loving the beauty of simplicity the compositions provide much room for improvisation, letting the sounds develop a particular atmosphere, melancholy, elegiac, so to speak mood music. just like music for a film it grabs the listeners attention while putting him into a cosy yet melancholy scenery.
with dirk flatau on piano and lizzy scharnofske on the drums sebastian just found two brilliant accompanists for recording some of his tunes (release `to walk in the past´) and to let them sound like they were intended to. this was followed by a new lineup including lucia martinez on drums and felix otterbeck on the piano, their release `zeitenwende´ as its first outcome.
recorded by marie havemann on august 28th 2011 at dorian gray studios, berlin. mixed by sebastian liedke and marie havemann, mastered by marie havemann and armin scholz. (6 songs, approx. 36min)
sebastian liedke (doublebass) - lucia martinez (drums) - felix otterbeck (piano)
(all compositions by sebastian liedke except "vio" by felix otterbeck)
cover-art/-concept by v. d. blokk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
recorded by marc haussmann on october 18th and 19th 2009 at retox studios, berlin. mixed and mastered january to february 2010 by marc haussmann.
(10 songs, approx. 48min)
dirk flatau (piano) - sebastian liedke (doublebass) - lizzy scharnofske (drums)
(all compositions by sebastian liedke, except "ella" and "leo" by dirk flatau)
photos & cover concept by sebastian liedke, cover-design by joachim schmitz email@example.com.
a good deal of this music is based on two-way chemistry, with a third party tracing around the edges, and solos from liedke and otterbeck are plentiful, but each track is its own genus within the species of liedke-made music. "form folgt funktion (fff)" is marked by trim elegance, "vio" —Otterbeck's ode to his girlfriend— moves from sunny piano positing to a more intense outlook, the title track finds the trio in perfect balance as its three-way communication reaches a peak, and a peaceable, slumbering quality encapsulates the closer ("sehnsucht"). liedke's music manages to balance an organic sense of shape and development with a firm sense of stylistic intent, and the more-than-meets-the-ear quality of these songs reward repeated listening.´ (to the article)
`besides the berlin bassist, one can also enjoy lucia martinez on drums and jazz pianist felix otterbeck resembling satie - all peculiarly acting young musicians who on occasion sound as if thelonious monk was recording for ECM back in the 70th. european, almost free-explosive the unpredictable spanish lucia – now I understand why sometimes drums are called 'shooting gallery'. and sebastian liedke as calming centre line. well done.´
`neben dem berliner kontrabassisten sind hier noch lucia martinez (dr) und der sehr satiesk in die tasten greifende jazz-pianist felix otterbeck zu erleben - alles eigenwillig agierende junge musiker, die gelegentlich klingen als wäre thelonious monk in den 70ern beim label ECM untergekommen. europäisch, fast free-explosiv klingt auch die unberechenbare spanierin lucia; jetzt weiss ich warum man gelegentlich das schlagzeug schiessbude nennt. und sebastian spielt die ruhende mittelachse. gelungen!´
(Gitarre & Bass - Das Musiker-Fachmagazin)
liedke knows about noise and bombast, having formed a death metal band as a teenager, but there is no evidence of such musical antecedents on this album. his move from metal to jazz—and from electric bass to double bass—finds him as a composer and player putting emphasis on the lyrical and melodic elements of his music. on zeitenwende he's joined by two new trio members, drummer lucia martinez and pianist felix otterbeck, who give this music a slightly fuller sound than on the first album.
martinez is constantly inventive, with a more forceful style than the trio's previous drummer, lizzy scharnofske. on "bastian" and the opening section of "form folgt funktion", she adds a touch of bite to the music, giving the tunes a more assertive feel but never overwhelming the lighter flourishes of her trio mates. otterbeck's "vio" matches the gently romantic mood of liedke's own compositions, while the pianist's own playing is at its most affecting. while every composition succeeds in creating its own tranquil but unique atmosphere, "sehnsucht" is the gentlest and most spacious of all the tunes; all three musicians deliver beautifully restrained performances that create a genuine sense of longing.
zeitenwende is the product of three imaginative and selfless performers. it may only be 36 minutes long, but it's filled with imaginative music—tunes that hold the attention and reward repeated listening with fresh nuances. liedke is building an impressive body of work, deserving of much wider recognition.´ (to the article)
`whilst a large number of the releases reviewed for this blog are albums that feature songs that are likely to have dancefloor appeal, some are albums that take a more gentle and melodic approach to jazz. the second album from the sebastian liedke trio, zeitenwende, is one such album, with the berlin-based piano trio exploring a wide range of melodic avenues without the need to hammer the most out of their instruments.
