Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

36

Bohren & der Club of Gore: Piano Nights

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Of the many hard-to-define sub-genres of jazz, "dark jazz" may be the most challenging to classify. Exemplifying the category is Bohren & der Club of Gore's Piano Nights . The German quartet, whose members have a variety of doom metal origins, has morphed their earlier inclinations into a hybrid that has little to suggest the player's roots. Unequal parts of ambient, experimental and modern jazz, it represents the most radical career transition since Charles Lloyd joined the The Beach Boys.

Founded in 1992, Bohren & der Club of Gore have long had a following in Europe, recording eight studio albums beginning with the guitar and bass focused Gore Motel (Epistrophy, 1994). Minimalist-ambient pieces pervaded until the 2000 release Sunset Mission (Wonder, 2000) which saw one of the two original guitarists—Reiner Henseleit—replaced by multi-instrumentalist Christoph Clöser. The latter added a decidedly jazzier element to the group dynamic and as a result, his first collaboration is a largely undiscovered masterpiece.

Piano Nights is pastoral and desolate at the same time, seeing beauty through crumbling façades. The music rarely rises above a whisper yet even the silences take on an emphatic air. There is an ambience of mystery and quiet urgency in each of these pieces and the music requires patient listening. It is not until "Ganz Leise Kommt Die Nacht" that Clöser's quietly smoky saxophone seems to speak out of the darkness, elevating the tempo from exceptionally down-tempo to just very slow. Similarly on "Segeln Ohne Wind," the tentative upshift in tempo is reluctant to break into the light.

Though there is a consistency in the tone of these pieces, there are variations that present themselves in subtle ways such as the occasional mournful sax in contrast to the almost-cheerful aspects of the vibraphone or the somber spaghetti western flavor of Komm Zurück Zu Mir. Piano Nights aesthetic sense is part Brian Eno, part early Pink Floyd. Eerie, foreboding and weighty, often simultaneously, Piano Nights is beautifully austere throughout. It is an eccentric and stunning extraction of an erudite outer jazz experience.

Track Listing: Im Rauch; Bei Rosarotem Light; Fahr Zur Hölle; Irrwege; Ganz Leise Kommt Die Nacht; Segeln Ohne Wind; Unrasiert; Verloren (Alles); Komm Zurück Zu Mir.

Personnel: Thorsten Benning: drums; Christoph Closer: saxophones, fender rhodes, piano, vibraphone; Morten Gass: organ, vocoder, bass, synthesizer, mellotron; Robin Rodenberg: bass.

Title: Piano Nights | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Pias Recordings


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Music in the Room CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017
Read Of Light and Shadows CD/LP/Track Review Of Light and Shadows
by Phillip Woolever
Published: December 9, 2017
Read Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven CD/LP/Track Review Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven
by Doug Collette
Published: December 9, 2017
Read The Chicago Blues Box 2 CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Blues Box 2
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 9, 2017
Read I Speilvendthet CD/LP/Track Review I Speilvendthet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 9, 2017
Read Book Of Sound CD/LP/Track Review Book Of Sound
by Gareth Thompson
Published: December 8, 2017
Read "The Colours Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 29, 2017
Read "Right Up On" CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Dreaming Spirits" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming Spirits
by Kris Perdew
Published: October 27, 2017
Read "Kisaragi" CD/LP/Track Review Kisaragi
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Expedition" CD/LP/Track Review Expedition
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "Schönbrunn" CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017

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!