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Hipnosis: Carrousel (2005)

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Hipnosis: Carrousel How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

This Munich quintet titled its debut simply Jazz. The album was so well received in Germany that it was subsequently released for Jazz-heads in the UK and Japan, too. Completely composed, performed, and produced by the band, this second full-length release showcases Hipnosis' excellent musicianship—especially on the part of Wanja Slavin (alto sax, alto clarinet) and trombonist Gerhard Gschlössl up front—in a program challenging enough to feel like a classic post bop mainstream quintet date, perhaps a little lost in time but not quite anachronistic.

"Nova Express blasts off a high-powered rocket of ensemble playing that flies first class all the way, with saxophone introducing the melody, a melody heated by repeated rhythm section riffing to serve as the launching pad for the horn solos.

"The Opposite of Hamburg and "Prosciutto Di Fama let fly two more wind-jammers, Slavin blowing red-hot counter to Gschlössl's cool as they chase each other through the bebop jam format: Introduce the melody through the opening measures, then run away from the melody as fast as you possibly can in liberating exploration. More of an open construction, "Soul Search opens with saxophone backed only by drums, then slowly folds in trombone and other instruments.

The first two tracks—the title track and subsequent "Dewendiana —showcase pianist Marc Schmolling as soloist and accompanist, especially the second cut, where he kicks the rhythmic pants of both drums and saxophone!

Schmolling shifts from acoustic piano to Fender Rhodes, modernizing the surface of the closing "Nimm Mich Mit through this change of sound and texture. The sound of clarinet and trombone bumping up against this electric keyboard reaches back to classic New Orleans Dixieland. But the rhythms and textures that Hipnosis adventurously and excitedly explores are more urgently up to date than that.

Track Listing: Carrousel; Dewendiana; Nova Express; The Opposite of Hamburg; Prosciutto di Fama; Soul Search; Spring Seems to Be a Little Colder; A Mad Angel; Nimm Mich Ict.

Personnel: Wanja Slavin: alto sax, alto clarinet; Gerhard Gschlossl: trombone; Marc Schmolling: piano, Fender Rhodes; Jerker Kluge: acoustic bass; Martin Kolb: drums; Mert Osterman: vocals.

Record Label: Perfect Toy

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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