It is interesting that in today's creative music world, a jazz drummer cannot just be a jazz drummer. There are so many great drummers that they have to also be composers, band leaders, and sometimes van drivers. A short list includes Tyshawn Sorey, Allison Miller, Ches Smith, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Add to that list Mareike Wiening, the German-born artist with (now) deep New York roots. Her release Metropolis Paradise (Greenleaf Music, 2019) brought her music critical attention and acclaim, and a multi-city European tour in 2019. That is where her New York quintet honed the music we hear on Future Memories, recorded in January 2020 as the world was coming to grips with a pandemic.
That sharpening of the presentation is quite evident here with Wiening's intricate compositions skillfully and by all appearances effortlessly executed. Compositions like the spitfire bebop of "RiChanges" negotiate Wiening's twists and turns with ease. Tenor saxophonist (and jazz elder statesman) Rich Perry rambles with pianist Glenn Zaleski before lifting off into an admirable solo then handing over to Zaleski's keyboard. This pairing of musicians is utilized to great effect in the music here. "Northern Sail" captures an image and the feeling of wind and waves with first Zaleski and guitarist Alex Goodman, then bassist Johannes Felscher sailing over the splash of the drummer's cymbals. Elsewhere the rhythms of Spain are the jumping-off point for "El Escorial," "An Idea Is Unpredictable" delivers a drop dead gorgeous melody, and "Seesaw March" trades in a small "m" marchimagine a colony of ants parading here. An impressive sophomore effort from this bright talent.
Northern Sail; El Escorial; An Idea Is Unpredictable; RiChanges; Future Memories; The Other
Soul; Seesaw March; Dance Into July.