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NEW ALBUM – Abstract Quantites

Origin Records / WERF Records

For their third outing, the multi-national band led by pianist Bram Weijters and trumpeter Chad McCullough firmly establish a musical style and concept that’s equal parts melancholic and hopeful. Over the past 5 years the two have built a musical bond that has led them around the globe, and their continued successes are due in no small part to the ability the music has to connect with audiences. On Abstract Quantities the group covers even more musical ground than before; seamlessly weaving the tapestry of colors present throughout the tunes. The opening track, “Billions” hits the ground running, and the tunes stretch from gospel-inspired (“Glorious Traffic Jam”) to pensive (“Hesitation”), and folk-like (“Winter’s Lament”). The rhythm section is rounded out by John Bishop and Piet Verbist, as they provide an undercurrent that is both infectious and complex without ever succumbing to cliches or pandering. The two co-leaders explore an intimate duo setting on “The Same Prelude” and “Before Acceptance” which provides a stark contrast to the full band, and continues to delve into the compositional and tonal beauty of these artists.



Both Belgian pianist Bram Weijters and American trumpeter Chad McCullough travelled in 2010 to the Canadian Banff to participate in an international workshop on jazz and creative music. This encounter was to be the start of a beautiful collaboration: lyrical at heart, grounded in tradition, but with a modern and edgy side to it. Since then they have toured both Belgium and The United States and released 2 albums. The two co-leaders and composers of this band are joined by a Belgian-American rhythm section consisting of 2 seasoned musicians. Bassist Piet Verbist earned his musical stripes in the Jef Neve Trio and Ben Sluijs Quartet. One of the best drummers on the American West Coast, John Bishop completes the quartet.

Bram and Chad are both upcoming talents. Last year, Bram Weijters released no less than 3 records last year with different bands. Chad also has 3 releases so far with different beautiful collaborations. After their debut ‘Imaginary Sketches’, a successor was released last November, called ‘Urban Nightingale’. ‘A breakout effort for both players’ According to All About Jazz.

They have done multiple tours throughout Belgium and the West Coast of the States and now present their second recording of modern, lyrical compositions, all own compositions. They create an everlasting  relaxed musical surrounding in which melodies develop from harmonically captivating compositions. Bram Weijters displays a Brad Mehldau-like touch on his ‘Buildings in a Dark City’, while McCulloughs polished flugelhorn completes a beautiful search on ‘Nightingale’.

Both records are released by W.E.R.F. records in the benelux and on Origin in the rest of the world.


Chad McCullough (VS) – trumpet
Bram Weijters – piano
Piet Verbist – double bass
John Bishop (VS)- drums

CD REVIEW – Abstract Quantities – Jazzflits – nr.236

Bram weijters Artikel Jazzflits

Review by Bird is the –> Recommended: Bram Weijters – Chad McCullough Quartet – “Abstract Quantities”

Recommended: Bram Weijters – Chad McCullough Quartet – “Abstract Quantities”

Bram Weijters, Chad McCullough - "Abstract Quantities"

There is a workmanlike quality to the magic this quartet creates with each recording.  Abstract Quantities is the third album from the quartet led by pianist Bram Weijtersand Chad McCullough, and much like the two that preceded it (2011’s Imaginary Sketches and 2012’s Urban Nightingale) they go about their job of crafting expert melodies and seamlessly fusing them into place with logical rhythms and harmonies that achieve their function with a remarkable precision.  The result is a series of striking tunes that give the sense of possessing no beginning and no end, and radiating an individuality that draws the focus on the song of the moment with no regard to what has come before and what’s up next.

The album sets a tone immediately with “Billions,” with its rhythmic surges of intensity and a gentle melodic caress, establishing a balance to their influence that borders on perfection.

There’s a captivating way that “Glorious Traffic Jam” switches between tuneful sections that sound perched outside on the church steps and discombobulated passages that sound suddenly broken free from a pressure chamber.

The album also finds room for the moonlight reveries of “Hesitation” and the subtle, but determined undercurrents of “The Same But Different,” as well as the pop song sweetness of “Little Song (for Mirthe)” and the self-reflective “Winter’s Lament.”  And though none of them present themselves as having any connection with one another, the quartet snaps each of those magical little gems into place, side by side, with the skill of an artisan.

There are three short pieces that serve as introductions to the songs that follow them, but each with so much story and so very immensely captivating in the telling, they stand alone as proper songs.

The album ends with the swinging “Acceptance or Denial,” an upbeat tune that seems strangely out of place with the rest of the album, and, thus, just as strangely, serves as a perfect, satisfying choice for a credits roll.