bassist sebastian liedke has recruited two new members to his trio since his 2010 debut, with felix otterbeck taking up piano duties and lucia martinez on drums. listening to the album, however, you get the feeling that the musicians have been playing together for some time as they achieve an almost effortless synergy on the half dozen tracks on offer.
the opening bars of "form folgt funktion (fff)" have a dramatic but restrained feel, which instantly command attention, before otterbeck's gentle melodies take over escorting the listener on a dream-like voyage. the tune gradually fades out, flowing effortlessly into "bastian", an uplifting tune with some understated power in which both liedke and otterbeck deliver exquisite solos. "vio" is a romantic tune on which otterbeck's piano really shines. the closing "sehnsucht" is the sparsest and most restrained track on the album, which certainly does create a sense of yearning as the german title suggests.´ (to the article)
the spanish-born martinez is an extremely resourceful and accomplished jazz percussionist despite being only in her twenties. she does much more than supply a beat with her all around ability to utilize a wide array of paraphernalia to create subtle textures. otterbeck brings a classical element to some very intricate improvisations, carrying "vio" and the title track. liedke wisely allows otterbeck to take a number of lengthy solos throughout the set; given that the leader hails from a heavy metal background, both diversity and a collective empathy contribute to the finely tuned group dynamic.
"vergiss mein nicht" represents one of zeitenwende's better examples of this trio's excellent interplay. otterbeck opens with a beautifully relaxed melody countered by martinez, who works her way up from gentle brushing of the cymbals to a minor explosion from various components of her drum kit. around the half way mark, liedke takes a solo that resonates with a deep, charlie haden-like woodiness and melodic sensibility. as the piece builds in drama, otterbeck demonstrates the kind of speed, aptitude and musicality that could easily be mistaken for brad mehldau.
the result of this new formation is a sound that is less minimal than liedke's self-produced, to walk in the past (2010). that should in no way suggest that his debut is a lesser accomplishment, just a bit sparser landscape. here, otterbeck contributes one composition, with liedke penning the remainder. clocking in at under forty minutes, zeitenwende is quality over quantity — a beautiful and engaging collection where anticipation in a future peaked by liedke's original trio is surpassed by the bassist's revised lineup.´ (to the article)
`with his trio the berlin based bassist is declaring himself to clarity and his passion for compositions and their space, all of them by liedke except one. accompanied by felix otterbeck (p) and the spanish drummer lucia martinez, who’s fine rhythmic and atmospheric works also deserves particular mentioning. a beautiful, calmly flowing jazz album.´
`in seinem trio bekennt sich der in berlin lebende bassist zur übersichtlichkeit – und zu seiner liebe für die kompositionen und deren raum. diese stammen bis auf eine ausnahme von liedke. begleitet wird er von felix otterbeck (p) und der spanischen drummerin lucia martinez, deren feine rhythmische und atmosphärische arbeit ebenfalls besonderer erwähnung verdient hat. eine schöne, ruhig fließende jazzplatte.´
`is there something as trance-jazz? the intro of the berlin based sebastian liedke trio raises this very question during the tranquil flow of the first pieces of this record. but no, at the latest with „hallo frau winter“ the dream turns into reality. with dense groove and intricate lines, tones just flap around the room. dirk flatau’s sparkling piano playing, band leader Liedke’s vibrant bass and lizzy scharnofkes dynamic percussion give the piece a powerful flapping. besides that, pianist flatau with his slow-motion figures in other compositions seems kind of hermetic and often impervious – like one of monet’s dark water lily paintings, mystified and with impressive colors. overall a record filled with mystery, shadows, contrasts, exciting and with tender poesy enchanting and beautiful. one can say, perhaps something like trance-jazz after all.´
`gibt es so etwas wie trance-tazz? Der einstieg des berliner sebastian liedke trios lässt die frage im gemessenen spielfluss der ersten stücke dieses albums aufkommen. doch nein, spätestens bei "hallo frau winter" löst sich der traum zum wirklichen leben: mit vertracktem groove und verzwickten linien flattern die töne nur so durch den raum, dirk flataus funkelndes pianospiel, bandleader liedkes lebendiger bass und lizzy scharnofkes agiles schlagzeug verleihen dem stück einen kräftigen flügelschlag. ansonsten wirkt pianist flatau mit seinen ostinaten, wie in zeitlupe verzögerten figuren in den anderen kompositionen sehr hermetisch, oft unergründlich und undurchdringlich - wie eines der dunklen seerosenbilder monets in verhangenem geheimnis und eindrucksvoller farbgebung. Insgesamt ein album voller rätsel, schatten, kontraste, spannend und in sanfter poesie verwirrend schön. wenn man so will, doch so etwas wie trance-jazz.´
the record consists of 10 modal sonatas with rich texture, painted in dark sounds and lush tones. eight are composed by liedke, and two by pianist dirk flatau, and all share a similar theme that helps maintain the unity of the entire work. this, in no way, is meant to indicate that there is monotony to the disc. In fact, from the nocturne-esque "ella" and the angular title track to the up-tempo "hallo frau winter", the bluesy "ein stück berlin", and the cinematic "tale of a silent karl", there is significant variation to maintain interest.
