Berlin-based pianist and composer Julius Windisch may not be a household name but he is not a newcomer either. He is a member of the psychedelic electro / jazz / improvisational duo Caesarean Moons, and in 2017 released his debut album, Drama (QFTF), recorded with his quintet. He has also been playing with other musicians on various projects, which often cross jazz boundaries.
Windisch's quartet retains no members from the 2017 quintet. Moreover, tenor sax has been replaced by alto and trumpet is eliminated from a game at all.
Chaos is a relative term and Chaos presents a more or less harmonized side of chaos. Indeed, the material is quite strictly composed and sometimes it seems that the space for improvisation is too restricted. Windisch uses much more staccato articulation while playing piano on Chaos than he did on Drama and his compositions are more sophisticated structures. Phrasing is often based on break rhythms and sequences of shortened duration notes. Nevertheless, melody remains important to his music. If Drama was based on a popular jazz approach, Chaos touches on more free and experimental forms.
Windisch is making an effort to free himself from the Esbjorn Svensson / Brad Mehldau tradition and to turn towards a more Cecil Taylor / Craig Taborn aesthetic. Trying to pinpoint the current sound of this young composer would be quite accurate to define it as an amalgamation of previously mentioned musicians but with delicate touch of Bill Evans sentimental mood. It's obvious, Julius is still in the process of shaping his sound but Chaos is a solid declaration of purpose.
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