All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Bailey's Bundles

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

The Little and Big of Florian Ross

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
German pianist/composer Florian Ross has been making provocative music since his early Naxos Jazz recordings. He is a rolling stone, moving from one format to the next, always bringing something new and leaving something newer.

Florian Ross Elektrio
Wheels and Wires
Fuhrwerk- Musik
2013

The organ trio, specifically that of the organ-guitar-drums variety, has proven to be as durable an instrument format as it has a fertile ground from the whole of jazz, as well as rock. This format has included groups as disparate at Wild Bill Davis/Floyd Smith/Chris Columbus, Jimmy Smith/Eddie McFaddin/Donald Bailey, Big John Patton/Grant Green/Ben Dixon Quintet, Larry Young/John McLaughlin/Tony Williams and Keith Emerson/Greg Lake/Carl Palmer (throwing in Ray Manzarek/Robbie Krieger/John Densmore for good measure).

Well-documented German keyboardist Florian Ross has been known to front an organ trio from time to time: the Florian Ross Elektrio. In the above spectrum of organ trios, the Elektrio falls this side of Tony Williams; Emergency! (Polydor, 1969) band and that side of the Doors' rhythm section. Ross is even tempered as is guitarist Jesse Van Ruller, who only occasionally hits an over-driven segment and never so much that it annoys.

"Doors Closed" opens the recital with an intricate, descending figure that makes its way into a driving momentum sustained by drummer Martijn Vink channelling his best Stanton Moore. Ross' playing is super-scrubbed—no chitlin' circuit grease here. His B3 is taut and controlled even when he steps out in solo. However, none of the three fear turning up the heat as heard in the opener's coda. "Okay" shows a rhythmic-melodic side to Ruller, who establishes a polished, mid-tempo ballad for Ross to ruminate over.

The closest thing to a "traditional" organ trio piece is "Heather Deep." Ross adopts an apostolic tone to his B3, modulating through a considered prelude where he dances with Ruller's guitar before getting down to his sanctified business. The song recalls the Crusaders' "Way Back Home" being played over a simple church figure. Ruller plays above and beyond the lines. Ross shows himself a very capable small band leader and one not afraid to recast older formats in new and creative ways.

Florian Ross Big Company
Ties and Loose Ends
Fuhrwerk- Musik
2013

Florian Ross' big band recording Florian Ross Big Company—Ties and Loose Ends bonds directly with his Elektrio's Wheels and Wires through "Doors Closed," which opens both discs. The transition from organ trio to big band is a facile one, demonstrating Ross' ability to shift arrangement emphasis as needed. The composition opens up in the big band arrangement, revealing Ross' brand of modern urban writing and arrangement, characterized by busy reeds overlaid with brass, both in the ensemble playing and solo space.

Among Ross' rich compositions are arrangements of Maurice Ravel's prelude to "Tombeau de Couperin" and Victor Young's "My Foolish Heart." This is a beautifully odd pairing of genres that shows the common elements derived when placed in a big band setting. The Ravel piece reveals a teasing counterpoint developing in the winds and echoed on a closely captured piano. Dramatic build up is met with swirling piano figures that augment those of the reeds. By the time the band reaches gale force, it retreats to feature pianist Lucas Leidinger. "My Foolish Heart" is downright impressionistic as are Ross' original pieces. Florian Ross Big Company—Ties and Loose Ends is richly endowed with thoughtful arrangements bred with a fearless desire to expand the palette of the big band.

Wheels and Wires Tracks: Doors Closed; Okay; Heather Deep; Sarinah; Swing By; Scratch; Biscuit; West Babylon, NJ; Kat and Penny; Tremor.

Personnel: Florian Ross: Hammond B3; Jesse Van Ruller: guitar; Martijn Vink: drums.

Ties and Loose Ends Tracks: Doors Closed; Tombeau de Couperin: Prelude; Cycling; Une Larme; Running Walls; Prickly Pear; Medidation in D; Slow Motion; Elanor; Rosa Canina; My Foolish Heart.

Personnel: Frank Vaganee: saxophone; Christoph Mockel: saxophone; Stefan Schmid: saxophone; Wolfgang Fuhr: saxophone; Jan Schneider: trumpet; Volker Deglmann: trumpet; Menzel Mutzke: trumpet; Matthias Bergmann: trumpet; Klaus Heidenreich: trombone; Peter Schwatio: trombone; Felix Fromm: trombone; Ingo Lahme: trombone; Phillip Bramswig: guitar; Lucas Leidinger: piano; Dietmar Fuhr: bass; Fabian Arends: drums.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Bailey's Bundles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Pigs & Fairies

Pigs & Fairies

Toy Piano Records
2017

buy
Lines & Crosscurrents

Lines & Crosscurrents

Toy Piano Records
2015

buy
Ties & Loose Ends

Ties & Loose Ends

Fuhrwerk Musik
2013

buy
Front Room Songs

Front Room Songs

Fuhrwerk Musik
2013

buy
 

Golightly

Double Moon
2013

buy
Mechanism

Mechanism

Pirouet Records
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Seven Women 2018 – Part V Bailey's Bundles
Seven Women 2018 – Part V
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 9, 2018
Read Seven Women 2018 – Part IV Bailey's Bundles
Seven Women 2018 – Part IV
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 28, 2018
Read Six on Cellar Live Bailey's Bundles
Six on Cellar Live
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Seven woMEN 2018 – Part III Bailey's Bundles
Seven woMEN 2018 – Part III
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 8, 2018
Read Formats – Solo Through Nonet Bailey's Bundles
Formats – Solo Through Nonet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2018
Read Seven Women 2018 – Part II Bailey's Bundles
Seven Women 2018 – Part II
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 10, 2018
Read "Seven Women 2018 – Part IV" Bailey's Bundles Seven Women 2018 – Part IV
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 28, 2018
Read "Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 3 & 4" Bailey's Bundles Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions”...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "At the Louisiana Hayride Tonight" Bailey's Bundles At the Louisiana Hayride Tonight
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 7, 2018
Read "Notable and Nearly Missed 2017" Bailey's Bundles Notable and Nearly Missed 2017
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 24, 2017
Read "Solo Piano – Fred Hersch and Ran Blake" Bailey's Bundles Solo Piano – Fred Hersch and Ran Blake
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 25, 2017