Saxophonist Silke Eberhard leads her trio with Nikolaus Neuser on trumpet and Christian Marien on drums, through a distillation of well known and lesser known Mingus tunes, restricting each tune to its essence in 3-4 minute renderings focusing on Mingus' compositional strength.
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Catalog ID: LEO 752
Squidco Product Code: 22643
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at H2 in Berlin, Germany, on June 15th and 16th, 2015, by Marco Birkner.
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1. Better Get Hit In Yo' Soul 3:58
2. Fables Of Faubus 6:29
3. Oh Lord, Don't Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb On Me 4:37
4. Opus Four 4:08
5. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat 2:13
6. Moanin' 4:32
7. Self-Portrait In Three Colors 3:20
8. Eclipse 3:20
9. Jelly Roll 2:57
10. In Other Words 2:02
11. Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk 5:25
12. Canon 3:50
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sample the album:
"The first sentence of Mingus' autobiography starts like this: "In other words: I am three". Silke Eberhard (saxophone), Nikolaus Neuser (trumpet) and Christian Marien (drums) play Mingus' music and demonstrate that it is still possible to make a fresh statement and interpret the music in a highly contemporary way. In the best traditions of Mingus, they take chances, they are extremely playful and they are faithful to Mingus' spirit. Would he dig this? "Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am"! "-Leo
"In addition to her many other projects, German alto saxophonist Silke Eberhard has made her mark by delving into the jazz tradition via her own distinctive, forward-looking sound. She collaborated with pianist Aki Takase in 2007 on Ornette Coleman's compositions (Ornette Coleman Anthology, Intakt), and she's done some fantastic work with her larger ensemble Potsa Lotsa in tribute to Eric Dolphy; in this regard, last year's superb Plays Love Suite by Eric Dolphy (jazzwerkstatt) is truly a must-listen for all Dolphy fans. It should be understood right from the beginning that Eberhard's treatment of these figures is never just a repertory exercise. Eberhard consistently brings a creative, risk-taking sensibility to her re-imagining of this material that always results in pushing the tradition forward-as we should expect from all of the best music infused with the spirit of jazz.
And this release is certainly no different. With trumpeter Nikolaus Neuser and drummer Christian Marien, Eberhard's latest project I Am Three involves a playful, energetic, utterly infectious exploration of the work of Charles Mingus. To tackle some of Mingus's best-known (and a few less-known) pieces without a bass instrument-or piano, for that matter-requires a certain audacity, but that's typical of Eberhard's approach, and here it works wonderfully, largely due to Eberhard's clever arrangements and the top-flight musicianship on display.
One conscious choice Eberhard made was to go short: that is, to limit the length of the pieces to around three to four minutes each on average. This boils each song down to its core, a distillation process that reminds us of how beautiful and profound Mingus's melodies were-something that could be obscured amidst the musical pyrotechnics of his sprawling live recordings in particular. In addition, the written horn parts for Eberhard and Neuser are outstanding. One never misses the richness of a larger group, even on an iconic big-band cut like "Moanin.'" Surprisingly, Eberhard's alto works perfectly for that opening phrase Pepper Adams's baritone made famous, and from there she and Neuser, fueled by Marien's relentless groove, produce a tour-de-force of trio improvising.
None of this would be possible without the phenomenal chops of these musicians. Both Eberhard and Neuser are capable of playing squarely in the pocket and also venturing out into the extremes of improvisation as well, although always in service to the music. They have an outstanding rapport, really digging into simultaneous solo passages that complement each other perfectly. And an absolutely essential component of this trio is the chameleon-like drumming of Marian. He's as likely to offer a funk-or rock-based beat as a straight swing rhythm, and his shape-shifting contributions do the most to give this recording its contemporary feel. The funky groove he moves in and out of on "Fables of Faubus" is irresistible in offering a completely distinctive flavor to the piece. Finally, we also have some of Eberhard's trademark quirks and idiosyncracies as well, just to keep the listener a little unmoored. "Jelly Roll" deliberately winks at the way the record as a whole is in dialogue with the past, by interspersing an "old-timey" vinyl sound (pops and crackles included) with the much more polished, digital-era sound of the rest of the track. And judicious use of electronics adds to the atmospheric quality of "Eclipse" and "Canon."
