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New Releases at Double Moon Records

Metromara: Self-Portrait In Twelve Colors

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Metromara is her band. "Metro stands for the metropolis of Amsterdam, where we got together, and Mara, well, that’s me," Mara Minjoli explained. And the title of her debut CD says it all. This alone already proves that the singer wants to fulfill her dream of cross-genre music without purist dogmas. The best of what she likes, actually something to be taken for granted for the 29-year-old born in Bochum, Germany. "I like Stevie Wonder, Charles Mingus, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Carmen McRae, Joni Mitchell and the Australian band Hiatus Kaiyote. I also like traditional jazz, soul, hip hop, R'n'B and electronic music. Each element has influenced, encouraged and inspired me musically. There is nothing that I want to exclude." What other choice is there than to combine it all somehow. Easier said than done: after all, there are already enough ill-fated examples that failed miserably with their higgledy-piggledy style. But Metromara, this congenial international sextet, uses a simple and clever formula. Where else could such a thing work better than in the great artistic freedom of jazz? Because jazz can now do (almost) anything, at least from the perspective of Jazz thing Next Generation, an illustrious series of young sound researchers, of which Metromara is now the 65th chapter of an equally varied as well as individual reading of that musical genre open in all directions.

Release: 07.10.2016

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Homepage: www.metromara.com

BuJazzO - Niels Klein: Groove And The Abstract Truth

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The latest production from the house of "BuJazzO" has a quite portentous title with "Groove And The Abstract Truth” that both reminds one of the great moments of modern arranging skills, but is also deeply rooted in the present. When Oliver Nelson published his once-in-a-century work "Blues And The Abstract Truth" (Impulse!), he unhinged all parameters valid until then concerning big band jazz. The tenor and alto saxophonist only wanted to extend his personal boundaries to create a new artistic identity. Parallels to 2016? "As in no other musical language, unfiltered emotions arising in jazz are not excluded from the moment nor are complex, abstract musical structures, but instead they are combined to form a greater whole," Niels Klein wrote in the liner notes. While Oliver Nelson used blues, African-American rhythms and modal jazz as a stylistic device at that time, all possible beats, sounds and grooves from current pop, rock and electronic music are included in improvised music today. A collection of pieces is created on "Groove And The Abstract Truth” that moves on all stylistic demarcation lines. It aims to explore the forces that are released when hip groove meets the complex musical language of modern jazz composers.

Release: 07.10.2016

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Homepage: www.bundesjazzorchester.de

Axel Kühn Trio: Zeitgeist

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Zeitgeist or spirit of the times? Is not this false term to describe the thinking and feeling of an entire generation, which reflects the peculiarities of a particular era or the attempt of respective conTEMPORaries to portray it? Such trends can very often be found in music. "Zeitgeist signifies something quite current," as Axel Kühn defines it. "A thing that many people are interested in at this particular moment." The fact that the bassist and band leader called his new trio album "Zeitgeist” leads us to understand it programmatically. "We do not want to be the umpteenth variant of a conventional piano trio, which too often sounds like Brad Mehldau and employs this typical jazz approach." For the 35-year-old bassist and his congenial long-time partners Ull Möck on piano and Marcel Gustke on bass, it is more about rejuvenating jazz with current grooves and catchy melodies from pop and rock. It is not at all a matter of currying favor superficially and riding smoothly on populist trends, but on the contrary to fit the sound of this generation into the parameters of jazz with optimum virtuosity, intelligence and sustainability. “We want to reach young people and show them that —hey!—jazz can actually be quite interesting and very witty," Kühn explained his artistic approach.

Release: 07.10.2016

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Homepage: www.axel-kuehn.com

Reis-Demuth-Wiltgen: Places In Between

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Are you also searching for challenges, finally a change that lets your ears fatigued by permanent uniformity take notice of jazz once again? But not with a piano trio! Why not? Maybe it's just the stimulus you need to break with an all too familiar routine. The release from the rigid roles and conventions, the tearing down of existing structures, the cheerful painting of gray walls behind which lurk such creepy terms such as "bar jazz" or "canned music". Pianist Michel Reis, bassist Marc Demuth and drummer Paul Wiltgen furnish resounding proof that something new can be created from something old at any time. That is if you are only willing to question your own mental limitations – both as a musician and as a listener. However, who wants to do that? Piano trios have mostly followed the same pattern until now: theme-solo-solo-solo-theme, a bit of swing, a tasteful stroll to harmonic edges, the intellectually colored deconstructing and reassembling of standards, a lot of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, but few fresh ideas. Precisely therein lies the opportunity for a threesome such as Rice-Demuth-Wiltgen. The trio from Luxembourg wants to make it possible for their listeners to experience and celebrate the effect of music and do not want to abuse it for the purpose of self-promotion in any way. Each one slips into the respective topic, grows together with it and becomes a part of it. They are the fertilizers for their own works that let them grow and flourish through careful dosing of their outstanding instrumental skills. In this way, magically beautiful melodies are created from seemingly banal note sequences that go without detours into your ears and stay there for a long time. No cheesy, slushy songs mind you, but instead refined constructs full of emotionality, empathy, virtuosity, depth and hymnic radiance.

