Multiple reedman, composer and arranger Steffen Schorn served a six-year tenure with the Zurich Jazz Orchestra. The collaboration resulted in a masterful trilogy of albums, Three Pictures (2018) and Dedications (2021), both on Mons Records, and now To My Beloved Ones. This is luxurious big band music, serious sounds. The traditions mix with modernity; moments of whimsy sneak in. It is madcap one minute, majestic, gorgeous and luminescent the next.
The band boasts six reeds players, including Schorn. All of them wield more than one ax, especially Schorn. Piccolos, flutes, soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones and clarinets of all stripes collaborate. This makes for spacious and heavenly harmonics. The complexity of the expert intermingling of instrumentation brings Gil Evans to mind; but the tunes have more muscle than Evans' work, more of an unleashed forward momentum. But a caveat to that claim, the disc's opener, "Tango," (not really a tango) is a spacious tone poem, seemingly with four or five distinct sections in its eleven-minute running time. Some of them roll full speed ahead, others are introspective
"Die Toucter Des Tyrannen" was inspired, during a street music tour through Southern Europe, by the "unapproachable, (almost) unknown beauty in Crete." Beginning almost as free jazz bubbling to life, that life bubbles up and bursts into raucousness featuring a torrid guitar solo from Theo Kapilidis.
In his six-year term as the Zurich Jazz Orchestra's musical director, Schorn wrote more than a hundred compositions, including all five here on To My Beloved Ones. All of these tunesexpertly arranged and played by the stellar musicians with an immersive gustoare top-notch sounds, big band jazz at the highest level of accomplishment in its completion of an outstanding trilogy of recordings .
Tango; Die Tocher Des Tyrannen; For Me Is Just Now And Anytime; Kap'tn Blaubar; To My
Woodwinds: Steffen Schorn, Lucas Heuss, Thomas Luthi, Tobias Pfister Murat Cevik, Reto
Fischer. Trumpets: Adrian Weber, Wolfgang Hauptti, Bernhard Schoch, Raphael Kalt.
Trombones: Adrian Weber, Rene Mosele, Silvio Cadotsch, Don Randolph. Rhythm: Gregor
Muller: guitar; Theo Kapilidis: electric and acoustic guitar; Patrick Sommer double bass, E-
bass; Pius Baschnagel: drums, pandeiro, percussion.