The ICP Orchestra is a unique phenomenon in the world, a cross between a big band and a chamber orchestra in which brass and string players improvise on the cutting edge. Instant Composers Pool was founded in 1967 by Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg and has developed into a versatile orchestra, connecting American swing to European music, avant-garde and a healthy dose of absurdism. The ICP Orchestra is not only legendary in the Netherlands, as was confirmed by reviews during the most recent international tour. ‘This is fabulous music’, cheered London Jazz News in reaction to a recent concert, and The Guardian spoke of ‘a miniature lesson on the evolution of European jazz-influenced improvisation.’ New York Times: ‘They are brilliant soloists, scholars and physical comedians, critics and joy-spreaders.’ The ICP repertory consists for an important part of compositions by pianist Misha Mengelberg, who passed away last year. Inspired by Duke Ellington he has selected musicians with very different backgrounds and styles. Current pianist is Guus Janssen, who also contributes as a composer. The group is spurred on by drummer Han Bennink, known for his extravert way of playing. ‘Dada humour everywhere threatens to infiltrate the sawing strings, riffing horns and leapfrog rhythms; the group’s stock-in-trade is to confound expectations by distorting the familiar and carousing with the irrational. Wear a safety helmet while listening’ (The Wire).