Release: 06.08.2016

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Homepage: www.reisdemuthwiltgen.com

Michel Portal: Radar - European Jazz Legends Vol. 7

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Michel Portal“s extended improvisations with the American pianist Richie Beirach were recorded for this CD on March 5th 2016 during a concert in the Theater Gütersloh and mark the first time these musicians ever played together - together with the recordings with the WDR Bigband they are further proof of the universality of the musical language called Jazz and the fascinating and infectious vitality of improvisation. „I love to play in front of an audience“, Portal said. „It is like a metamorphosis. I feel bad, if I haven´t played live for two weeks. But after a concert it is as if I´ve just taken a ton of Aspirin.“

Release: 06.08.2016

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Kerstin Haberecht 4: Essence

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None of those standard jazz band names that again end in "quartet", although it in fact concerns a traditional band form with piano, bass, percussion and wind instrument. Instead only HABERECHT 4. Without Kerstin. Nothing should indicate whether a woman or a man is wielding power here. “Something like that would distract from the essential,” the alto and soprano saxophonist believes. "I want to avoid having people only seeing the group from this point of view. I'd prefer simply to be judged by my music." Well now, let the sounds speak! Nine compositions penned by 28-year front woman that say more about this extraordinary saxophonist than a thousand words. Songs such as "Schöne Stille, stille Schöne", "Boxstunde”, “In Freedom Of The Fearless Mind”, “Unforgettable Colors”, “Lullaby for M”, “Lost And Won”, “Metamollphose” and “The Machine” that stand for nothing other than the musical essence of Kerstin Haberecht, a rare and exceptionally talented musician who is now getting a big stage for the first time thanks to Jazz thing Next Generation. Quite rightly. "Whoever hasn't heard of me yet will know who I am after this recording!" She is a musician who strips off the ballast of tradition and academic training in a pleasantly unpretentious manner and then only follows her instincts. A musician guided by ambiance, but nevertheless a very clever one who knows how to tell stories on her horn far from any stereotypes. "Schlafloser Februar" is such a story, where she articulates her own feelings between the bar lines and where a spate of sudden thoughts again and again destroys the desired slumber. In doing so, Kerstin Haberecht and her congenial ensemble with Nicolas Hering (piano, Fender Rhodes), Bastian Weinig (bass) and Mathis Grossmann (drums) only concentrate on the bare essentials. Not one note too many, no unnecessary frills or decorations, and no foppish muscle games. The band acts as if from a single mold, and the design of the dramaturgical structure is in hands of all. As a result, it slowly forms a sophisticated, powerful conglomerate of rhythms and melodies, surprising twists and turns, different moods and an astonishing willingness to take risks. She is perhaps the first among equals, but she always stresses how important communication is with her fellow musicians and their equality. However, Kerstin Haberecht outshines the entire performance on her debut CD with her at times softly flowing, even gnarled dabbling sound, at times questioning in a melancholic manner, and at times nervously rough and enormously changeable.

Release: 06.08.2016

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Homepage: www.kerstin-haberecht.de

Arild Andersen: The Rose Window - European Jazz Legends Vol. 6

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„It’s about sound – and that’s in your mind, as well as in your fingers“, said Arild Andersen during the interview for his „European Jazz Legends“ article for the magazine Jazz thing in March 2016 in his house in Oslo, Norway. „For me it has always been about the sound of the instrument, very consciously, as I think sound is what you recognize first and foremost, whether in a saxophone player or a bassist.“ Andersen’s rich and singing upright bass, often and early on enriched and extended electronically via a „Electro Harmonix Delay“, can be heard on over a hundred recordings from „world to pop“, as his website claims. Among the many legendary albums the now 70 year-old can be heard on quite a lot of recordings for the ECM label, many of them with his own bands with musicians like Kenny Wheeler, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, John Taylor, Alphonse Mouzon, Ralph Towner, Nana Vasconcelos, Marcin Wasilewski, or Markus Stockhausen. And then there are his ground-breaking recordings with fellow Norwegian Jan Garbarek, of course, as well as with his own group „Masqualero“, which also featured Jon Christensen, Jon Balke, Tore Brunborg, and Nils-Petter Molvaer. For his extremely well received „European Jazz Legends“ concert in Gütersloh, which is presented in the live-recordings on this CD, Andersen brought his trio with Helge Lien on piano and drummer Gard Nielssen. „They are both very talented and young, but I always wanted to have young musicians in my band. Nils-Petter (Molvaer) and Tore Brunborg were in their early twenties when they started in „Masqualero“. And Jan Garbarek was only twenty-three when we recorded „Afric Pepperbird", and I still twenty-four. It all comes from somewhere. The only thing that counts is that you put it together in a new way, so it will hopefully become something original.“

Release date: June 2016

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Anne Hartkamp: Songs & Dances

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Anne Hartkamp has already presented lots of exciting projects, and extraordinary albums have been created under her name! With Gunter Hampel and Smudo, for example (“Next Generation”). Or in the a capella quartet "Harem 4" (both in 1997). Of course, we also have to mention "Glücklich" (2005), her foray into her German mother tongue. Under the pseudonym of Magnolia, there are two recordings with guitarist Philipp van Endert: "Humpty's Amazing Boogie Pencil" (2007) and "Wait A Second" (2012). She has worked with Michael Wollny, Nils Wogram, Lajos Dudas, Marion Brown, Axel Dörner, Perry Robinson as well as the WDR Big Band. And then there is the quintet with pianist Thomas Rückert, saxophonist Claudius Valk, bassist André Nendza and drummer Oliver Rehmann, with whom "Momentum" (2010) was recorded. However, Anne Hartkamp has never sounded so forceful and changeable or highlighted her vocal qualities so well as on her current album "Songs & Dances".

