Music never happens in a vacuum. The places where it is played inspire it, shape it and help it to develop; they are like an extra musician. And therein lies the creative stimulus which Siggi Loch provides as producer to Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr. He continually seeks out new contexts for their playing, and that opens up hitherto unimagined musical perspectives. After the Wasserfuhrs’ musical journey to meet the elite in Gothenburg in Sweden in 2009, and a thrilling session in hip and happening Brooklyn in 2017, the brothers, who come from the peaceful little village of Hückeswagen near Cologne, have now travelled to the West Coast of Ireland, and to John Fitzgerald's Lettercollum Studio in Cork, a secret bolt-hole where several Irish and English rock stars have recorded albums. They were joined there for the first time by cellist Jörg Brinkmann. Julian explains the concept of the new trio thus: "Dispensing with bass and drums gives us more scope to develop ideas, far greater harmonic freedom, and also allows us to think in long arcs. It gives the music much more buoyancy."
But why Ireland? Let Roman explain: "The studio in the middle of nowhere and directly by the sea offered us the ideal conditions to be creative. The weather was unusually fine for the season, almost Mediterranean, and that had a way of getting us into the right mood. Ireland has always been a place that Julian and I wanted to visit. We were struck by the culture, the joy, the “craic” of the Irish. Going to the pubs there, seeing how lively, relaxed and above all how unaffected they are when they play music together left a strong impression." To which Julian adds: "and over and above that, Irish songwriter and singer Gilbert O'Sullivan is an artist whose music we really admire."
It goes without saying that the Wasserfuhr brothers and Jörg Brinkmann aren't playing Irish folk music; what the title of the album does is to set a tone. Here is the typical Wasserfuhr sound with a relaxed way of playing – the Irish attitude to life shines through again and again. There are also subtle melodic and harmonic twists from Irish music, or, to be specific, direct connections such an interpretation of the O'Sullivan hit "Clair", plus "Moondance" by Van Morrison, arguably Ireland's best-known musician. Finally, the piece "Lettercollum" came into existence directly under the influence of the brothers’ Irish trip.
Already as a teenager, Julian Wasserfuhr was considered the greatest German trumpet talent since Till Brönner. Together with his brother Roman on the piano they form an inseparable team. Their (spiritual) kinship enhances the way they played together. The closeness of the two brothers lends their music an easily flowing and relaxed character. Whether with the trumpet or flugelhorn, Julian is not one of those musicians who constantly strives to go higher, faster, further. With his warm sound he creates the atmospheric space for the music. His brother Roman, with his accentuated radiant piano, makes no less a contribution to the band's fresh and yet mature and airy sound. Their highly lauded debut "Remember Chet", which they recorded as teenagers, launched the two musicians into the German jazz stratosphere. It didn't take long before there were playing with greats such as Nils Landgren, Lars Danielsson and Wolfgang Haffner, all the while developing their style more and more into their own characteristic, melodic-atmospheric "Wasserfuhr Sound": "I like the courage these two have to keep things simple. You have to be brave to do that. The admirable thing about it is that it is the opposite of show-off jazz," summarises actor Matthias Brandt.