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Hendriksen, Alex / Fabian Gisler / Paul Amereller: Lotus Blossom (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Unabashedly lyrical and focused on jazz tradition, the Swiss trio of Alex Hendriksen on tenor saxophone, Fabian Gisler on double bass and Paul Amereller on drums present an album of standards, including pieces by Tadd Dameron, Billy Strayhorn, Jerome Kern, Thelonious Monk and Benny Golson, warmly interpreted with extraordinary band interplay and individual soloing.

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Alex Hendriksen-tenor saxophone

Fabian Gisler-double bass

Paul Amereller-drums

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

UPC: 752156105428

Label: ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd
Catalog ID: ezz-thetics 1054
Squidco Product Code: 34840

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at the Musikerwohnhaus Studios, in Basel, Switzerland, on February 14th, 15th and 16th, 2024, by Hannes Kumke.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Memory is a powerful and potent thing, but we are increasingly encouraged to distrust it. Psychologists say that a substantial proportion of what we honestly believe we remember is simply false or inaccurate. There is a concept widely used in the current debate about the climate crisis. It's most commonly referred to as baseline-shift. As we age, and both the natural world and that of human culture accumulates change, our sense of how things were becomes warped by proximity. We all sadly admit that, no, there aren't as many butterflies around as there used to be, or as many migrating birds. "When we were children," we say, "they were everywhere". But research shows that our memories of such things, far from being set in childhood or even early adulthood, were formed maybe only ten years ago. We might be genuinely shocked to be transported back and find how very, very different things really were in our infancy and innocence.

It might seem a jump from this to a musical form that is still young, barely one hundred years old by the only standard we really have, which is recording. At a time when the "heritage" business dominates everything, and even jazz, which is supposedly dedicated to the next step, and the next again, we tend to forget how much we have forgotten. For the majority of jazz fans, even of mature years, the sound of the saxophone was largely shaped by Parker and Coltrane, Rollins and Gordon, Coleman and Dolphy, then maybe Brecker and Turner, Cheek and Speed, but we're coming almost up to date now. There is so much music available to us that something of an event-horizon (to borrow from another branch of science) has emerged, past which we either no longer can or no longer choose to listen.

Ask any youngish jazz fan what he knows of Frankie Trumbauer or Adrian Rollini, or to characterise the tenor sound of Don Byas or Chu Berry, and you might get an uncomfortable or blank reaction. In our rightful commitment to the music of our own time, we often lose track of what our ancestors have done, which condemns us to a certain reinvention of the wheel. A contemporary musician like Franz Koglmann (whose important early work was released by Werner Uehlinger on a sister label to this one) did the music an extraordinary service simply in reminding us of the work left by a generation of early jazzmen, long overlooked and now largely unlistened. But how often is that important message heeded?

But, to the matter at hand. Here is the work of three young musicians for whom the baseline hasn't been nudged forward. The songs they play are mostly old songs, a red rag to those who believe that "standards" should now mean something post-Beatles: Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Radiohead. As always, it's easy to argue that the old songs work according to chord changes that admit of almost infinite variation, but Alex Hendriksen sounds like the kind of player to whom a famous old story about Lester Young applies. Many young saxophone players (and those who favour other instruments) have technique in abundance, harmonically subtle and versed in every aspect of musical syntax. But one can hear Lester say in spirit: "Yes, kid, very good, but what's your story?". To me, these guys sound as if they have a story to tell and enough confidence to believe that they can tell and retell the old stories in new and exciting ways. Hendriksen and Gisler have form together on this kind of thing, but if it remains true in jazz that rhythm and the percussionist are at the heart of every new step forward, then Paul Amereller's role in the trio is crucial. No one will mistake him for anything but a contemporary, but he plays in full knowledge of the history of the music and of his instrument. Likewise the other two, who stand out as aware, moment to moment, of all that has gone before. If it's true that to reach further into the future, you have to reach further back into the past, these guys are the confirmation. In a culture as much obsessed with novelty as it otherwise perversely is with heritage, they stand out defiantly, not for insisting on their own compositions or for abstract ideas of what constitutes improvisation, but for a passionate understanding of the continuity of the jazz tradition where fresh discoveries are possible even without trampling apparently virgin ground.

We've forgotten how many butterflies there once were, just as we forget that as we push into so-called virgin territory we're usually trampling on some ancient and fallen civilisation. It does good to pause and reflect on these things. The music on this record does just that."-Brian Morton, April 2, 2024

Artist Biographies

"Swiss saxophonist Alex Hendriksen grew up in Schönenbuch, the son of Australian & Dutch parentage. After high school he auditioned in Paris and was accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he formed the basis for his jazz career. Now living in Basel, Switzerland, performing primarily jazz music, but also is involved with pop and rock projects, including accompanying Udo Jürgens on tour, as well touring with the Swiss soul musician Seven in 2017.

He is known for the groups Chasper Wanner Quartet, Grand Mother's Funck, H2S2, Orchester Pepe Lienhard, and Swiss Jazz Orchestra."

-Squidco 6/19/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Fabian Gisler (born August 18, 1977 in Zurich ) is a Swiss jazz musician (double bass, composition).

Gisler began his musical career with the violin and then switched to the double bass. He studied at the professional department of the Bern Swiss Jazz School with Peter Frei, Reggie Johnson, Bert Joris, Rufus Reid and Andy Scherrer. He also completed Masterclass workshops with Ray Brown, George Gruntz, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano and George Mraz. Between 2000 and 2002 he was a member of the Klezmer band Kol Simcha, which toured Europe and America.

Gisler plays regularly with his own quartet and in numerous other formations, such as Jürg Wickihalder and Robert Lakatos. Since 2004 he belongs to the Trio Rusconi, for which he also composed. He has performed with Franco Ambrosetti, Gianni Basso, Bill Carrothers, Philip Catherine, Don Friedman, Dusko Goykovich, Tony Lakatos, Dado Moroni, Dick Oatt, Dré Pallemaerts, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gary Smulyan, Matthieu Michel, Makaya Ntshoko, Andy Scherrer, Roman Schwaller, Co Streiff, Nat Su, Kenny Werner and Nils Wogram.

Gisler won the new jazz generation contest in Bern in 1998. Also in the same year he received the advancement award of the generations international jazztreffen frauenfeld."

-Wikipedia (Translated by Google) (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Swiss drummer Paul Amereller is a member of Blauson and District Five.

-Squidco 6/19/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning 03:23

2. Soultrane 06:40

3. Golden Earrings 03:23

4. Lotus Blossom 03:45

5. I Remember Clifford 03:51

6. Johnny Come Lately 03:22

7. A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing 04:16

8. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans 05:04

9. Nobody Else But Me 05:40

10. Day Dream 05:34

11. Introspection 03:22

12. I Wish I Knew 05:28

Related Categories of Interest:

Hat Art
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Trio Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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