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Einem.Art: Lamara

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On one hand, there is the great tradition of jazz, its compact academic virtuosity, the unmitigated, high demand, which sets this style apart and uplifts its listeners. On the other hand, there is the urgent desire of many young musicians to get the upper hand, find their place with their art in the present, absorb contemporary influences and fire the enthusiasm of a new generation for this supposedly outmoded genre. The trombonist Max von Einem succeeds in this balancing act between the past and the future as hardly any other musician in Germany today. "I can't stand all of this narrow-minded thinking," the 28 year old clearly stated his dislike of any type of purism. For the fair-haired musician born in Münster and currently living in Cologne, however, this means not only the dogmas of the notorious jazz police, but also such people who want to be hip at any price and put the classical values of jazz permanently in a trashy corner or smile condescendingly at it as old-fashioned. "Jazz has never been old-fashioned," von Einem stated in a passionate statement in favor of "his music". "Many great concepts are based on swing and wind instrument sections, and DJs sample the songs of great jazz legends. Jazz has something that can prove to be fruitful for every other style."

Release date: April 2015

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Tré: Edle Einfalt

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Growing up does not always have to be difficult, especially when someone like Bernhard Bamert is already 44 years "young" or Thomas Lüthi, an experienced 41, or only 32 as is Lukas Mantel. "In the past, we were more involved in apparatus engineering, i.e., we presented very complex pieces. In addition, everything was focused on humor. During our concerts, we wanted above all to play comic-like parts with a strong emphasis on groove. We sometimes just bombarded the audience's ears with our songs. Now we value sound and improvise more," trombonist Bamert described the changed orientation of Tré. This is thanks to the new drummer Mantel, but also to the acquired maturity of the founding members Bamert and Lüthi. Two men in their prime, of whom tenor saxophonist Lüthi also has to fulfill paternal duties and who want to be perceived as virtuoso music clowns instead of simply gaudy and rowdy lads with their fifth album in the meantime. "At some time, you simply get to the point when you are sick and tired of continually being ironic,” Bamert stated resolutely. "Actually, it is a question of the music. I take the fun of the whole thing very seriously in the meantime!"

Release date: April

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Homepage: www.tremusic.ch

David Fettmann Trio: Ruby Project

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There are not many saxophonists who have such a unique sound and clear structures in their language of music at a relatively young age. David Fettmann is only 37, and the "Ruby Project" only his second album under his own name. Following his highly acclaimed debut CD "Prelude" released in 2011 (Double Moon Records DMCHR 71091), which put the Frenchman born in Strasbourg into collective consciousness as one of the most interesting European alto saxophonists of the current generation, Fettmann now—precisely in troubled times such as these—takes off on a quest. Subtly, unobtrusively but consistently as never before, the musician coming from a Jewish family acknowledges his cultural roots and consequently indirectly sets a sign for understanding among peoples and against discrimination based on religion.

Release date: April

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Homepage: www.davidfettmann.com

Ray Anderson's Organic Quartet: Being The Point

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Fate has apparently selected Ray Anderson as a guinea pig, totally according to the motto: How can someone stand all of that? A severe case of diabetes impeded his plans for the future when he was 20, and he suffered facial paralysis on one side of his face at the beginning of the 1980s, with a relapse in 2010. Then his wife passed away after a long bout of cancer. As if that were not enough, the trombonist fell ill with laryngeal cancer a short time later. However, all of these things in addition to several operations and radiation treatments could not break the man, who is 62 years old today. He repeatedly came back, fought successfully for his life and above all for his music. A resilient person par excellence who keeps bouncing back, who continues as ever to move through the winding paths of music business in 2015 with the same curiosity as always, taking on a number of projects untiringly and full of vitality and feeding his status as perhaps one of the most interesting, versatile jazz trombonists living today..

Release date: April

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Homepage: www.rayanderson.org

Axel Schlosser & hr-Bigband: Into the Mackerel Sky

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Composing arrangements for jazz big bands is a big challenge and is a kind of "test of maturity" for many musicians. A work of art is only created if a self-enclosed and convincing sound is created and the force of a large ensemble is asserted and its individual instruments are repeatedly put in focus.

This has now succeeded in a very special way with "Axel Schlosser & hr-Bigband – Into The Mackerel Sky". Not only outstanding arrangements contribute to it, but also the fact that the arranger has been a trumpet player in the big band at the same time for more than a decade. Consequently, he knows "his" musicians and he knows that they know how to implement his technical guidelines and moods perfectly. When it mainly concerns own compositions—only three songs are not by Axel Schlosser—the result is also characterized by a high degree of individualism. He even creates a song as polished as a diamond using a traditional folk song ("Schwäbische Eisenbahn" – one of Schlosser's favorite songs) with electronic aids here: a feast for the ears! Audiences in in Oberkochen and Frankfurt were able to enjoy this treat. Fortunately, both concerts were record in outstanding quality, so that we can only concur with the opinion of Emil Mangelsdorff, who wrote in the liner notes: "I had the honor of seeing how the audience left the hall with smiling faces after the encores."

Release date: February 2015

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Homepage: www.axelschlosser.de