the pieces are minimalistic in structure, allowing ample room for improvisation, during which the trio makes as much use of silent pauses as it does of the notes. the resulting music is reminiscent but not derivative of the ahmad jamal trio of the 1950s and 1960s, with hints of the modal exploration of bill evans. liedke himself sounds a tad like ron carter, while drummer lizzy scharnofske's use of brushes that hints at the great philly joe jones.
all three musicians have occasional solos, flatau more than the others, but the more interesting flights of fancy occur during the group interplay as, anchored by liedke's melodic bass and driven by the quiet, yet persistent encouragement of scharnofske's drums, flatau weaves tone poems on his keys.
overall, the improvisations, much like the compositions themselves, stay within safe and familiar territory, but are, nevertheless, tastefully innovative. although this release doesn't break new musical ground, it is an enjoyable and thought-provoking opus that rewards close listening and whets the appetite for more from this highly talented ensemble.´ (to the article)
`in trio formation with dirk flatau (p) and drummer lizzy scharnofske (who is a real find with her extremely delicate work primarily concentrated on sound), the berlin bassist presents a breezy, well-arranged, smooth and sweet melancholic jazz record, that is definitely worth listening to - with compositions mainly by liedke. highly recommended!´
`im trio mit dirk flatau (p) und der schlagzeugerin lizzy scharnofske, die hier mit ihrer superfeinen, vornehmlich auf sound konzentrierten arbeit zur entdeckung wird, präsentiert der berliner bassist ein atmendes, luftiges, übersichtliches, über weite strecken dabei ruhiges, zuckersüß melancholisches jazzalbum, das es definitiv verdient hat, gehört zu werden. die kompositionen stammen zum großteil von liedke. tipp!...´
`to walk in the past by the berlin sebastian liedke trio is something quite intimate. the band leader on bass is jamming with dirk flatau (piano) and lizzy scharnofske (drums), swinging and grooving at its best. the tranquil instrumentals - most of them by liedke - apply classical jazz and fusion. with the piano as the central element, the double bass is creating tasteful highlights and acts as the interface between melody and rhythm. or: these three perform together beautifully and create intensely soulful music that makes you imagine morning fog rising over the spree. amazing!´
`to walk in the past vom berliner sebastian liedke trio ist eine intime angelegenheit. der bandleader am kontrabass wird begleitet von dirk flatau am piano und drummerin lizzy scharnofske, und dieses trio swingt und groovt vom allerfeinsten. die ruhigen, sehr getragenen instrumentals, von denen der überwiegende teil von liedke stammt, verarbeiten klassischen jazz und fusion-ansätze. das piano steht im mittelpunkt, sehr geschmackvoll setzt der kontrabass akzente mit oder gegen die klavier-akkorde, fungiert als schnittstelle zwischen der melodik und rhythmus. oder anders: diese drei spielen fantastisch zusammen und erschaffen berührende musik, bei der man den morgennebel über der spree aufsteigen sieht. toll!´
(Gitarre & Bass - Das Musiker-Fachmagazin)
`the problem is not so much the promotion of young jazz musicians these days as the cognition of these very talents and provision of opportunities to perform and to place themselves on the market. nothing will happen without a quasi-professional recording anyway. berlin based double bassist sebastian liedke (33) has taken this on board and is therefore spreading his trio’s cd with 49 minutes music via his website. whoever thinks in view of the record’s title of the plenty of neobop-creations generated by jazz schools, will be pleasantly disappointed. just as somebody who believes the matter is a classical bassist-showcase. sebastian Liedke is first and foremost composer: eight out of ten titles are written by him. with pianist dirk flatau he was lucky to find a congenial interpreter of his music, most of it with an air of melancholy. with a strong resemblance to paul bley’s first records released on ECM it does fit into the new inwardness of jazz piano, but has the minimized characteristic style of a marc copland. surprising the leader’s modest manner, who is acting here in a rather relaxed enabling than a dynamically moving way and who rarely appears in a solo capacity. drummer lizzy scharnofske offers the matching motian/elgart-concept...
