Garlicks Jazzquartet: Mosaiamo (2003)
It's hard to say how much the cover art may have influenced this impression, but Mosaiamo conjures urban images, a bustling city in the dark of night, black skies sliced by angles of cold bright neon, an ebb and flow of traffic, pedestrian and vehicular.
The Garlicks Jazzquartet mines the saxophone and rhythm section cityscape; a much-explored sound, rendered here in dark tones and shifting grooves. Saxophonist Jitz Jeitz leads the group, with a hollow tone that brings Marty Ehrlich's sound on tenor sax – which he plays too seldom – to mind. Flugelhornist Manfred Schoof joins the Jazzquartet on three tunes, blowing a delicate and spare Miles Davis-like note repetition on his entrance to "Loc Di Luden," and a fiery smooth flow of a solo over a jittering (in a very assured sense of the word) rhythm section on "Rullot" (Ellington's "Caravan").
Restlessness seems a theme here, especially among the rhythm guys – pianist Georges Urwald, bassist John Schlammes, and drummer Al Lenners. The tight grooves ride the rail for an interlude, then break apart into lovely meanderings before they reconvene.
"D'meereischen" introduces the rich cool tone of Jitz's B flat clarinet, while the title tune has a gritty, subterranean atmosphere, a dim and gloomy subway station bustling into the midnight hour.
You'll need to brush up on your French for a visit to Garlicks' website, and some of the disc's titles are in Luxemburgish ("that's a language, yes," Jitz assures me), and others are untranslatable puns in the language. But no matter: the music is an edgy, straight-ahead, universal jazz, with a Luxemburgish tinge, an outstanding set in any language.
Visit Garlicks Jazzquartet on the web at www.garlicks.lu .
Track Listing: Mosaiamo, Zatzzwicmii, Los Di Luden, Koynzy, Autumn Dream, Piidii, Rullott, Capri, D'meereischen, Athen
Personnel: Jitz Jeitz--saxes and clarinet; Georges Urwald--piano & analog synthesizer; John Schlammes-- bass; Al Lenners--drums