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Faces

Mainz04

Faces

Price: € 14.95
Format: CD
Label: Double Moon Records
UPC: 0608917143225
Catnr: DMCHR 71432
Release date: 25 August 2023
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Label
Double Moon Records
UPC
0608917143225
Catalogue number
DMCHR 71432
Release date
25 August 2023

"... Enthusiastic music that makes listeners smile!"

Jazz'n More, 14-11-2023
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

Mainz 04 is composed of four saxophonists who have been playing together for almost twenty years. “We met in 2004 while studying in Mainz,” baritone saxophonist Steph Winzen remembered, explaining the band's name by the way. Kerstin Habrecht plays the alto saxophone, Johannes Lind soprano and Alexander Jung tenor. Thus, Mainz 04 have almost the same classical line-up as the World Saxophone Quartet, but there are also role models in Germany: “The Kölner Saxophon Mafia,” Winzen admitted, “already inspired us.”

Johannes Lind composes most of the songs for the ensemble, but Alexander Jung ("December 2nd", "Winterday"), Steph Winzen ("Clouds") and Kerstin Haberecht ("Lullaby for M") also composed pieces. “We mainly wanted to play our own compositions and arrangements of artists that we really admire,” Winzen explained the musical concept of Faces. We believe that we have been quite successful in transposing “Forcing ‘Minuano‘ by Pat Metheny into an arrangement for saxophone quartet, for example.” Ding Dong Ding is a song composed by Bob Brookmeyer for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. Hunting Wabbits by Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band rounds out the album: The song comes from the animated series “Looney Tunes” and accompanies the hunt of Elmer Fudd for Bugs Bunny; with the pronunciation of his activity, the title already indicates the difficulties Fudd has.

The title track was inspired by the late piano pieces of Johannes Brahms. Béla Bartók inspired “La Référence” and heavy metal “Reeds of Steel and Glory”. “One person has an idea, and most of the time the others are impressed by it,” Winzen described the process of creating a repertoire. “From my perspective, I sometimes have quite a bit to chew on. But since I completed studies in classical music and have also dealt with new music, which also is always very bulky at first, I have found that I also grow on it when I really get into the flow of the material. The pieces of my co-musicians also challenge me greatly. I have to work hard, but I think that's great, because we want to develop further."

Mainz 04 has a musician with Steph Winzen who provides the basis for the ensemble sound. The idea for “Clouds” came to the saxophonist while jogging in the rain, when she was fascinated by the changing colors in the sky. In Mainz, Winzen has long since gained official recognition as "Mainz City Musician", although the saxophonist began her career as a child on the flugelhorn. “A baritone player is always missing in a typical music school quartet,” Winzen explained the way to her huge instrument while shrugging her shoulders. It has the reputation of a bulky and unwieldy sound generator under woodwinds. “But I also liked the sound and was able to master it physically as well as in terms of lung volume.” Winzen subsequently played with various orchestras and released a solo CD with contemporary music. In 2019, she was chosen by the State Music Council of Rhineland-Palatinate as patron of the saxophone as the Instrument of the Year in Rhineland-Palatinate. Her co-musician on alto saxophone has been leading the quartet Habrecht4 for ten years. Soprano saxophonist Lind is equally at home in jazz and classical styles, and Jung on tenor saxophone is not only a radiant soloist, but also embodies the collective spirit of the ensemble. Contemporary influences from classical to metal exemplify what is possible with a saxophone quartet. At the same time, the sound of Mainz 04 is so sensual that Faces becomes an acoustic experience even for those jazz fans who understand little about the subtleties of the arrangements for four saxophones. Mainz 04 have now ventured into a studio after almost twenty years, and the result proves that sometimes that which lasts a long time can actually age to perfection.

