How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Indeed, an impressive inaugural release by Swiss trumpeter Marco von Orelli, who conveys maturity way beyond his youthful age. On call for writing jingles, session gigs, and theatrical productions, the conservatory-trained artist may have a bright future ahead of him, based on the qualitative aspects of this sextet date.
"Urban Ways" is a prime example of von Orelli's cunning musicality, when considering the scope of these multifaceted works. With a pumping funk-groove and contrasting unison horns, the band summons a cheery vibe. Framed on a simple melody line and an upbeat modality, the sextet swerves into a free-form avant-garde sequence, tinted with bizarre electronics swashes and shift gears, encompassing notions of anguish and uncertainty. This pattern continues, as von Orelli injects pathos with his muted wah-wah phrasings and a few slippery detours along the way. The group doesn't pronounce any semblances of complacency, as pianist Michel Wintsch
shifts the piece to another zone with his lower-register ostinato phrasings. But von Orelli tosses another curve into the grand schema by faintly altering the primary melody during the coda.
Von Orelli is a perceptive young man, signaling a variegated approach to the progressive jazz idiom. And while citing someone as a star in jazz circles may be hindered by a few boundaries since most notions of convention go by the wayside, von Orelli does project star potential on the basis of this striking debut.
Personnel: Marco von Orelli: trumpet; Lukas Briggen: trombone; Lukas Roos: bass clarinet; Michel Wintsch: piano, synthesizer; Kaspar von Grunigen: double bass; Samuel Duhsler: drums.