Home » Jazz Articles » Nils Kugelmann: Stormy Beauty


Album Review

Nils Kugelmann: Stormy Beauty


Sign in to view read count
Nils Kugelmann: Stormy Beauty
Anyone can be excused for making the early assumption that the vibrant elegance of Stormy Beauty is the effort of a well-travelled, veteran bassist and his trio. It is not. But it sounds as if it is.

Strikingly concise, persuasive and effective, the young German bassist and composer Nils Kugelmann's debut is an eye-opening and ear- pleasing listen from beginning to end, and then from the beginning to end again. With fellow young interpreters Luca Zambito on piano and drummer Sebastian Wolfgruber, Kugelmann's deceptively intricate, neo-classically tinged pieces stir to life and expand upon the tried and true with a potent volubility most players earn and grow into as years go by.

Kugelmann, recipient of several Promising Young Artist awards across Europe, comes here, if not fully realized (where would future growth and potential come from?) then at the least as a confidently solid player and composer who has chosen his path and will clear the way for listeners to follow. Tracks (the word rings impotent here) such as the fluidly spacial "About the Moment of Beginning," "Symphony for the Rain;" the euphoric "Song for a Golden Blossom," "Wild Leaves Falling;" the charging bop blues of "Finding Your Place," the Phillip Glass styled "Late Change," or the moody episodic title track do not just pop into every twenty something's consciousness. There is a deeper understanding here, a bigger outward-facing vision which Zambito (a winner of the Munich Young Artist Award) and Wolfgruber enthusiastically share and bear witness to. More than a debut, Stormy Beauty sets the stage for three new voices to engage imaginations and, hopefully, enlighten futures.

Track Listing

About the Moment of Beginning; Unexpected Love; Symphony for the Rain; Finding Your Place; Late Change; Stormy Beauty; Final Run; Wild Leaves Falling; Song for a Golden Blossom.


Nils Kugelmann: bass, acoustic; Luca Zambito: piano; Sebastian Wolfgruber: drums.

Album information

Title: Stormy Beauty | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: ACT Music

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



Jonathan Karrant
Poetry of a City
Douwe Eisenga
Celebrating Bix!
The Bix Centennial All-Stars


On the record

Without Question
Pete McCann
My Heart Speaks
Ivan Lins
Veronica Swift
Veronica Swift
Afro Futuristic Dreams
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.