Source: De Standaard (BE) 31/08/02 (original version in Dutch)

Written by:  KVK
CD Flying Circles – Werf 034

Altsaxplayer Ben Sluijs has a strong speaking tone. With only a few notes he can evoke a mood on which the music really floats. Sluijs plays for many years with the same quartet: Eric Vermeulen - piano, Eric Thielemans – drums, Piet Verbist - bass. And this you can hear clearly. The band, averse to a flashy show, plays firm but totally at ease. Sluijs continues to built on his experience with the bop and loves wellmade, moody but also frisky songs. Often these catching themes guide you into the music. The opening part“All one song” is of a classical cut. On the refined and touching ballad “Medieval” which is gently unfolded and where pianist Erik Vermeulen evokes immediately, masterly a melancholic mood. His part is vast as well in the other songs. Vermeulen plays cristalclear but reveals as well great flexibility, but is never over the top. “Flying Circles” starts freely. Piano and sax often go hand in hand in a very precise unisono-passages, like in the sparkling “Naomi”.