Saturday, 2 November 2013

Trio EM – Eva Kruse, Michael Wollny, Eric Schaefer – Jazz for the Next Generation

Last year in February a friend of mine asked me if I would like to come over and visit a small jazz festival in the city of Essen. He was set into interest because of his trumpet teacher, who did act with a band there and he had recommended this little jazz festival. Without being personally involved I was in the first stage a bit reserved about going there. But I got persuaded to visit and at some saturday night in February the event did take place. The concert was opened up by a very young quartett of musicians who all had found together after finishing the quite well known Folkwang Music School. They played some moderate "resumee-jazz", a bit from all directions without any real emphasis. I started already to regret being there, in particular when I realized to see another two songs of this young band.
The next band was a quintet (here my friends trumpet trainer played himself the horn) with typically well known influences from the 1970ties as some sort of rock-jazz-crossover. I never was a real fan of rock music, nor did I like this sort of typical mixture with classic jazz elements from the bop era. I noticed after the second song that my interest did fall against zero and I would have fallen asleep, if the pa would have been not so loud. My friend told me in the meanwhile, that the third band of this evening, a young trio from Berlin, has a very good reputation already and that his trumpet teacher does not only know them well, but likes their music a lot. Ok I said to myself, I hope I will survive till the end of this evening, it already had got 22:30h. A good half hour later the last act of the evening started and on stage were three young people in their end twenties setting up a classic trio with piano, contra bass and drums. When they started it did not take longer than 10 seconds for me to be back completely alive and able to immidiate that there something extremely good and very exiting new happened. There was a presence of energy with all three, which did overcome me completely. Now I did feel very well again, my feet snapped and my brain started to relax, I could enter into the mood for the first time at that day. Trio EMs music has a very intense energetic drive as a typical component. This energetic drive is a result of a deep percussive understanding of each musicians instrument. Eva Kruses bass is often setting the pace, were Eric Schaeffers percussions add rhytmic structures and Michael Wollny often turns the piano into a giant percussion instrumentation. I have never seen a pianist sitting so agile and limber at the keyboards, he is extremely nimble and shifts from explosive maneuvers into sedative passages back almost lying completly in the inside of his piano plucking the strings with his fingers and beating them with the his underarms.

A small selection of CDs from the last couple of years, but there is a lot more to find out.
This music was some of the best jazz music I have heard in my live due to the incomparable performance all three are acting. At this evening they played four or five acts and I went home completely satisfied from what I saw. I was so convinced that I would rate the trio as one of the best jazz acts for years. Immediatly it did buy all existing recordings and went to three further live acts. When I did "google" them I found out that they had been rated in 2011 as best young jazz act since 25 years by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. This is the first time in my blog that I show work released on digital media, if you are looking for contemporary music, there is no other chance. At youtube you might get a good impression about their phantastic work.

In the meanwhile Michael Wollny is a rising star in the jazz world, he brings out lots of records were he  acts together with other musicians, and it is not allways jazz, he is trying some unusual crossovers to new music and other conceptual ideas. For example the work with Heinz Sauer and Wolfgang Kühn is exceptional as well the CD shown called "Wunderkammer XXL". I think he is one of the most interesting musicians of todays music scene without any category.

Stay tuned, Volker