I’ve known a couple o’ cats that’ve said, "I don’t like that hat Hut (or hat Art) stuff" - and from the standpoint of somewhat more "conservative" listeners, I can see why some folks would feel that way. The hat "family" of labels rivals ESP for putting out uncompromising music (one must keep in mind that, alas, "uncompromising" does not always equal "good" or "enjoyable") in both jazz and classical/composed permutations (and if memory swerves, hat Hut was started as a conduit for the wild n’ wooly free sounds of US free-jazz icon Joe McPhee), but this newie might even give some of those naysayers pause, as it’s a very fine jazz album, albeit one that recalls those times/places where hard/post-bop and (early) free overlapped. No free-for-all skronkfest, this - but you’ll never confuse it for anything on the High Note or Concord labels, either. Despite (or because, perhaps?) of the presence of European avant-percussion legend Han Bennink (who even played w/ Eric Dolphy in the 60s), Strandjutters is a nifty slice of jazz that encompasses the cerebral side of 50s cool, a la Jimmy Giuffre (the pensive "En Plein Air"), Ayler-ish yowl (the title tune and an "out" take on "Old Folks") and suave, heart-on-the-sleeve, old-school Big Tenor a la Don Byas and Ben Webster (the utterly gorgeous "The Girl In My Dream Tries To Look Like You," which is lightly dusted by joyous free flurries). Bennink plays "straight" here (well, a lot of the time) like Philly Joe Jones reborn (if you can believe that and you should), and this Italian fellow Daniel D’Agaro plays wonderfully: deep-toned, sinuous, darkly sensuous clarinet and wide-open, poised, slightly swaggering tenor with nods to past masters Rollins, Webster and even Plas Johnson (the tenor sax on the "Pink Panther" theme? him). Anyone who’s "written off" hatOLOGY as label housing noisy, lease-breaking stuff needs to hear this; mainly, though, anyone digging mod-jazz with some pointed edge and bite while embracing the verities of swing and melody (think Joe Lovano, Greg Osby, saxguy Michael Moore, the late George Adams) - they’re the audience for this outstanding platter.