…even so this CD release makes you sit up and take notice with delight, under PIROUET or even ECM conditions produced it could be sensational.´
`die förderung des nachwuchses ist im jazz nicht so sehr das problem als vielmehr die wahrnehmung junger talente und die bereitstellung von spiel- und absatzmöglichkeiten für sie. ohne quasi professionellen tonträger geht schon mal gar nichts. der 33-jährige berliner kontrabassist sebastian liedke weiß darum und verbreitet über seine web-Site 49 minuten musik seines trios auf einer CD. wer allerdings angesichts des titels an die flut der jazzschulen-generierten neobop-herbvorbringungen denkt, wird angenehm enttäuscht, ebenso wie jemand, der meint, es werde sich wohl um ein virtuoses bassisten-showcase handeln. sebastian liedke ist hier zuallererst komponist: acht der zehn titel stammen von ihm. in dem pianisten dirk flatau hat er einen kongenialen interpreten seiner zumeist in elegischen tempi realisierten stücke. das erinnert stark an die ersten alben von paul bley bei ECM und fügt sich somit in die neue innerlichkeit im bereich jazzpiano ein, hat aber eben diesen spezifischen reduzierten duktus, den ja auch ein marc copland pflegt. erstaunlich ist die zurückhaltung des leaders, der hier mehr gelassener ermöglicher denn dynamisch bewegender ist und auch nur in wenigen takten solistisch in erscheinung tritt. die schlagzeugerin lizzy scharnofske hat zu dieser musik das passende motian/elgart-konzept...
...auch so lässt diese CD begeisternd aufhorchen; unter PIROUET- oder gar ECM-bedingungen produziert, könnte diese musik furore machen.´
bassist liedke, pianist dirk flatau and drummer lizzy scharnofske have created a life-affirming album that serves to establish this trio as a band of tremendous potential. to walk in the past succeeds not simply because of the musical talents of the individual players but also because of their ability to work as an ensemble. while liedke wrote all but two of the tunes, the album is emphatically collaborative, each member of the trio contributing musical ideas, supportive rhythm playing and warm, delicate solos across its ten tunes.
the opening bars of "04:15 — a morning on hamdan street" set the album's mood perfectly. the tune is melodic and laid-back with soft, atmospheric percussion, crystalline piano and a mellow but swinging bass from liedke. this gentleness and melodic sensibility characterize the music, but there is plenty of variation in emotion and tone which ensures that the music never feels repetitive. "fluse im kopf" comes closest to the sound of classic american jazz, with its occasional resemblance to ira gershwin and vernon duke's "i can't get started," but for the most part the trio is more firmly rooted in the melodic european jazz of players such as tord gustavsen, or even the more reflective moments of fellow german trio, [em].
flatau contributes two compositions: "ella" and "leo". both tunes share the lyricism and beauty of liedke's writing: "leo" is centered on liedke's repetitive and hypnotic bass line while "ella" has a classical feel to its melody. liedke's "hallo frau winter" bucks the trend of the rest of the album with its more up-tempo, latin-influenced groove. scharnofske's drumming is more dominant than usual, although her characteristic light touch remains for the most part, while liedke's bass is at its most energetic. "tale of a silent karl" is the album's most mysterious tune, with a disquieting and funereal rhythm over which flatau plays a sparse, staccato piano line and scharnofske adds some loose, metallic percussion.
liedke, flatau and scharnofske have created an exquisitely beautiful album—emotive, inventive and lyrical, to walk in the past is an outstanding debut.´ (to the article)
of the disc's ten original tunes, eight were penned by liedke and two by the trio's pianist, dirk flatau. though the pace is rarely faster than mid-tempo, there is a strong improvisational feel throughout the collection. individual pieces unfold as a suite, each flowing seamlessly into the next. on "ella", flatau's playing is fluid and imaginative, full of intricate beauty. drummer lizzy scharnofske contributes a subtly propulsive beat and rhythmic variety, while liedke's finely nuanced playing weaves the piece together. the most up-tempo piece in the collection, "hallo frau winter" is in the bop tradition, though distinctly modern. scharnofske rides the symbols perfectly, and liedke, whose group is quite egalitarian, has his first chance to really show a capacity to improvise over flatau's complex chords.
