German Timepiece. Seasons and Places is the debut recording for German-born pianist Florian Ross. Ross decided on a tenor-trombone fronting the traditional rhythm section. The overall effect is one of unpretentious good humor and humble swing. Ross' writing is at once angular and straight ahead. He and his band perform with a controlled abandon that is very appealing. The opening title, "By Any Means Necessary" is a good omen for what is to come on the remainder of the disc. The piece is a Hard Bop/Post Bop conception with a complex head and fresh soloing (especially from Ross).
"Blues" was originally a 12-bar affair that became a 32-bar contemplation with crying brass and reeds. "Ology elegy/Neck-tied" is propelled with a five note figure played percussively on the piano, sliding beneath the tenor over the trombone. The piece is loosely arranged, affording Nils Wogram all the room he needs to solo on the 'bone. Late John Coltrane shows up for Rondo #3, sheets of sound and all form Mattias Erlewein. The whiteness of the wail.
Mainstream. Seasons and Places is what we have come to expect from those musicians in the Naxos Jazz stables who are mainstream, down-the-middle. It is refreshing that a budget label provides the amount and quality of original jazz composition that Naxos Jazz does. For the price, it is difficult justifying not buying this music. Listener friendly, easy on the pocketbook. You can't go wrong.
By Any Means Necessary; Blues; Let Me do It (Not You); Ology elegy/Neck-tied; Sea Green; In Case You Haven't Heard; Clapham Junction; Winteraire; Rondo #3; Hymnus.
Florian Ross: Piano; Matthias Erlewein: Tenor Saxophone; Nils Wogram: Trombone; Dietmar Fuhr: Bass; Jochen R