Release: September 8, 2023
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 tenth instalment of his ‘Conversations’ series, ‘Inland’, is set to release on September 10th on Hammer Recordings.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, there was a period of time where Swiss musicians were restricted to working and performing solely with musicians within their borders. While restrictive, Arbenz turned this situation into an opportunity to connect with some of his favourite instrumentalists on the Swiss scene.
Nils Wogram is one of Europe’s leading trombonists, Martial In-Albon is a trumpet player with influences ranging from Swiss Alpine music to metal, guitarist Christy Doran is a highly respected guitarist considered to be in the lineage of John McLaughlin, and bassist Rafael Jerjen (a new discovery for Arbenz) grew up in Australia and through his playing one can feel his vast experience as well as his dual sense of ‘home’. Track four features an unusual collaboration with glass harmonica player and contemporary classical expert Matthias Würsch.
A mix of original compositions by Arbenz, Wogram, Cuban saxophonist Maikel Vistel (a past Arbenz collaborator) and an interpretation of Arbenz favourite standard ‘Freedom Jazz Dance’ by the great Eddie Harris, what might initially grab the listener is the wide range of textures present on the record. From intimate duo improvisations to vigorous quintet swing and everything in between, ‘Inland’ showcases the breadth of potential within an ensemble of confident and experienced improvisers.
Built on a foundation of respect and admiration for the jazz trail blazers that came before them, the quintet’s vast influences illustrate their desire to create something forward-thinking and modern. The contemporary classical expertise of Würsch, the British electronic sensibilities of Arbenz’ drum’n’bass grooves, the attitude of Doran’s distorted rock guitar lines, Wogram’s use of extended trombone techniques, and the modern production on ‘Connecting’ featuring dub delays and choppy stutter effects push the record assuredly into 2023.
Florian Arbenz | Drums, Percussion
Martial In-Albon | Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Sea Shell
Rafael Jerjen | Bass
Nils Wogram | Trombone
Christy Doran | Guitar
Matthias Würsch | Glass Harmonica (Track 4)
Freedom Jazz Dance
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