Hinter Mainz 04 verbergen sich vier Saxofonistinnen und Saxofonisten, die schon fast zwanzig Jahre miteinander spielen. „Wir haben uns 2004 während des Studiums in Mainz kennengelernt“, erinnert sich die Baritonsaxofonistin Steph Winzen und erklärt damit ganz nebenbei den Bandnamen. Kerstin Haberecht spielt das Altsaxofon, Johannes Lind Sopran und Alexander Jung Tenor. Damit haben Mainz 04 fast die gleiche klassische Besetzung wie das World Saxophone Quartet, aber auch in Deutschland gibt es Vorbilder: „Die Kölner Saxofon-Mafia“, gibt Winzen zu, „ist schon eine Inspiration für uns.“
Vor allem Johannes Lind schreibt die Songs für das Ensemble, aber Alexander Jung („December 2nd“, „Winterday“), Steph Winzen („Clouds“) und Kerstin Haberecht („Lullaby for M“) haben sich auch in die Komponisten-Liste eingetragen. „Wir wollten vor allem Eigenkompositionen bringen und Arrangements von Künstlern, die wir wirklich sehr verehren“, erläutert Winzen das musikalische Konzept von „Faces“. „‚Minuano‘ von Pat Metheny in ein Arrangement für Saxofon-Quartett zu zwängen ist uns beispielsweise ziemlich gut gelungen.“ Mit „Ding Dong Ding“ ist außerdem ein Song von Bob Brookmeyer dabei, den dieser einst für das Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra geschrieben hat. „Hunting Wabbits“ von Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band macht das Album komplett: Der Song stammt aus der Zeichentrick-Serie „Looney Tunes“ und untermalt dort die Jagd von Elmer Fudd auf Bugs Bunny - schon der Titel veralbert die Schwierigkeiten, die Fudd mit der Aussprache seiner Tätigkeit hat.
Für das Titelstück ließ Lind sich von den späten Klavierstücken Johannes Brahms’ inspirieren, bei „La Référence“ stand Béla Bartók, bei „Reeds of Steel and Glory“ Heavy Metal Pate. „Der Einzelne hat eine Idee und meistens sind die anderen dann davon angetan“, beschreibt Winzen den Prozess der Repertoirebildung. „Aus meiner Perspektive habe ich manchmal schon ziemlich zu knabbern. Da ich aber ein klassisches Musikstudium absolviert habe und mich auch mit Neuer Musik beschäftigt habe, die zunächst auch immer sehr sperrig ist, habe ich festgestellt, dass ich auch daran wachse, wenn ich mich wirklich hinein begebe in die Materie. Auch die Stücke der Kollegen fordern mich unheimlich. Da muss ich richtig ackern, aber das finde ich super, denn wir wollen uns schließlich weiter entwickeln.“
Mit Steph Winzen verfügt Mainz 04 über eine Musikerin, die dem Ensembleklang die Basis liefert. Die Idee für „Clouds“ kam der Saxofonistin beim Joggen im Regen, als sie von den wechselnden Farben am Himmel fasziniert war. In Mainz hat Winzen längst offizielle Anerkennung als „Mainzer Stadtmusikerin“ gefunden - dabei hat die Saxofonistin als Kind zunächst auf dem Flügelhorn begonnen. „Im typischen Musikschul-Quartett fehlt immer der Bariton-Spieler“, zeichnet Winzen achselzuckend den Weg zu ihrem riesigen Instrument nach, das unter Holzbläsern den Ruf eines sperrigen und unhandlichen Schallerzeugers hat. „Aber mir hat der Sound auch gut gefallen und ich habe es körperlich und vom Lungenvolumen her meistern können.“ In der Folge hat Winzen mit verschiedenen Orchestern gespielt und eine Solo-CD mit zeitgenössischer Musik veröffentlicht, 2019 wurde sie vom Landesmusikrat Rheinland-Pfalz zur Schirmherrin für das Saxofon als Instrument des Jahres in Rheinland-Pfalz auserkoren. Ihre Kollegin am Alt leitet seit zehn Jahren das Quartett Haberecht4, Sopranist Lind ist in Jazz und klassischen Stilen gleichermaßen zuhause und Jung am Tenor ist nicht nur ein strahlender Solist, sondern verkörpert auch den kollektiven Geist des Ensembles. Zeitgenössische Einflüsse von Klassik bis Metal zeigen exemplarisch, was mit einem Saxofonquartett alles möglich ist - zugleich ist der Klang von Mainz 04 so sinnlich, dass „Faces“ zu einem akustischen Erlebnis auch für solche Jazzfans wird, die von den Feinheiten der Arrangements für vier Saxofone nur wenig verstehen. Nach knapp zwanzig Jahren haben sich Mainz 04 nun also in ein Studio gewagt - das Resultat beweist, dass manchmal tatsächlich das gut wird, was lange währt.


Artist(s)

Kerstin Haberecht (alto saxophone)

Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, and raised in the southern Lower Palatinate, the saxophonist discovered her passion for improvisation and consequently also for jazz when she was 13. As a 16 year old, she already had first her Big Band experience, first in the Landesjazzorchester (State Jazz Orchestra) Karlsruhe ('The Hip Herd'), then in the Landesjugendjazzorchester (State Youth Jazz Orchestra) of Rhineland-Palatinate. She studied jazz and popular music under Steffen Weber, Denis Gäbel and Thomas Bachmann at the Hochschule für Musik (Music College) in Mainz from 2008 to 2015 and has been in charge of the Jugendjazztage (Youth Jazz Days) in Frankfurt since 2013. In the past, she also played in the hr Big Band and the Mainz Philharmonic as well...
more
Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, and raised in the southern Lower Palatinate, the saxophonist discovered her passion for improvisation and consequently also for jazz when she was 13. As a 16 year old, she already had first her Big Band experience, first in the Landesjazzorchester (State Jazz Orchestra) Karlsruhe ("The Hip Herd"), then in the Landesjugendjazzorchester (State Youth Jazz Orchestra) of Rhineland-Palatinate. She studied jazz and popular music under Steffen Weber, Denis Gäbel and Thomas Bachmann at the Hochschule für Musik (Music College) in Mainz from 2008 to 2015 and has been in charge of the Jugendjazztage (Youth Jazz Days) in Frankfurt since 2013. In the past, she also played in the hr Big Band and the Mainz Philharmonic as well as alongside of Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Joe Gallardo, Jiggs Wigham and Sebastian Sternal and won second prize in the ensemble of the pianist Jan Felix May at the European Next Generation Jazz Award in Burghausen in March 2016.

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Composer(s)

Kerstin Haberecht (alto saxophone)

Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, and raised in the southern Lower Palatinate, the saxophonist discovered her passion for improvisation and consequently also for jazz when she was 13. As a 16 year old, she already had first her Big Band experience, first in the Landesjazzorchester (State Jazz Orchestra) Karlsruhe ('The Hip Herd'), then in the Landesjugendjazzorchester (State Youth Jazz Orchestra) of Rhineland-Palatinate. She studied jazz and popular music under Steffen Weber, Denis Gäbel and Thomas Bachmann at the Hochschule für Musik (Music College) in Mainz from 2008 to 2015 and has been in charge of the Jugendjazztage (Youth Jazz Days) in Frankfurt since 2013. In the past, she also played in the hr Big Band and the Mainz Philharmonic as well...
more
Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, and raised in the southern Lower Palatinate, the saxophonist discovered her passion for improvisation and consequently also for jazz when she was 13. As a 16 year old, she already had first her Big Band experience, first in the Landesjazzorchester (State Jazz Orchestra) Karlsruhe ("The Hip Herd"), then in the Landesjugendjazzorchester (State Youth Jazz Orchestra) of Rhineland-Palatinate. She studied jazz and popular music under Steffen Weber, Denis Gäbel and Thomas Bachmann at the Hochschule für Musik (Music College) in Mainz from 2008 to 2015 and has been in charge of the Jugendjazztage (Youth Jazz Days) in Frankfurt since 2013. In the past, she also played in the hr Big Band and the Mainz Philharmonic as well as alongside of Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Joe Gallardo, Jiggs Wigham and Sebastian Sternal and won second prize in the ensemble of the pianist Jan Felix May at the European Next Generation Jazz Award in Burghausen in March 2016.

less

Press

... Enthusiastic music that makes listeners smile!
Jazz'n More, 14-11-2023

... Interesting, sometimes surprising arrangement ideas and great compositions make the album a breathless listening experience.
jazzfun, 28-8-2023

.. Exciting and multi-layered...
NaDann, 01-9-2023

... a German saxophone quartet that finally released the debut album "Faces"...
Jazzthing, 23-8-2023

... or contemporary jazz pieces like "Clouds" penned by Winzen, which is as rich in moods as the sky with its interesting cloud formations...
Melodiva

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