All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Windisch: Drama

Geno Thackara By

Sign in to view read count
When asked for "one word to describe your album," Julius Windisch settles on drama—which is indeed accurate, if not necessarily in the most obvious way. The pianist's eponymous quintet has its own feel for excitement, but it's a subtle variety without any hint of pomp or bombast. (Another illustrative tidbit: for the followup question of "one word to describe your music," his answer is simply music.)

The pieces that comprise the band's debut (all penned by the leader) don't sink to being overt or emotive; instead they're built around smart frameworks that allow an unpredictable push and pull between the instruments throughout. "Swing" arguably shows it the most by alternating easy 4/4 solos with spiky off-metered piano chords practically designed to confound any attempts at toe-tapping. Regardless of whether Windisch is breezily coasting or perversely making things tricky, the dual-horn frontline take both equally in stride. The stop-and-start approach is common elsewhere (see the gradual lope-into-frenzy through "Orientierungslosigkeit" or the viscerally propulsive "Nein Danke"), but even when the players may be meshing different time patterns, there's usually little difficulty in finding a pattern to follow in there somewhere.

The leader's staggered block chords pair particularly well with Philipp Leibundgut's jittery clattering behind the drum kit. All the same, it's hard to pick out any individual as a standout. The group's egalitarian symmetry makes one key factor in what Drama aims to accomplish; we occasionally find most or all of them wailing away seemingly with abandon when the music builds, but they fly together without getting crowded enough to step on each other's figurative toes. When the moment calls for empty space, they have no problem winding down to a crawl instead. There's no good way to classify any of it, but that's precisely the point—jazz's familiar forms may serve as guideposts, but Windisch and crew are already looking past them into semi-abstract territory that doesn't really have a name or a map.

Track Listing: Drama; Achtung; Nein Danke; New; Swing; Seoul; Orientierungslosigkeit; Blue; Hiddentrack.

Personnel: Julius Windisch : piano, Rhodes, composition; Nicola Habegger: trumpet; Michael Gilsenan: tenor sax; Bidu Rüegsegger: electric bass; Philipp Leibundgut: drums; Gino Carigiet: voice (1); Dimitri Howald: electric guitar (1).

Title: Drama | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: QFTF


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Drama by Matthew Aquiline
  • Drama by Geno Thackara
Read more articles




Related Articles

Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read The Nook CD/LP/Track Review
The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations CD/LP/Track Review
Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Moments Before CD/LP/Track Review
Moments Before
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 22, 2018
Read From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD Blu Ray) CD/LP/Track Review
From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD...
by John Kelman
Published: September 22, 2018
Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "Onyx Noir - Jazz Works For Brass Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Onyx Noir - Jazz Works For Brass Quintet
by Gareth Thompson
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "World Domination Vol 1: Furie" CD/LP/Track Review World Domination Vol 1: Furie
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 20, 2018
Read "After Caroline" CD/LP/Track Review After Caroline
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 24, 2018
Read "Bright Force" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Force
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2018
Read "Gegenschein" CD/LP/Track Review Gegenschein
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 15, 2018
Read "Invisible Threads" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Threads
by Samuel Stroup
Published: January 24, 2018