Florian Arbenz X Neame / Ito / Hart / Pursglove / Mika

Conversation #11/#12: ON!

March 15, 2024

Release: March 15, 2024

Florian Arbenz is not a musician who is content to sit still, as his ambitious plan to record twelve albums with 12 drastically different ensembles clearly indicates. The final two instalments of his ‘Conversation’ series, ‘ON!’, is set to release on March 15th on Hammer Recordings.

In the Swiss dummer’s own words, “Of all the recordings in the ‘Conversation’ series I took the biggest risks with this one”

Whilst the majority of the collaborations that have taken place over the course of this long term project have been with old friends, colleagues, and even childhood heroes, ‘ON!’ sees Arbenz take to the studio with five musicians he never had the pleasure of playing with before, save his friend Jim Hart. 

Featuring a six-piece lineup of highly respected musicians based in Basel and London, through this record Arbenz strove to explore his deep-rooted fondness for percussion, inspired by Afro-Cuban rhythms, American modernist composer Charles Ives, and the avant-garde 70’s sound of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Referencing a wide scope of forms and styles including blues/funk, contemporary jazz, ambient music and free jazz, what unites the record is a resounding sense of uninhibited creative expression.

Meandering between delicate songwriting and the organised chaos of free-flowing energy and musical ideas, the sound of the ensemble is elevated through the use of extended instrumental techniques, synthesisers and a range of modern effects

The ensemble: Ivo Neame is one of London’s most in-demand pianists, performing with the likes of Phronesis, the London Sinfonietta and Hermeto Pascoal. Szymon Mika has been heralded as one of his generation’s greatest guitarists by the likes of Peter Bernstein, Lage Lund and Mike Stern. With Polish, Japanese and Swiss roots, vocalist Yumi Ito performs regularly around the world and has shared the stage with Al Jarreau, Becca Stevens, Nils Petter Molvaer and Mark Turner to name a few. Percy Pursglove is an internationally renowned trumpet player who’s performed with household names of jazz including Bill Frisell, Dave Holland, Norma Winstone and Peter Erskine. Jim Hart is a multi-award winning percussionist who leads the Cloudmakers Trio and Cloudmakers Five, and also plays a pivotal role in the Marius Neset Quintet on vibraphone, as well as Bex Burch’s Vula Viel on drums.

Harald Walkate

Line up

Florian Arbenz | Drums, Percussion
Ivo Neame | Fender Rhodes, Synths
Yumi Ito | Voice
Szymon Mika | Guitar
Percy Pursglove | Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Jim Hart | Vibraphone, Marimbaphone, Glockenspiel, Percussion

Track Listing

Prologue & Speech
Transition
Charles’ River
Yemayà is visiting Club 64
Serenity
Stomp
Dreaming Music
Freedom Jazz Dance
Flirtation
Winter Still
Celebration

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