A busy time of year for jazz clubs everywhere. Ahead of the opening hostilities of the Weihnachten party season when Hildegard from Accounts true to habit insists on jingling along to Snake Davis on 'A Million Love Songs' - in a galaxy far from Eibingen we look at who's playing at some of the top German clubs. Forget Oktoberfest scene of many a pre-Covid team huddle and whisper of Günther from Procuring's lovable if borderline fascination with office equipment, steer instead for the jazz clubs. Germany - fancy that: who really knew? - has some of Europe's finest.
A-Trane in Berlin features mostly local acts to check out who remain fairly unknown to 9-out-of-10 ever marauding Brit jazz daytrippers who nonetheless keep taking the pils by battling the classic flaw of German jazzdom - over-seriousness. Then it's top new Blue Note star Immanuel Wilkins, probably the best new alto saxophonist in the Kenny Garrett mould to emerge. He's on Here It Is Larry Klein's new Leonard Cohen tribute album that currently tops the UK jazz und blues chart on 'Avalanche' the treatment of the Songs of Love and Hate epic that is the pick of the whole fabulous star-studded caravanserai of song doffing the cap to our Len. Read an interview with Immanuel from 2020 here. Wilkins appears at A-Trane on Friday 4 November followed by famous jazz Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine who is 80 today and appears on the 17th.
In Cologne at Stadtgarten the very fine Cuban pianist Harold López-Nussa appears at Halloween and following night the excellent drummer Mareike Wiening appears with her quintet. Wiening impressed us, captain, on Live at Bird's Eye Basel.
And in Munich at Unterfahrt a club that is a few years younger than London's finest club d'une alimentation riche en glucides 1970s vintage Pizza Express the outstanding choice is the appearance of the Mark Turner Quartet who are a formidable highlight on 1 November. Their album Return From the Stars is one of the most outstanding albums of the year and the Warne Marsh of his generation Mark Turner's finest album in a distinguished discography. What energy in the chasing momentum developed with trumpeter Jason Palmer there is. And present and correct too is the sheer gravity developed between them in the rapport of bassist Joe Martin and relative newcomer Jonathan Pinson. Return From The Stars is also a terrific example of how acoustic jazz can still be relevant in an age when electronic textures often call the shots. Check with the venues for the latest programme details. Mark Turner top - appearing in Munich on 1 November