In collaborating with Dutch pianist, Michiel Borstlap, Bill returns to a format he first experimented with back in the 80s with Swiss player, Patrick Moraz. The DVD Bruford – Borstlap In Concert In Holland, shows that his canny knack of working with the crème de la crème remains undiminished.
Despite his relative youth, Michiel Borstlap has quickly gained a reputation in jazz circles. Born in 1966 and a graduate of the renowned Hilversum Conservatory, he's already been mixing it with players such as Pat Metheny and having his compositions covered by luminaries like Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock no less.
In an interview with Stuart Nicholson the pianist mused upon the two very different musical worlds in which he has been operating. “Classical (music) is means of mastering your instrument but jazz is freedom of expression.”
Borstlap’s modes of expression not only include heroically rhapsodic invention on the piano but extend also to the synthesiser and sampler. Perhaps its improvements in the technology or simply a different aesthetic at work, but his application of synth and sampler is far more integrated when compared to Bruford’s pairing with Moraz. In this concert, recorded in 2002, the textures and atmospherics oozing from the machine acts as a sonic grit, giving the players that extra purchase on the improvisational highway.