Originally it was supposed to be an opera, but in the end it became a story about the fate of a contemporary office that becomes a plaything for efficiency experts. The lyrics are from Bastiaan Geleijnse (one of the creators of the cartoon Fokke and Sukke) who also takes on the role of Chief Storytelling Officer. The story forms the guideline for the compact, harmonious and almost pop-like compositions of Chris Abelen. He released two albums for this project: the instrumental A Day at the Office and Songs on the Eve of Dismissal, with vocals by Lorena del Mar.
Trombonist Chris Abelen played with the Willem Breuker Kollektief, Contraband and Dick de Graaf Septet, among others, and also made various albums under his own name. In his current septet, he collaborates with both upcoming talents and established names from the Dutch jazz scene, including saxophonist Kika Sprangers and trumpeter Angelo Verploegen.
“A gospel for those consigned to cubicle life, Chris Abelen’s new album captures the fear and ennui of the career office employee. The trombonist’s octet maintains a whimsical tone throughout. The vocal delivery of Lorena del Mar creates an intriguing contrast between the delivery of the lyrics and their meaning, an effect amplified by some lovely harmonic work between trumpet, trombone, alto and baritone saxophones “(Bandcamp Jazz Pick).
“The wonderful thing about this recording is that you can either get out of the Kleenex or enjoy the music the way you would any great jazz vocalist with a terrific band. This dual function or jazz is part of a tradition. You can listen to Billie Holiday or Frank Sinatra either way. It’s only possible with a composer, lyricist, singer, band, and arranger like those in this album who know how to make it work. “(Liner Notes, Vic Schermer)
Lorena del Mar vocals, Bastiaan Geleijnse storyteller, Angelo Verploegen trumpet, Kika Sprangers soprano / alt sax, Chris Abelen trombone, Coen Kaldeway bassclarinet/ bariton sax, Thijs Huijbens guitar, Ulrich Wentzlaff-Eggebert bass, Yonga Sun drums