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Four albums into their careers and the Wasserfuhr brotherstrumpeter Julian and pianist Romanare still in their 20s. Running showcases their signature sound, unhurried and strong on atmosphere, as befits a pair of musicians whose first album, Remember Chet (ACT Music, 2006) paid homage to Chet Baker. It also sees them working with a new and sympathetic rhythm section, exploring the use of a string duo and featuring the work of their father, clarinetist Gerald Wasserfuhr.
In keeping with the brothers' love of Baker, the opening bars of "Weary Journey" have distinct echoes of "My Funny Valentine." As a whole, "Weary Journey" sets the tone for much of Runningcool, calm and considered playing, slow-to-medium tempos and spacious instrumentation. "Rocholz-Korosak" bucks this trend to some extenta bit faster, even approaching funkiness thanks to Oliver Rehmann's drums.
The album's two cover tunes serve to highlight the qualities of the brothers' approach. Pete Townshend's "Behind Blue Eyes" and Lennon and McCartney's "Nowhere Man" are genuine rock classics, given a fresh feel by the brothers' perspective. Julian's trumpet takes the vocal melody on "Behind Blue Eyes," his horn and the string section combining to emphasise the song's plaintiveness but without the underlying anger Townshend and Roger Daltrey created in the original. "Nowhere Man" opens with Roman's lovely but brief solo piano. The band takes the song at a much slower pace than did the Beatles, the song's inherent sadnesseasy to miss on the Beatles' rather cheerily up-tempo arrangementmade more obvious by Benjamin Garcia Alonso's languid bass solo.
Two more original compositions point to a possible future direction for the brothers. The slinky, swinging "Go On" and the slow ballad "See You Again" feature lyrics by Israeli pianist Itai Sobol and vocals from David Rynkowski. The singer has an engaging voice, smoothly romantic and soulful. The songs sit neatly alongside the instrumentals but Rynkowski adds a new tonal quality and broadens the music's emotional range. "Go On" is underpinned by Rehmann and Alonso's seductive rhythm. "See You Again" is for the most part a duet between Rynkowski and Roman, Julian contributing a spare but telling trumpet to the latter part of the song.
Track Listing: Weary Journey; Bachelor (Over The Ear Look); Behind Blue Eyes; Adonis; Stoned Remote; Nowhere Man; 7 Gegner; Rocholz-Korosak; Go On; Joy And Sorrow; Hilmar; Uncertainty; See You Again.
Personnel: Julian Wasserfuhr: trumpet, programming; Roman Wasserfuhr: piano, keyboards; Benjamin Garcia Alonso: bass; Oliver Rehmann: drums, percussion; Kaori Yamagami: cello; Eduard Bayer: violin; Gerald Wasserfuhr: clarinet; David Rynkowski: vocals (9, 13).
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...