As Abreisetag goes along, there are times when it almost sounds like a dreamy intro to some abstract film score rather than a leisurely jazz session. The electric keys flutter, a string of alto saxophone notes seesaws amidst some aimless percussion almost as if everyone is distractedly warming up. It may take them most of the opening track ("Anreisetag," meaning "arrival") to settle into a pattern, but the gradual coherence isn't as random as it sounds. The quartet's second recording continues showing how sharply they listen and how deliberately they craft their dialogue, however easygoing the interplay sounds on the surface.
The overall outing lands somewhere between jazz jam and abstract impression, after a fashion: while the pieces most often tend toward grooves for the players to fill, there's enough variety that nothing's quite static. With "Wurzel Aus 70" it's a piece of snappy retro-noir fusion in snappy unison. "Samsara" takes a more Eastern approach with chimes and flute making mantric patterns, still flavored with electric piano to give a modern tinge as well. "Aus den Memoiren" makes for the smoothest melodic stretch as Richard Ebert's alto sax and Mathis Nicolaus's piano spin catchy weaving lines and energetic rumbles.
The quartet makes virtues of patience and attention, exemplified through the outgoing title track (meaning "departure") which again circulates somewhere between repetition and modulation. As familiar listeners have come to expect from the quirkiest cottage label in Germany, Abreisetag is indeed a departure from the expected and the obvious. This one strikes a pleasant balance throughout, consistently staying approachable however subtly clever it gets.
Anreisetag; Wurzel Aus 70; Aus den Memoiren des Fernkraftfahrers Benito C.; Flimmerkiste; Samsara;
Totentanz; Mediantenmarlene; Abreisetag.