Release date: May 2016

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Homepage: www.annehartkamp.de

Der Weise Panda: MAM

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Wise, mind you. Not white. With that, it would be one of those many clichés again, regardless of whether it would concern this mysterious, cute animal or even this mysterious, cute jazz. Joe Blow and ordinary consumers would not really know what they should do with it. However, it could be so easy. Like jazz, the panda only opens itself via the key of emotions. The band around singer Maika Küster, pianist Simon Seeberger, bassist Yannik Tiemann and drummer Jo Beyer can best be understood if you throw all intellectual ballast overboard and let yourself be completely guided by your instincts. Which does not automatically mean that you have to become mindless. To the contrary: The music of the "wise panda" makes demands and touches you, it develops an idiosyncratic dynamic that you first have to understand and accept to be drawn into its powerful vortex. Another highlight in the dazzling Jazz thing Next Generation series.

Release date: May 2016

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Homepage: derweisepanda.de

Sabine Kühlich & Laia Genc: In Your Own Seet Way - A tribute To Great Dave Brubeck

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Dave Brubeck struck out on his own path. Consequently, it was a rough road. The icon, who passed way in 2012, loved crooked rhythms on the black and white keys, which are not necessarily to everyone's taste. They were mostly in 5/4 time as in the famous "Take Five", which achieved the status of a "jazz hit" long ago. However, there were still more exotic time signatures such as 9/8 in "Blue Rondo A La Turk" or 7/4 in "Unsquare Dance", not to mention beguiling idiosyncratic jazz waltzes such as "In Her Own Sweet Way" or "Emily", in which it does not makes sense to count.

The fact that the vocalist and saxophonist Sabine Kühlich from Aachen and the pianist Laia Genç from Cologne now dare to present a bunch of top-class songs of the maestro to the public on their CD "In Your Own Sweet Way" is due perhaps to the exceedingly charming challenge to let the seemingly complicated sound easy, simple and comprehensible.

The keyboard great, who passed away at the end of 2012, represents something like an aesthetic lighthouse for the two women. "Dave Brubeck was one of my first and most formative influences," Sabine Kühlich recalled. "His charming and humorous way to mix musical traditions and take up interesting time signatures fascinated me as a teenager and still inspires me today. The fascination between 'simple' and 'unexpected' also characterizes my composing, and Dave Brubeck is not entirely innocent in this respect. “Laia Genç Brubeck approached Brubeck gradually via "In Your Own Sweet Way" or "Blue Rondo A La Turk”. Genç: "I remember that it completely knocked my socks off. And I thought to myself that if I would be a great goal to play it once in a beautiful version! Additionally, there were more and more great pieces that attracted me musically on one hand and also do justice to the works of Brubeck's on the other hand."

Release date: April 2016

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Homepage: www.sabinekuehlich.com

Birgitta Flick Quartet: Dalarna

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She is German, number 48 in the phalanx of "Jazz thing Next Generation", a Hall of Fame of outstanding young musicians who have given jazz a new face and a new sound in their homeland. Nevertheless, Birgitta Flick seems more Swedish than many other musicians from the land of the moose. The culprit is an Erasmus semester, which the tenor saxophonist (who was born in Neubrandenburg and lives in Berlin) spent in Stockholm and which fundamentally changed here. "I met many musicians, played a lot, started to learn Swedish and became interested in the culture and the people. There are a lot of jazz musicians who deal with the folk music, and most of them have a background in folk music. This is very different in Germany; you do not deal with traditional music if you are a jazz musician."

The much acclaimed debut album "Yingying" (DMCHR 71121) of 2013 by the Birgitta Flick Quartet sounded accordingly. Now a more intense immersion in the sound worlds of Sweden is being released with the successor "Dalarna”, an absorption of the omnipresent serenity and tranquility there as well as an acoustic coloring of the vast landscapes and the countless lyrical sanctuaries. In eleven songs, Brigitta Flick composed an unusual, archaic, emotional suite, influenced by traditional folk songs, hymnals and traditional hymns for her quartet and her three guest musicians (vocalist Lina Nyberg, alto saxophonist/flutist Nico Lohmann and bass clarinetist Silke Eberhard). The center of inspiration is in Dalarna, which Hans Christian Andersen described in his travelogue of 1851 as follows: "Painters and poets, take each other by the hand and come up to Dalarna. The poor country is rich in beauty and poetry, but richest at Lake Siljan."

Release date: April 2016

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Homepage: www.birgittaflickquartett.de