Sunday, July 6, 2014

Katharina Maschmeyer Qurtet Duck On Ice, Flying Cow Neuklang 2014

The Katharina Maschmeyer Quartet are one of the most dynamic ensembles across the globe!
Brent Black /
Rock, funk, free jazz and contemporary instrumental would all seem to add up to a harmonic train wreck unless you are familiar with the Katharina Maschmeyer Quartet. This formidable 4tet is releasing their third album, Duck On Ice, Flying Cow on Sept. 4th. So is their any new ground left to be covered in modern jazz? Turns out that the answer is surprisingly yes as the Katharina Maschmeyer Quartet throw down a retro funk sound reminiscent from some of the better CTI recordings of the 70's and build open ended lyrical conversations that move the band more toward a free form improvisational center that few are performing well if at all. Odd meters and irregular rhythms are the organic heartbeat of a group that sound as though they are telling musical stories and we are invited to listen in!
Variety is plentiful as the quartet can manipulate the dynamic conversation at will. Katharina Maschmeyer is an incredibly talented saxophonist with a tone some players spend a career searching for and never find. A Stan Getz sense of minimalism can be found in her approach along with the soulful bent of a Houston Person, nice combination! Nils Pollheide on guitar assisted in co-writing the release and the rhythm section of Philipp Ruttger on synth bass and Rhodes along with Jens Otto on drums reinforce a groove attack that is cutting edge.
Tunes such as the groove laden "Potter's Magic Tricks" and the smoker "Open Road" find that melodic happy place of retro funk and contemporary cool. Neuklang continues to serve up only the finest talent Europe as to offer and the Katharina Maschmeyer Quartet is no exception!
Tracks: Wish; Potter's Magic Tricks; Open Road; No. 9; Blowball; Shaping Sounds; Duck On Ice, Flying Cow; Poetry of the Dark Season; Soul Dance; Spring Thing.
Personnel: Katharina Maschmeyer: Tenor & Soprano Saxophone; Neil Pollheide: Guitar; Philipp Ruttgers: Rhodes, Synth Bass; Jens Otto: Drums.