Of the many ways in which this record honors Mingus, it's really its spirit of inventiveness that stands out the most. A terrific accomplishment, and a strong contender for one of 2016's best releases."-Troy Dostert, All About Jazz
Get additional information at All About Jazz
• Show Bio for Silke Eberhard
"Silke Eberhard is a saxophonist, clarinetist and composer based in Berlin. In addition to her long-standing trio with Jan Roder and Kay Lübke she leads her wind quartet Potsa Lotsa that interprets the compositional work of Eric Dolphy and her septett Potsa Lotsa Plus. She works with many collective ensembles including a duo with Ulrich Gumpert, a duo with drummer Alex Huber, the trio I am Three. She performed and/or recorded with numerous musicians of the international jazzscene such as Aki Takase, David Liebman, Wayne Horvitz, Dave Burrell, Gerry Hemingway, Michael Zerang, Hannes Zerbe a.m.o. CDs on record labels like Jazzwerkstatt, Not Two, Leo, INTAKT, Intuition document her work. Her album Potsa Lotsa Love Suite Plus plays by Eric Dolphy was awarded the Prize of the German Record Critics 2015/1."-Silke Eberhard Website (https://silkeeberhard.com/about-2/)
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• Show Bio for Nikolaus Neuser
"Nikolaus Neuser (* 1972 in Siegen ) is a German jazzmusician ( trumpet, wing horn ).
Neuser studied from 1994 to 1998 at the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen with Uli Beckerhoff. In 1999, he moved to Berlin, where he performed with the Hannes Zerbe Jazz Orchestra ( Eisleriana and Erlkönig ), the Berlin Jazz Orchestra, Pinx, the Potsdama Lotsa formation (with Gerhard Gschlößl, Patrick Braun, Silke Eberhard ), the Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin ( Ichigo Ichie, 2015) and works with The Alliteration. He also heads the Nikolaus Neuser, to whom Bernd Oezsevim, Gerhard Gschlößl, Johannes Fink and Silke Eberhard belong. In 2015 he presented the album Pink Elephant (Jazzwerkstatt). Since 2012 he belongs to the Fun Horns (with Volker Schlott, Falk Breitkreuz, Jörg Huke ). Cooperations with the German Foreign Office, the Goethe Institute and the DAAD enabled him to stay and tour in China, Thailand, Vietnam, North Africa, Lebanon, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Europe and Colombia 2007 at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá. [8th]
In the area of pop music he is on albums of || Seeed, Peter Fox, Miss Platnum, 4hero, Pohlmann || Among others. He also worked with the Sonar Collective Orchestra and in the 2000s in the electronic jazz project Trondheym."-Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolaus_Neuser)
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• Show Bio for Christian Marien
"Christian Marien , born 1975 in Münster (Westf.), Has been playing drums since his thirteen years. Punk and rock are his roots, but he found an early access to jazz and art, eventually studying jazz drums in Amsterdam and Berlin where he has been living since 2000. There he first made a name for himself in the jazz scene, including as co-founder of the ensembles Olaf Ton and Stereolisa. More and more, he turned to the improvised music, played with a large number of high-caliber improvisation artists (like Frank Gratkowski, Gebhard Ullmann, Jürgen Kupke, Christian Weber and many others) and became an integral part of Berlin's improvisational and jazz- Scene.
For many years, he has worked extensively with his duo "Superimpose" (with Matthias Müller - Trombone) and the trio "The Astronomical Unit" (with Matthias Müller-Trombone and Clayton Thomas double bass). He plays concerts in Europe and North America, among others, at the Montreux Jazzfestival, the Jazzfestival in Hermannstadt, the Leipzig Jazz Festival, and the Jazzfestival. He is also a member of numerous other ensembles (Z-Country Paradise, UnbedingT, Benjamin Weidekamp Quartet, Miss Platnum, Hannes Zerbe Jazz Orchestra) Rüsselsheim, Jazzfestival Frankfurt, Moers Festival and releases CDs on labels such as "leo records", "Jazzwerkstatt", "Klangräume", "NRW Jazz" or "2ndFLOOR Edition".
His interest in genre-encompassing artistic exchange brings him together with visual artists (Thomas Bratzke, Philip Wiegard), actors (Judith Strößenreuter), or dancers (Hans-Werner Klohe, Kadir "Amigo" Memis, July Hamilton). The performance group "Ritsche, Zast & Marien", which combines improvisation in music and painting, contests performances, festival performances and exhibitions."-Christian Marien Website (translated by Google) (http://www.christianmarien.de/?page_id=158)
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