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Joachim Schoenecker is a young guitarist out of Cologne, Germany. On his first album for Nagel Heyer, he is joined by three Americans for a session of straight ahead jazz. There is nothing far out here as the group sticks to the 1960 post bop musical paths trod by many players before and which will be walked upon by many down the road. Most of the play list comes from Schoenecker's composing pen and, while pleasant, are neither novel nor ambitious. The playing is laid back and relaxed. Nonetheless, the tunes provide a meaningful vehicle for solid ensemble playing as on "Night Out". His "Three" comes from a live performance of a duo with Chris Potter's strong tenor offering swerving improvisational lines with Schoenecker's guitar initially underneath them in solo. "Do You Remember Me?" is a variation on "I Remember You" and is an excursion in and around the chords of the classic standard with Potter's sax leading the way. Far more challenging to the players and the ear is John Goldsby's "de Haan" which starts off with Goldsby's bass and, akin to constructing a pyramid, each instrument joins in with another layer all feeding off Goldsby's bass. The one standard, Duke Ellington's "Day Dream", gets only 2 ½ minutes an all Schoenecker extemporization which he does quite nicely.
If you are looking for a quartet album which is not memorably creative, but which offers agreeable music for listening, this album fills the bill. Recommended.
Track Listing: Better Than Words; Taxi of the Desert; Analog Guy; Dawn; Day Dream; Do You Remember Me?; de Haan; Night Out; Dry Martino; Three
Personnel: Joachim Schoenecker - Guitar; Chris Potter - Tenor & Soprano Saxophone; John Goldsby - Bass; Adam Nussbaum - Drums