of unity and, in my mind, classify as works of art. The Netherlands has reason to be proud of groups such as The Ad Colen Quartet. They strive as “keepers of the flame” to make sure that the Jazz tradition is kept alive throughout the globe”.

Jazzpodium (Germany) March 2010 by Markus Koehler

” Ad Colen is a saxophonist living in Utrecht, and is one of the best examples that at least in the Netherlands, jazz is as alive and well as it always has been, and has no worries about new strength to drive it forward. The Ad Colen Quartet is not in Europe to merely faithfully reinterpret American jazz greats, be they alive or dead, or even to assist them if the need arises…. they have broken free.
This ensemble also delivers more than just time-keeping and harmony for the soloist – they dialogue with the soloist, rein him in or let him fly. They turn the group on its head and you have to ask “Who’s the leader here?” This leads to an electrifying album of a soloist and an ensemble with genuine personality”.