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Ohne 4 gespielt drei is a trio of improvisers active on the improvised jazz scene in Köln and Berlin. All three lived in the Ruhr area before saxophonists Katrin Scherer and Sven Decker moved to Köln, while drummer Bernd Oezsevim took up residence in Berlin. They make for perfect cohorts through an intuitive understanding that processes the inner workings of a composition for a satisfying resolution.
Scherer and Decker complement each other as they kindle a composition through a judicious balance of sound and silence. They make "The Move" on a melodic escarpment, with Scherer on baritone saxophone and Decker on tenor. The two saxophones forge a bright path underlined by a crisp beat set by Oezsevim. When the air dissipates, the two saxophonists get into some call-and-response before harkening back to the melody. Change is rife, as Decker uses his horn to add depth before exploding into free terrain all the while counterpointed by the baritone. Shape shifts but the body is compact and compelling.
The mood and tone are different on "Warteschleife," a breathy, shimmering ode that unfurls in soft folds. This does not draw from the innate intensity that Scherer and Decker investthe lines taut, yet filled with an indelible emotional presence. The tune is made all the more attractive thorough the varied hues with which Oezsevim textures the rhythm.
"Up & Download" is effervescent, the two horns dancing in unison, with long lines interspersed by short bursts. The greater thrust, and so the impact comes from the free-wheeling jaunts of Decker and Scherer, who use the glockenspiel to drop liquid notes into the once molten mix.
The trio is comfortable in both giving a theme its due and finding ways to add physical and spatial dimension. Invention thus becomes a rational exponent of composition giving their sound a certain attraction.
Track Listing: The Move; Wolpertinger; Warteschleife; Time Trial; Husarenritt; Fruher war mehr Lametta; Fenster zum Garten; Apfel; Tulp; Up & Download.
Personnel: Sven Decker: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, melodica; Bernd Oezsevim: drums; Katrin Scherer: alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, melodica, glockenspiel.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.