"flus im kopf" is a bluesy romp that features flatau's appealing down-tempo boogie. scharnofske's strong rhythmic support shifts the tempo up briefly, and liedke's contribution is both nimble and controlled. the title track creates a poignant atmosphere accentuated by a beautiful solo from liedke, whose playing is reminiscent of fellow german, eberhard weber. flatau's influences, in this case, appear more in the classical vein and the overall effect is memorable. "ein stück berlin" closes the set with a slightly quirky feel, full of rests that accentuate flatau's expressive performance and with liedke reaching down for deep resonant notes. the group interplay makes for an organic hum that underscores the piece's main premise, and it is this movable force of attributes that become a kind of secondary theme and centralize the various aspects of the work.
there is an overall european sensitivity throughout the collection, and the influences of bobo stenson and arild andersen can be felt from time to time. classical inspiration and unobtrusive themes counter an inventive spirit and a progressive trajectory. in contrast to the kind of naturally occurring minimalist caution that exists in some of euro-Jazz, liedke and flatau's compositions are both harmonious and multilayered, adding depth to seemingly uncomplicated structures. that to walk in the past experiments without being inaccessible, is enough to warrant commendation, but there is much more. liedke is retaining the jazz tradition while offering a very fresh approach to the form—and an ethereal quality to the music.´ (to the article)
bassist sebastian liedke's trio, for example, has its own ideas about the piano trio, and his group pares things down to essentials. superfluous notes and unnecessary displays of technique aren't the point here. nine of these ten track create an intimate space where gently moving single note piano lines float over a simple, but wholly absorbing, rhythmic base. liedke has found simpatico colleagues in pianist dirk flatau and drummer lizzy scharnofske. most of this music is covered in shades of gray—like the album cover—and an ECM patina is present on the large majority of these songs. within this general frame of mind, the musicians still manage to evoke different emotions. "ella" has a hauntingly sad introduction and a fragile, yet firm, quality. "leaving berlin" possesses a seductive charm and "the beast In you" is somber and sentimental at the same time.
while the first few album cuts establish a specific direction and sound for the group, "hallo frau winter" is a complete departure. the trio seems to be giving their own view of a mccoy tyner-style burner as the song begins, but the music gives way to a bouncier feel that comes off like a berlin-based view of brazil. "tale of a silent karl" is underscored by an ominous, repetitive bass pattern and the piece gains more weight as scharnofske and flatau dig in. a slight evans influence comes through on "fluse im kopf" and the group even takes on airs of argentina during "leo". liedke's bass line establishes the groove—in nine—and leads the way, allowing flatau to fill in with charming little lines above. this song is nuevo tango-tinged music for the european set. when the trio arrives at their last two stops, they basically settle back into the comfortably moody confines established at the top of the program. while designating something as "mood music" often relegates it to "background music," that's not the case with music from to walk in the past. this is moving mood music for music lovers.´ (to the article)
`double bass player and founder sebastian liedke virtually overwhelms with retentiveness - it must be said though that pianist dirk flatau and drummer lizzy scharnofske could also be masters of transparency.
however, that’s far and away not all they can do as they proof with “hallo frau winter” – unconventionally swinging modern jazz with a bassist, whose lines create a groove of its own. a really impressing trio!´
`kontrabassist und namensgeber sebastian liedke überwältigt geradezu mit seiner zurückhaltung, wobei auch pianist dirk flatau und lizzy scharnofske am schlagzeug meister der transparenz sein können.
aber sie können auch ganz anders, denn was wir da in "hallo frau winter" zu hören bekommen ist höchst eigenwillig swingender modern jazz mit einem bassist, dessen Linien einen ganz eigenen groove erzeugen. ein wirklich beeindruckendes Trio!´
(Gitarre & Bass - Das Musiker-Fachmagazin)
sebastian liedke trio
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