After hearing him on this album he could become one of my favorite players.

Zennes Records

Henk Kraaijeveld (Voice); Daan Herweg (Piano); Tobias Nijboer (Double Bass); Roberto Pistolesi (Drums); Paul van der Feen (Reeds)

Henk Kraaijeveld has been compared to jazz singers Mark Murphy and Kurt Elling. His new album PATCHES OF SKY confirm he’s in the same league as those two, but he’s also proven himself to be a singer in his own right.

Henk Kraaijeveld does indeed have the jazz chops, but he doesn’t limit himself to one genre. Sometimes he phrases like a folksinger. The title track ‘Patches Of Sky ’reminded me of James Taylor’s singing.

Henk was brought up listening to classical choral music, everyone from the jazz vocal tradition, and the Beatles! He’s had a lot of influences to draw from.

One of the best tunes on the album is Wayne Shorter’s ‘Adams Apple ’with lyrics added by Henk Kraaijeveld. He does this jazz standard proud.

They do a bit of a teaser with ‘Milestones.’ It’s only about a minute long. Henk overdubs his voice, so it sounds like an upbeat chorale sung by the likes of Manhattan Transfer, or, if you want to go back even further, Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross.

Henk overdubs his voice again on the pop ballad ’Patience.’

‘Long Road ’is a slow, dirge-like, half spoken, bluesy song about someone having their soul exposed. It’s based on the character Arthur in the Netflix series Peaky Blinders.

‘Place To Be ’is a lovely Nick Drake cover. Henk Kraaijeveld has such a pleasant delivery in whatever he sings. And with Paul van den Feen on clarinet? It’s perfect.

Daan Herweg on piano has been with Henk since his first album. Double bass player Tobias Nijboer is based in Amsterdam, but he’s studied and played in Europe and the US. Italian Roberto Pistolesi, now based in the Netherlands, is one of the best drummers on the scene. I wasn’t familiar with Paul van de Feen. After hearing him on this album he could become one of my favorite players.

I’m sure Henk knows how lucky he is to have this quartet backing him up. It’s interesting how this album was mixed. Henk’s voice isn’t way up in the mix like any Mark Murphy or Kurt Elling record. He wants to let you know he’s one of the members of the Henk Kraaijeveld Quintet.

Reviewed by Tim Larsen