Frederik Köster and die Verwandlung, Stufen, Traumton ***

Quite apocalyptic sounding, stark and yet more broadly meaningful in places this quartet album from German trumpeter (and singer) Frederik Köster with his band die Verwandlung - ''the transformation'' - (pianist Sebastian Sternal, bassist Joscha …

Published: 6 Jan 2023. Updated: 23 days.

Quite apocalyptic sounding, stark and yet more broadly meaningful in places this quartet album from German trumpeter (and singer) Frederik Köster with his band die Verwandlung - ''the transformation'' - (pianist Sebastian Sternal, bassist Joscha Oetz, drumer Jonas Burgwinkel) is an earnest listen. Sternal's contribution particularly is very listenable to and certainly its modernistic serious atmosphere is also worth the time.

New to the band? Begin with 2020's more serene Golden Age.

The weak track on the new release is the doleful vocal 'Further in the Summer' a number that seemed an interruption in the run of tracks. But otherwise the rest of the often balladic instrumentals hang together fairly well. And yet the compositions could do with a greater variety of mood - 'Road Trip,' with a sort of Balkan rhythmic lilt to it, shows however that the band can be bravura exciting at a pinch as well as delve introspectively which tends to be their default emotion elsewhere. Köster is reminiscent a little of UK trumpeter Henry Spencer whose essential sound relates more to Anthem period Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah (Christian Scott), not so much the more multi-faceted Köster. Stufen (''Phases'') is out on 27 January.

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Tags: ALBUMS

Enrico Pieranunzi Trio and the Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana, Blues & Bach: The Music of John Lewis, Challenge ***1/2

Not just 'Vendome' but 'Skating in Central Park,' 'Spanish Steps,' 'Django,' 'Concorde,' 'Milano' and 'Jasmine Tree' from the pen of John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet with Vernon Duke's 'Autumn in New York' thrown in for good measure here in …

Published: 5 Jan 2023. Updated: 22 days.

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Not just 'Vendome' but 'Skating in Central Park,' 'Spanish Steps,' 'Django,' 'Concorde,' 'Milano' and 'Jasmine Tree' from the pen of John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet with Vernon Duke's 'Autumn in New York' thrown in for good measure here in this very appealing Enrico Pieranunzi Trio and Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana release - the conductor, Michele Corcella.

Pieranunzi as anyone into jazz piano will know is one of the great world masters and with him here in his trio are bassist Luca Bulgarelli and drummer Mauro Beggio. It's entirely fitting that the best track of all here given the Italian provenance to the recording and flavour of the musicianship is the treatment of 'Milano,' a city that the Modern Jazz Quartet knew and loved well. Ideal chamber jazz sympathetically arranged and interpreted that once again reminds us of just how great a composer John Lewis was and how classics from his songbook are as satisfying and rewarding as anything written today. Out on 20 January - 'Vendome' (above) is streaming ahead of release

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The Blues and Bach musicians, photo: Challenge