Handsome Couple feat. DJ Illvibe – Bochum Berlin [Umland Records 028]
What a combination. The Essen-based duo known as Handsome Couple, comprised of St. Kirchhoff and Simon Camatta, is teaming up with Berlin’s HipHop-breathing DJ Illvibe for their sophomore album on Umland Records. Recorded live in both Bochum and Berlin, hence the albums name, the duo presents an evolution of its already Instrumental HipHop-leaning sound developed on their first album which is now defined by a captivating mix of banjo, drums and electronics as presented in the dancefloor smashing opener „We“, accompanied by an array of masterfully executed cuts, scratches and sample wizzardry straight from the original turntable setup used and abused by DJ Illvibe. Following up is an approximately 40 minutes long journey into beats and turntablism that might be considered being more original HipHop than most of today’s HipHop is, bringing on a new kind of block party vibe that is best to be experienced whilst watching groups of b-boys, breakers, fly girls and pop lockers doing their thang, strictly representing the oldskool in a new skool way. One for the beatheads, this is.
HEINER RENNEBAUM DOPPELQUARTETT LIVEThe Düsseldorfer guitarist Heiner Rennebaum (* 1956) was in the 80s u.a. with the crossover octet rimaak active, later followed by the nu-jazz project bonobo club. As a composer and guitarist of rimaak, he received the Prize for Music of the City of Dusseldorf, his development of the compensation coil circuit (dummy coil) for Stratocaster guitars was recognized in 2011 by the German Patent and Trademark Office. A versatile musician! It was not until 2015 that his first solo album „Pianavia“ was released, and now the album „Heiner Rennebaum Doppelquartett Live“ was released. Here, a jazz quartet (g, b, dr, sax) meets a string quartet, in which incidentally, the more known as a guitarist Markus Wienstroer plays the violin. Musically speaking, Rennebaum goes down a lot: Of course, you can hear and feel jazz here, but his guitar can sometimes sound like folk or country, and the string quartet oriental. Together, the six tracks have a certain calm, transparency and warmth. Heiner Rennebaum can also be heard in three plays as an improvising soloist and sound experimentalist. Interesting musician. (It)
Die Kombination von Jazz und Klassik scheint ein neuer Trend. Der Gitarrist Heiner Rennebaum, der sich schon mit verschiedenen gitarreähnlichen Instrumenten beschäftigt und experimentierfreudig neue Musikformen erforscht hat, macht hier den Versuch, ein Jazz-Quartett (Altsaxofon, Gitarre, Bass, Schlagzeug) mit einem Streichquartett (klassische Besetzung, nur statt der zweiten Geige ein zweites Cello) zu kombinieren. Das Ergebnis, dokumentiert beim Auftritt in der Jazzschmiede Düsseldorf, ist überraschend harmonisch und gelungen. Eigentlich gibt es keine klar definierten Gegensätze, jede Gruppe greift immer wieder spontan in das musikalische Geschehen der anderen ein. So kann Alex Morsey mit gestrichenem Bass das Streichquartett unterstützen und ihm noch mehr Klangfülle geben, während das Quartett immer wieder den Improvisationen von Rennebaum und dem Altsaxofonisten Jan Klare eine harmonische Grundlage liefert. Die Kompositionen (allesamt von Rennebaum) zeigen eine Bandbreite von Rock-Elementen über arabische Musik zur experimentellen Klassik. Und obwohl alle Stücke eher langsam, verhalten und stimmungsvoll daherkommen, wird es nie langweilig. Der Zuschauer muss ständig auf Überraschungen gefasst sein.
Teddy Doering in Jazz Podium 10/19
The combination of jazz and classical seems to be a new trend. The guitarist Heiner Rennebaum, who has already dealt with various guitar-like instruments and experimenting with new forms of music, here makes the attempt, a jazz quartet (alto saxophone, guitar, bass, drums) with a string quartet (classical occupation, only instead of the second violin a second cello). The result, documented at the appearance in the Jazzschmiede Düsseldorf, is surprisingly harmonious and successful. Actually, there are no clearly defined opposites, each group intervenes spontaneously in the musical events of others. So Alex Morsey can support the string quartet with a brushed bass and give it even more sonority, while the quartet repeatedly provides the improvisations of Rennebaum and the alto saxophonist Jan Klare a harmonic basis. The compositions (all of Rennebaum) show a range of rock elements over Arabic music to experimental classical music. And although all the tracks are slow, restrained and atmospheric, it never gets boring. The listener must be constantly prepared for surprises.
Teddy Doering in Jazz Podium 10/19
Der Gitarrist Heiner Rennebaum hat ein Faible für die Verbindung verschiedener Musikwelten. Das galt in den 1980ern für seine knackige Fusionband Rimaak, zur Jahrtausendwende für sein Jazzelektro-Projekt Bonobo Club und trifft jetzt auch auf sein Doppelquartett zu, dessen Konzert vergangenen Februar in der Düsseldorfer Jazz-Schmiede nun als Album vorliegt. Ein Jazzquartett um den expressiven Saxofonisten Jan Klare trifft auf ein Streichquartett, aber das alles ist weit von betulicher Klassik-Crossover-Ästhetik entfernt. Vielmehr begeben sich die acht Instrumentalisten gemeinsam auf Entdeckerfahrt: Klangflächen werden archäologisch untersucht, aber auch einem heftig keuchenden Urmenschen („Mäandertaler“), Arvo Pärt wird ein Besuch abgestattet, aber auch dem Maghreb oder Bill Frisells mildem Westen. Im elfminütigen Höhepunkt „Solatitut“ kommt dann alles zusammen: räumliche Akkordausbreitungen und Obertonbefühlungen, Reggae-Offbeat und Raserei. Eine innige Verschmelzung.
