35

Bohren & der Club of Gore: Piano Nights

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Bohren & der Club of Gore: Piano Nights 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 I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "#knowingishalfthebattle" CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Parachute" CD/LP/Track Review Parachute
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "Small Town" CD/LP/Track Review Small Town
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "Tribute to Ndouga Dieng" CD/LP/Track Review Tribute to Ndouga Dieng
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'" CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 25, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.