183

Manuel Mengis Gruppe 6: Into The Barn

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Manuel Mengis Gruppe 6: Into The Barn Swiss-reared trumpeter/composer Manuel Mengis is sort of a newbie on the Euro-jazz scene. On this debut effort, he surfaces—through his music and scope of ideas—as a free spirit, although his music merely skirts the free zone during certain movements.

Leading his Swiss sextet, Mengis surfaces as a remarkably mature 33 year-old who embraces a balls-to-the-wall musical outlook. These four lengthy works aim to excite and prod the mind's eye. Founded upon a gritty jazz-rock anchor, thanks to a ferociously hard-hitting bass/guitar/drums attack, the band scalds the listener with oddly-phrased unison lines coupled with soothing horn charts.

But there's more than meets the eyes and ears. Mengis is apt to soar skyward in tandem with alto saxophonist Achim Escher and tenor saxophonist Christoph Erb in several passages teeming with rambunctious choruses and stinging solos. In addition, most of these works are constructed upon thrusting bass and drums-oriented ostinatos. And there are episodes where Mengis and associates take advantage of the structured mayhem with a vigilant sonic assault.

Electric guitarist Flo Stoffner implements loops and volume control techniques to instill a reverse thematic approach on "Susie and the Ponies. Add to that the sextet's solid straightforward pulse amid free jazz/fusion escapades, gradually tempered and then faded into a black hole due to Mengis' softly enacted, bronze-toned lines. On the final track, "Seni, the double sax attack renders a groove-laden and punchy series of choruses steering the way for an up-tempo vibe. The sextet proceeds to vary the flow by regenerating the primary theme with tension and release exchanges that soar toward the red zone.

With these notions in mind, Mengis surfaces as an electrifying soloist and bandleader. He's a thinking man's jazz musician, brimming with youthful vigor and new concepts. Ultimately, the headiness of his compositional output is counterbalanced by a highly entertaining form factor.


Track Listing: Toni, Toni; Suzie and the Ponies; Elk; Seni.

Personnel: Manuel Mengis: trumpet; Achim Escher: alto saxophone; Christoph Erb: tenor saxophone; Flo Stoffner: electric guitar; Marcel Stalder: electric bass; Lionel Friedli: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Hatology | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Near Life Experience" CD/LP/Track Review Near Life Experience
by John Kelman
Published: June 27, 2016
Read "Oblivion: The Music of Bud Powell" CD/LP/Track Review Oblivion: The Music of Bud Powell
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 19, 2016
Read "Pomona" CD/LP/Track Review Pomona
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "The Catfish" CD/LP/Track Review The Catfish
by Chris Mosey
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Meditations" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: June 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!