Katharina Maschmeyer quartet, Duck on Ice, Flying Cow, Neuklang ***
atching the peculiar album title with the presence of a brightly coloured toy duck dressed in a blazer riding a tricycle on the cover, German saxophonist Katharina Maschmeyer, who completed masters studies in the Netherlands and has already put out a couple of albums, here with Nils Pollheide on guitar, Philipp Rüttgers, Rhodes/synth bass, and Jens Otto drums, on an album half of which features Maschmeyer’s own compositions, the rest mostly the work of Pollheide. The quartet have gigged a good deal with Echo jazz prize-winning trumpeter Frederik Köster who also featured on their second album Circle of Elements and that experience shows in their slick professional sound. Maschmeyer and Pollheide comment in the notes that there are more funk and rock influences here than on previous albums and the accessible lightly Brecker-like jazz funk is an abiding feature but it’s not a driving in-your-face kind of sound although Maschmeyer can ratchet up the tension on tenor.
The title track has a more intricate tricksy head than some of the tracks allowing the quartet to let loose considerably but the album could do with more of a sense of freedom, the synth bass a bit restricting. Little known so far beyond Germany this album has the potential to get their name about considerably when it’s released in September.
Katharina Maschmeyer, pictured top, and the album cover above