In 1995 he started his own quartet, concentrating on the music of Ornette Coleman as well as on his own compositions. In the hands of Boeren and his colleagues, the radical music of Coleman is contextualized, becoming less strange without losing its originality. Listening to the recordings that juxtapose Boeren's compositions and those of the great American new music pioneer, one is struck by how well the Dutchman's writing holds up to Coleman's. Like so many of his countrymen, the trumpeter finds inspiration seemingly everywhere; when asked to list his loves, he mentions Louis Armstrong, Bubber Miley, and other older players, as well as contemporaries. Among composers he mentions Igor Stravinsky, Benjamin Britten, and Charles Ives, as well as György Ligeti.
Boeren's quartet for this year's U.S. tour, which makes a stop at Kerrytown Concert House on Tuesday, November 6, is a joint American-Dutch project. Bassist Nate McBride and drummer Mike Reed are important players in the current new music revival in Chicago. The other Amsterdamer is Cor Fuhler, a bandleader and composer who loves to play a broad range of electronic keyboards as well as the acoustic piano. He even invented his own instrument, the Keyolin, which allows him to play the violin by means of a keyboard. His music knows no boundaries, as he picks strands and strains from every possible source and yet blends them all into something that constitutes a personal style. Boeren and Fuhler are old friends who have played and recorded with each other in numerous contexts.