In Berlin, in June 2010, a trio calling themselves Boom Box
recorded the album Jazz
(Jazzwerkstatt, 2011) which was released to considerable acclaim; that group comprised Thomas Borgmann
on tenor, soprano and sopranino saxophones plus harmonica, Akira Ando on double-bass and Willi Kellers
on drums and percussion, each of whom penned two of the album's six tracks. Collaborations between Borgmann and Kellers date back at least as far as 1995, when they recorded the album Erste Heimat
(Konnex, 1995) by the quartet Ruf Der Heimat.
Fast forward to Berlin, May 2017, when a trio called Keys and Screws recorded, in studio, the album Some More Jazz
, which was released in 2020 on NoBusiness Records on CD and limited-edition vinyl. Keys and Screws saw it as a follow-up to Jazz
, which makes perfect sense when that trio's line-up turns out to be Borgmann on tenor and soprano saxophones plus toy melodica, Jan Roder
on double bass, and Kellers on drums, steel drum and percussion, each of the three having written one of the album's tracks (Kellers' being a two-partermaybe from the necessity to fit the album onto vinyl), the whole running for forty-eight minutes.
Ignoring the different band name and the change of bassist, the essential feature of Some More Jazz
is that it adheres to the principles which underpinned Jazz
; namely, it is jazz in which the players take recognisable solos, sympathetically listening to one another and responding appropriately whilst retaining their trademark sounds and styles. Although Borgmann solos for the majority of the time, seemingly being capable of extending a solo indefinitely without running out of ideas or losing momentum, this never becomes a sax trio with bass and drums in support roles; on the contrary, both Kellers and Roder demonstrate that they can match the saxophonist stride for stride, being just as fluent and creative as Borgmann.
In particular, Roder eloquently shows that he is not just the latest bassist rotated in to join Borgmann and Kellers but a vital musician in his own right, bursting with creative ideas. Yes, Keys and Screws is a trio of equals in which three distinct individual voices meld together into one collective voice. Some More Jazz
is not just the follow-up to Jazz
, it is its equal...which is praise indeed.
The Other Morning in the Park; Broadway Birdy Part I; Broadway Birdy Part II; Catham Bellbird.
Thomas Borgmann: tenor and soprano saxophones, toy melodica; Jan Roder: double bass; Willi Kellers: drums, steel drum, percussion.