The guitarist Heiner Rennebaum has a knack to fuse different worlds of music. This applies not only for his upbeat fusion band Rimaak in the 1980s but also for his jazz electro project Bonobo Club at the turn of the millennium and now for his double quartet, the concert of which staged in the Jazz-Schmiede Düsseldorf last February is now available as an album. A jazz quartet featuring the expressive saxophonist Jan Klare comes upon a string quartet but being far way from the fussy classic crossover aesthetic the eight instrumentalist embark on an exploratory jouney: soundscapes are examined archaeologically, a heavily panting man (“Mäandertaler”), Arvo Pärt is paid a visit, the Maghreb or Bill Frisell`s mild west also. The eleven- minute climax “Solatitut” brings it all together: spatial chord progressions and overtone scores, reggae offbeat and rage. An intimate fusion. (translation: hans-herbert waschull)
Plant: 2000 – Jan Klare/Bart Maris/Wilbert De Joode/ Elisabeth Coudoux/Steve Swell/Michael Vatcher (El Negocito)
Impromptus and Other Short Works – Gebhard Ullmann Basement Research (WhyPlayJazz) Carliot
Per-Åke Holmlander – It’s Never Too Late Orchestra (Not Two)
What these seemingly unrelated recordings share is that trombonist Steve Swell is an integral part of each and are all good examples of exciting developments taking place in European jazz. Swell, who has established himself as a versatile performer in his homebase of New York City and throughout the U.S. and Europe, is characteristically patient and modest throughout, letting his slide and embouchure do the talking while disdaining flashiness and adapting to the moment. As a sideman, he is analogous to the perfect houseguest, acclimating to changed environments.
On 2000, the group Plant features the quirky compositions and tight arrangements of saxophonist Jan Klare (with one by trumpeter Bart Maris), interspersed with improvised selections. Comprised of three horns, cello, bass and drums, the group shines on “Rott”, a brilliantly conceived work that sparkles with sputtering trumpet and oddly syncopated melodic thrusts, which continually switch perspectives and velocity, thanks to the magnificently complex writing, mirrored and underpinned by the focused drummer
Michael Vatcher. Swell fits in admirably and while most of the performance focuses on the collective, he is a perfect addition to the horns, his speed and dexterity adding splendidly to the mix. The entire studio recording is further bolstered by the contributions of cellist Elisabeth Coudoux and bassist Wilbert De Joode, whose underlying pulse anchors the group sound. Not all the pieces are intense, as, for example, the opening “Garden” begins at a snail’s pace, but the album is marked by considerable variety and serious musicianship, with no wasted time on these dozen utterly engaging and deceptively simple ditties.
2000 with JAN KLARE / BART MARIS / WILBERT DE JOODE / MICHAEL VATCHER* + STEVE SWELL* / ELISABETH COUDOUX – Plant (El Negocito / Umland Rercords 19; EEC) Featuring Jan Klare on alto sax, Bart Maris on trumpet, Wilbert DeJoode on bass and Michael Vatcher on drums plus Elisabeth Coudoux on cello and Steve Swell on trombone. 1000 began in 2004 as a quartet with Mr. Klare, Maris, DeJoode and Vatcher. This quartet went on to record five discs, the last one included Eugene Chadbourne as their guest. Although they are an improvising unit, they have played pieces by classical composers like JS Bach, Ravel, Monteverdi and Gregorian chants. Formerly American drummer Michael Vatcher moved to New York in 2017 and has been helping out at DMG this year. 1000 expanded with two guests (Steve Swell & Elisabeth Coudoux) to become 2000 and play at the Moers Festival last year (2018). This disc features the six piece version of 2000 and was recorded in a studio in May of 2018.
Since I am only mildly familiar with the music of Bach and Ravel, I couldn’t tell you which composers inspired which pieces on this disc. All the pieces were written Jan Klare or Bart Maris with one piece as a group improv. Starting with “Garden”, there is an enchanting series of drones provided by the sax, trumpet, cello and bass with Mr. Vatcher’s subtle small percussion used as selective sonic spice. “Shells” sounds free yet there is much more going on below the surface, it sounds as if the center is constantly shifting, with different waves rising and falling. I love the sound of those shifting harmonies, the sax, trumpet, trombone and cello work well as one united sound mass. On “Toss”, the several currents shift around one another, keeping us all off balance, like balancing on raft in the ocean. The sounds of multiple horns is most triumphant, as if there is something important to take place. No matter how free things sound at times, there is a number of directed or written sections which emerge from the more chaotic moments. There is a good deal of unexpected magic going on here, sections that seem to come out of nowhere and bring together different subsections of the sextet. Longtime favorite of mine, Michael Vatcher is a perfect choice as he knows when to lay out and only contributes when it is necessary. Without a doubt, this is my favorite CD of the week! – Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG