Referencing their influences as Punkt.Vrt.Plastik or the Kris Davis Trio, the uniquely voiced young piano trio of Simon Lucaciu on piano, Florian Muller on double bass and Lukas Heckers on drums formed in 2016 to compose and perform original work, inspired by Christopher Dell's possibilities of differentiation and unusual forms, receiving the Central German Jazz Prize in 2022.
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Label: ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd
Catalog ID: ezz-thetics 1040
Squidco Product Code: 32731
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Tonstudio Bauer, in Ludwigsberg, Germany, on April 5th, 6th and 67th, 2021, by Johannes Kellig.
Florian Muller-double bass
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• Show Bio for Simon Lucaciu
• Show Bio for Lukas Heckers
1. umrisS 4:35
2. rioT 2:15
3. negotiation onE 2:03
4. abzUg 2:09
5. nEgotiation two 4:12
6. biRd of prophets 6:56
7. Uninformed 4:39
8. aNomalie 2:44
9. agGression 1:42
10. mor + phing 3:30
11. X elf 5:54
sample the album:
"It all began in Plauen in the Vogtland where the three young men meet at the local music school. All born in 1998, pianist Simon Lucaciu and bassist Florian Müller went to the same high school, while drummer Lukas Heckers is from nearby Oelsnitz. When they were fourteen, Florian and Simon formed their first band, in 2016 Lukas teamed up with the two. This very trio has remained the focus of their work ever since. With this trio, they played their own compositions at the 2017 nationwide German jazz competition for young people, "Jugend jazzt", and eventually also won the Central German Jazz Prize in early 2022.
Recently, in jazz and free improvised music there has been a gigantic Renaissance of the classic acoustic piano trio with bass and drums, the format equivalent to the string quartet in classical music. Together Simon, Florian and Lukas have studied trios like the Brad Mehldau Trio, the Pablo Held Trio or The Bad Plus in order to expand their musical language and ideas.
The music on the trio's CD debut, however, is influenced by two other bands. The three musicians have found new approaches to their work in the work of Punkt.Vrt.Plastik (consisting of Kaja Draksler, Petter Eldh and Christian Lillinger) and the Kris Davis Trio (Kris Davis, John Hebert and Tom Rainey). These freer forms of the avant-garde are an inexhaustible source of inspiration for them, and they discover new ways of making connections. They don't play covers anyway. Which also leads them to deviate from the traditional improvisational patterns of jazz in search of something new, to experiment with various musical forms, juxtapose structures, stack and intertwine different layers and sounds. The three see their music as music of the moment, in which there is no room for nostalgic memories. It's all about their own ideas.
For all three to decide to move to Leipzig in 2017 to study at the University of Music and Theatre Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy not only makes sense but is also a momentous step. Leipzig is a city that identifies deeply with culture. As a city of music, Leipzig is immediately associated with names such as Bach and the Gewandhaus; in painting it has been influential under the name of Leipzig School, and it is home to the Institute for Literature and the Leipzig Book Fair.
The synergy between the university, the renowned Jazzclub and a thriving and diverse club scene is what has allowed Leipzig to blossom into Germany's third centre of jazz alongside Berlin and Cologne. Here, everything resonates with reasons why one does what one does, a place where the three young musicians are exposed to an ideal combination of practical experience and in-depth theory. In this sense practice stands for the exploration of sound, tone and craft, and theory stands for the meta-level, for material analysis and delving into compositional structures - an essentially important duality that creates fields of tension.
The debut album is the next step. The language they have developed together is almost tangible. It thrives on the individual ways of rethinking the classical acoustic format of the piano trio. The eleven comparatively short and concise pieces on this CD reject as a matter of principle all constricting forms, even those of jazz. There are totally improvised pieces that sound like compositions, and compositions that sound like they spontaneously arouse in the moment. You can tell that this band over the years of working together has developed practical mechanisms and a common language.
There are only a few passages in this CD where you can hear some sound design, the aural impression is mainly acoustic. This gives it overall a natural sound, which through the deliberate use of space and dynamics creates a multi-perspective perception and breaks with the traditional division into soloist and accompaniment. It may be that Simon Lucaciu contributed most of the compositions and ideas for the pieces. But they are further developed and elaborated collectively. And to be sure: it is the band that is interesting, not its individual parts.
The trio is inspired by Christopher Dell's ideas on improvisation and the possibilities of differentiation he suggests. The concept of unusual forms expands the possibilities of organisation. This is why they do not only improvise over various forms, but the forms are improvised as well. It is about a new quality of openness, which becomes elementary and no longer focuses on schemes like theme - improvisation - theme.
The CD's title is borrowed from computer language: STRG + X is the key combination for "cut to the clipboard" to be temporarily stored and pasted somewhere else at a later time. Perhaps the most important quality of this carefully thought-out yet anything but cerebral music: it is aware of its means and can twist and turn and rearrange them as it pleases, in which case improvised contexts create their own forms and play with original material in a fresh, new way. This is a creative process, for which merely playing back standard phrases is not enough nor does pure virtuosity suffice."-Ulrich Steinmetzger (translated by Friederike Kulcsar)
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ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd.