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LITHA - Jazz Thing Next Generation Vol. 100

Driftwood Quartet

LITHA - Jazz Thing Next Generation Vol. 100

Price: € 14.95 10.47
Format: CD
Label: Double Moon Records
UPC: 0608917143126
Catnr: DMCHR 71431
Release date: 20 October 2023
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Label
Double Moon Records
UPC
0608917143126
Catalogue number
DMCHR 71431
Release date
20 October 2023

"... In short: As a collective of young jazz musicians on the move, the Driftwood Quartet is a worthy 100th anniversary act of the "Jazz thing Next Generation" series founded in 2003."

Rondo, 18-11-2023
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
Press
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About the album

Jazz rock – the term "fusion" has been preferred for quite some time – has a bad reputation that stems from the higher-fast-forward times of the genre in the seventies of the twentieth century. An honorary rescue is provided by the Driftwood Quartet, an ensemble from Switzerland founded by guitarist Joachim "Joa" Frey. The core of the band was the duo that he had with singer and bassist Jeanaine Oesch: "We played standards and pop songs". Then drummer Samir Böhringer attended a concert. "After that, he wanted to play with us," Frey said. "The three of us then put a live session on the internet during the corona pandemic and gave concerts. My first compositions were already included." Reinforced by alto saxophonist Marina Iten, the Driftwood Quartet then went into the studio to bring the bandleader's compositions to life. "I'm the only one who composers for this band," Frey humbly said lowering his head. "Marina, Jeanaine and Samir also compose, but for other bands and in other genres. But we work on my compositions together; the band is important for our music and our sound. For example, the first song on the album is based on a groove of our drummer, who suggested I make a piece out of it." Böhringer is also essential for the band, because he also came up with the idea of applying for the Jazz thing Next Generation series. "He also arranges our bookings," Frey explained. "You unfortunately learn very little about economic aspects during your studies, things that you have to pay attention to as a jazz musician. I was fortunate to learn these things through him, and he was like a coach for me." This professionalism, which has been increasingly observed among young musicians in recent years, is also reflected in the gender parity line-up, which actually happened by chance. "Women are still in the minority in the jazz scene," Frey sated. "There are many female singers, but few instrumentalists. However, I do not choose my musical partners by gender nor by how competent I consider them to be and how capable they are of playing my music. I mainly play with people whom I like and who give me the security of being able to develop freely. Our line-up came naturally and when I wanted to record my own music, and it was completely clear that I was going to do it with this formation." An accolade not only for Jeanaine Oesch and Marina Iten, but also for the highly vital Zurich scene from which the Driftwood Quartet comes. "Zurich is very lively and stimulating as well as very versatile," the guitarist stated enthusiastically . "There are jam sessions at the university and in the jazz club moods, which is probably the biggest scene in Switzerland. Zurich is also a very interesting place to live, and I wouldn't dream of moving away." Frey's highly individual compositions with their polyrhythmic structures are complex and ambitious, but always accessible and groovy. The seven songs that Frey wrote for "Litha" are well composed, but still give the band members plenty of room for improvisation. The textless vocals of Jeanaine Oesch seem like a fifth instrument that significantly expand the sound spectrum of the Zurich Gang of Four. The fact that many influences come together here – Böhringer still plays with Meta Zero and the Chronos Collective, Iten works with Christian Muthspiel and Nicole Johänntgen and Oesch maintains her own project with Jeanaine Jarret and is an important part of Debora Monfregola's band – is good for the music and makes it so refreshing, cosmopolitan and versatile in the best sense.

Der Jazzrock - seit geraumer Zeit wird der Terminus „Fusion“ präferiert - hat einen schlechten Ruf, der aus den Höher-Schneller-Weiter-Zeiten des Genres in den siebziger Jahren des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts herrührt. Für die Ehrenrettung sorgt das Driftwood Quartet, ein Ensemble aus der Schweiz, das der Gitarrist Joachim „Joa“ Frey gegründet hat. Die Keimzelle der Band war das Duo, das er mit der Sängerin und Bassistin Jeanaine Oesch unterhielt - „Wir haben Standards und Popsongs gespielt“ -, ein Konzert besuchte der Schlagzeuger Samir Böhringer. „Danach wollte er mit uns spielen“, erzählt Frey. „Zu dritt haben wir dann während Corona eine Live-Session ins Netz gestellt und Konzerte gegeben. Da waren dann auch schon erste Kompositionen von mir dabei.“ Verstärkt um die Altsaxofonistin Marina Iten ist das Driftwood Quartet dann ins Studio gegangen, um die Kompositionen des Bandleaders mit Leben zu erfüllen. „Ich bin halt der Einzige, der für diese Band schreibt“, senkt Frey gespielt demütig sein Haupt. „Marina, Jeanaine und Samir schreiben schon auch, aber für andere Bands und in anderen Genres. Meine Kompositionen erarbeiten wir aber gemeinsam, die Band ist wichtig für unsere Musik und unseren Sound. Der erste Song auf dem Album beruht zum Beispiel auf einem Groove unseres Schlagzeugers, der mir vorschlug, ein Stück daraus zu machen.“ Böhringer ist überhaupt essentiell für die Band, denn von ihm stammte auch die Idee, sich für die Jazz thing Next Generation Reihe zu bewerben. „Er macht auch noch unser Booking“, erläutert Frey. „Im Studium lernt man leider nur sehr wenig über die wirtschaftlichen Dinge, die man als Jazzmusiker beachten muss. Ich hatte das Glück, diese Dinge durch ihn zu lernen, er war wie ein Coach für mich.“ Diese Professionalität, die man verstärkt bei jungen Musikerinnen und Musikern in den letzten Jahren beobachten kann, schlägt sich auch in der geschlechterparitätischen Besetzung nieder, die sich aber tatsächlich zufällig ergeben hat. „Nach wie vor sind Frauen in der Jazzszene in der Minderheit“, gibt Frey zu bedenken. „Sängerinnen gibt es viele, aber bei den Instrumentalistinnen sieht es mau aus. Ich wähle meine musikalischen Partner allerdings nicht nach Geschlecht aus, und auch nicht danach, für wie kompetent ich sie halte und wie fähig sie sind, meine Musik zu spielen. In der Hauptsache spiele ich mit Menschen, die ich mag und die ich gern habe und die mir die Sicherheit geben, mich frei entfalten zu können. Unsere Besetzung hat sich ganz natürlich ergeben und als ich meine eigene Musik aufnehmen wollte, war es völlig klar, dass ich das mit dieser Formation mache.“ Ein Ritterschlag nicht nur für Jeanaine Oesch und Marina Iten, sondern auch für die höchst vitale Zürcher Szene, aus der das Driftwood Quartet kommt. „Zürich ist sehr lebendig und anregend und sehr vielseitig“, schwärmt der Gitarrist. „Es gibt Jam Sessions an der Hochschule und im Jazzclub moods, es ist wohl die größte Szene in der Schweiz. Zürich ist außerdem ein sehr interessanter Ort zum Leben, mir würde es nicht im Traum einfallen, von hier wegzugehen.“ Freys höchst individuelle Kompositionen mit ihren polyrhythmischen Strukturen sind komplex und ambitioniert, dabei aber immer zugänglich und groovy. Die sieben Songs, die Frey für „Litha“ geschrieben hat, sind zwar durchkomponiert, geben den Bandmitgliedern aber dennoch reichlich Raum für Improvisation. Der textlose Gesang von Jeanaine Oesch wirkt dabei wie ein fünftes Instrument, das das Klangspektrum der Zürcher Viererbande erheblich erweitert. Dass hier viele Einflüsse zusammenkommen - Böhringer spielt noch bei Meta Zero und dem Chronos Collective, Iten arbeitet mit Christian Muthspiel und Nicole Johänntgen zusammen und Oesch unterhält ihr eigenes Projekt Jeanaine Jarret und ist ein wichtiger Teil der Band von Debora Monfregola - tut der Musik gut und macht sie so erfrischend, weltoffen und im besten Sinne vielseitig.

Artist(s)

Marina Iten (alto saxophone)

Marina Iten, alto saxophone: The Zurich saxophonist Marina Iten completed her Bachelor in Jazz Saxophone in September 2022 at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. She has played in such contexts as the Jazzaar Festival, the Jazz Youth Orchestra under the direction of Christian Muthspiel, the DKSJ all star project under the direction of Ronan Guilfoyle and SOFIA (Support of Female Improvising Artists) under the direction of Nicole Johänntgen. Besides her own project “m.o.r.i.”, she also plays in various bands including “Savri” and “Hubble’s Law” and is part of the young Zurich musicians’ collective “noiis”.
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Marina Iten, alto saxophone: The Zurich saxophonist Marina Iten completed her Bachelor in Jazz Saxophone in September 2022 at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. She has played in such contexts as the Jazzaar Festival, the Jazz Youth Orchestra under the direction of Christian Muthspiel, the DKSJ all star project under the direction of Ronan Guilfoyle and SOFIA (Support of Female Improvising Artists) under the direction of Nicole Johänntgen. Besides her own project “m.o.r.i.”, she also plays in various bands including “Savri” and “Hubble’s Law” and is part of the young Zurich musicians’ collective “noiis”.

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Joachim Frey (guitar)

Joa Frey, electric guitars & vocals: The Zurich guitarist can be heard in a wide variety of formations from the Zurich area, whether as leader and composer of the “Driftwood Quartet” or as a sought-after sideman in jazz and groove bands such as Den Dala, muralim, and m.o.r.i., or with the emerging pop singer Lagioia. In September 2022 Joa completed his jazz studies at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, studying with Dave Gisler among others. Joa teaches electric guitar at the Kantonsschule Küsnacht, Zurich.
more
Joa Frey, electric guitars & vocals: The Zurich guitarist can be heard in a wide variety of formations from the Zurich area, whether as leader and composer of the “Driftwood Quartet” or as a sought-after sideman in jazz and groove bands such as Den Dala, muralim, and m.o.r.i., or with the emerging pop singer Lagioia. In September 2022 Joa completed his jazz studies at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, studying with Dave Gisler among others. Joa teaches electric guitar at the Kantonsschule Küsnacht, Zurich.

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Jeanaine Oesch (bass)

Jeanaine Oesch bass, double bass & vocals: The Bern bassist and singer Jeanaine completed her Masters in ‘Schulmusik II’ at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. She is active in various bands, including her own project “Jeanaine Jarret” and the project “deb.”, led by Debora Monfregola. She teaches music at the Kantonsschule Zimmerberg.
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Jeanaine Oesch bass, double bass & vocals: The Bern bassist and singer Jeanaine completed her Masters in ‘Schulmusik II’ at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. She is active in various bands, including her own project “Jeanaine Jarret” and the project “deb.”, led by Debora Monfregola. She teaches music at the Kantonsschule Zimmerberg.

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Composer(s)

Joachim Frey (guitar)

Joa Frey, electric guitars & vocals: The Zurich guitarist can be heard in a wide variety of formations from the Zurich area, whether as leader and composer of the “Driftwood Quartet” or as a sought-after sideman in jazz and groove bands such as Den Dala, muralim, and m.o.r.i., or with the emerging pop singer Lagioia. In September 2022 Joa completed his jazz studies at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, studying with Dave Gisler among others. Joa teaches electric guitar at the Kantonsschule Küsnacht, Zurich.
more
Joa Frey, electric guitars & vocals: The Zurich guitarist can be heard in a wide variety of formations from the Zurich area, whether as leader and composer of the “Driftwood Quartet” or as a sought-after sideman in jazz and groove bands such as Den Dala, muralim, and m.o.r.i., or with the emerging pop singer Lagioia. In September 2022 Joa completed his jazz studies at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, studying with Dave Gisler among others. Joa teaches electric guitar at the Kantonsschule Küsnacht, Zurich.

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Samir Boehringer

Samir Böhringer, drums: The Thurgau drummer Samir Böhringer completed his Master of Arts in Performance in September 2022. Samir is leader of the groups Meta Zero, Chronos Collective, and SPHNX, and plays as sideman with the Konrad Bogen Trio, Anatol Buccela’s Trio Imaginaire, and Dela Huettner’s Swing Thing.
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Samir Böhringer, drums: The Thurgau drummer Samir Böhringer completed his Master of Arts in Performance in September 2022. Samir is leader of the groups Meta Zero, Chronos Collective, and SPHNX, and plays as sideman with the Konrad Bogen Trio, Anatol Buccela’s Trio Imaginaire, and Dela Huettner’s Swing Thing.

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Press

... In short: As a collective of young jazz musicians on the move, the Driftwood Quartet is a worthy 100th anniversary act of the "Jazz thing Next Generation" series founded in 2003.
Rondo, 18-11-2023

The very first sounds of this album convince us that it is an absolute must....
jazzfun, 15-11-2023

... Because on the flexible and grooving rhythm carpet, which also rocks a little, instruments and the voice of Jeanaine Oesch rise to solo excursions and together they create exciting landscapes that lie in the field of tension between partial polyrhythms and sensitive improvisations....
musikansich, 16-1-2024

... The fresh and vital fusion sound played by the Driftwood Quartet logically lives strongly from the contributions of the four musicians...  
Jazzthing, 01-11-2023

... play together in harmonies, let all participants have their say (to improvise), can play tempo, complex, rhythmically variable and even lyrical. ...
NaDann, 25-10-2023

... We discover an overflowing imagination she brings a strength a lightness with her beautiful improvisations where the cohesion of the sound elements takes various original direction even alternative through effects of contrasts...  
radio rec france, 02-10-2023

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