Yet another solid, absorbing album, in what’s becoming a regular thing for this quartet.  This qualifies as their best so far.

Your album personnel:  Bram Weijters (piano, keyboards), Chad McCullough (trumpet), Piet Verbist (bass) and John Bishop (drums).

Released on Origin Arts.

Jazz from the Antwerpen, Belgium and Chicago, IL scenes.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon

All About Jazz – CD REVIEW ‘Abstract Quantities’ 2015

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Nice press quotes Bram Weijters – Chad McCullough Quartet

All about Jazz, CD-review
“Opening with a McCullough original, “Imaginary Folk Song,” the stage is set for deliberation and majestic melancholy, with McCullough’s pure tone and simplicity of melodic lines melding with Weijters’ grace and drive, his nuanced and inexorable piano solo singing to the heavens.”


MAD, Lesoir 6/4/2011, CD-review Jean-Claude Vantroyen
“Le piano inspiré de Bram plus la trompette intime de Chad ou le sax subtil de Koen, ça vous remue profond”


Jazzenzo , CD-review Annemarie Janus
“Pianist Bram Weijters behoort tot de nieuwe generatie beloftevolle jazztalenten die België rijk is.”


Oregon Music News, CD-review Tom D’Antoni
“There is little enough pure beauty in the world. This album adds to it without succumbing to shark-jumping cuteness.”


Jazz now Seattle.  CD-review
“Chad has been prolific, with three great CD’s in the last two years, and with each release you can hear him coming more and more into his own as both a player and composer.”


Jazz88 – CD-review
“another solid release from the trumpeter, pairing with pianist Weijters on great original
compositions.  Truly new “new” music!


All Music Guide, CD-review Ken Dryden
“… with a brooding air that showcases the composer’s (Chad McCullough) rich flügelhorn and Weijters’ elegant piano”
“A succesfull studio date”


Jazzreview,  John Vincent Barron
“ a compelling set of original compositions, full of lyricism and harmonic delight”
“ a showcase for thoughtful improvising and subtle, yet convincing compositional ideas.”


Jazz Now Seattle, podcast, concertreview 
“it was a stunning performance!” 


Jazzscan, may 13, 2011, CD-review Ric Bang
“They’re an impressive quartet.”
“the kind of stuff you can listen to for hours.”


www.birdistheworm, recapping the best of 2011, review 
“This is a sublime affair, a beauty in the simplicity of the music, of how it’s perpetually unhurried,
and how it’s so easy to appreciate each of the notes in each of the moments that comprise
this excellent album. That’s how I feel about it”


De Morgen 13/1/2011
“Het kwartet met trompettist McCullough beweegt op de golflengte van een Paolo Fresu: traditioneel, uitgesproken lyrisch, ongecompliceerd, weinig verrassend maar meestal wel stijlvol.”


Kwadratuur, CD-review 
“Op ‘Imaginary Sketches’ …  komen ze met een erg lyrische en ingetogen plaat voor de dag waarin uitgesproken wordt gekozen voor de ongecompliceerde schoonheid van de melodie in een harmonische context.
‘Imaginary Sketches’ is een coherente, gebalanceerde plaat waarin vooral melodie en harmonie centraal staan.”


Jassepoes, appeltuin jazz concertreview 
“Weijters en McCullough hebben een neus voor fijne melodieën en lyrische lijnen waar zij evenwichtig uitgewerkte klanktapijten mee weven. Bügel en elektrische toetsen zorgden voor een zacht fluwelen tekstuur, maar ook frisse oplichtende klankkleuren. Waarbij je niet aan experimentele jazz denkt, maar aan instrumentale nummers als songs”


Jazzflits ,nr 153, 28/2/2011, CD-review
“Imaginary Sketches; een weloverwogen sympathieke plaat, die de luisteraar voor zich wint.”


Jassepoes, CD-review 
“en ja, de CD is mooi.” , CD-review Guy Peters
“de jonge Belgische pianist Bram Weijters is zich sterk aan het profileren op de vaderlandse scene”


Muziekmozaïek 2011/1, elfde jaargang – nr.1 – april-mei-juni 2011, CD-review Peter De Backer
“prima CD” 
“De muziek is meeslepend en zeer melodisch, complexloos en lyrisch”, L’écoute du mercredi, CD-review
” Nouvel album, nouveau coup de force du trompettiste Chad McCullough, soutenu de main de maître par le pianiste belge Bram Weijters “