Janning Trumann 4 feat. Brandon Seabrook


Brandon Seabrook - guitar
Janning Trumann - trombone
Lucas Leidinger - piano, synth
Florian Herzog - electric bass
Thomas Sauerborn - drums

Liner Notes

The quartet of Cologne-based trombonist and composer Janning Trumann has long been one of the unchanging greats of German jazz life. The bustling band leader is known above all for the unique elegance and profundity of his sound, which is congenially played around, underpinned and featured by pianist and keyboardist Lucas Leidinger, bassist Florian Herzog and drummer Tobias Sauerborn. Trumann thinks the collective, and the collective plays Trumann. And now this! On the new album "Echo", Janning Trumann expands his band to include New York guitarist Brandon Seabrook, who seems to unite the absolute opposite of everything Trumann's music has stood for so far. Brandon Seabrook is a typical child of the Brooklyn music scene. He is rebellious, brittle, crazy and finds his very own hinges between a thousand forms of existence of tradition and avant-garde. He has made a name for himself internationally in bands such as Mostly Othe People Do The Killing or the Jazz Passengers and has also been involved in various rock and folk productions such as Anaïs Mitchell's "Hadestown". But he also continues to cause a stir with his own projects. On his 2014 record "Sylphid Vitalizers", for example, he layered up to 13 banjos to create a kind of ticked-off hyperbanjo far removed from any country romanticism. Brandon Seabrook always swims against the current at full power until the current turns and swims with him. And this pathological non-formist of all people is now the musical partner of Janning Trumann, the master of musical commitment? Why? The answer is very simple: for all the reasons mentioned above. Trumann and his band have long since left their unmistakable fingerprint. They know what the audience can rightly expect from them. But do they want to serve this expectation until the end of their days? On "Echo", Trumann gives an unmistakable NO. From the very first note, it is clear that the music of the Janning Trumann Quartet is enriched by Brandon Seabrook with corners, edges and fractures, the sound comes across as sharper and rougher, inner contrasts are worked out more strongly and the sound palette is expanded by a few shrill tones. Janning Trumann is venturing far out of his own comfort zone, and this is precisely the intention behind the invitation of his complementary guest. This collaboration did not come out of the blue, as the two thoroughbred musicians got to know and appreciate each other during Trumann's time in New York. "I also love this intuitive and eruptive playing that Brandon often masters, seemingly out of nowhere," enthuses Trumann. "When he just shreds his stuff into a context, that's exactly the effect I was looking for. I wanted to break up the quartet's thinking with someone who kicks against it without restraint. We don't have to tell him what to do, he just does it." This aspect described by Trumann came to the fore all the more during the recording of "Echo", as the band had to go into the studio with Seabrook completely unrehearsed due to immense train delays. The five musicians made a virtue of necessity and jumped in at the deep end together. This does not detract from the music at all. On the contrary, it brings Trumann's conceptual approach to bear even more clearly than planned. But the Cologne native is not just a musician who lives in the moment, he is also a forward thinker. He anticipated Seabrook's breakneck style and anarchistic approach to music in the very layout of the pieces and ordered the garden in such a way that the guitarist can work his way through it. The result is astounding. For as radically as the New Yorker sticks to himself and his maxims and as often as you think to yourself, what is he actually doing there, he also gets very involved in the band's communication. This meta-level of the new togetherness means that the contours of the band's music are much less sharply defined than we are used to from Janning Trumann. His signature as a composer remains, but the sounds of trombone, guitar and keyboards often flow into one another in such a watercolor-like manner that the ear can hardly separate them from one another. Trumann himself felt all the more challenged by this phenomenon to step on the gas in his playing in order to assert himself audibly in the overall sound. "Something new is happening here," he exclaims enthusiastically, "the classic allocation of roles no longer exists. Everyone has to get out of their usual attitude of playing in a quartet and step forward a bit more. That's why I also have to come out of my shell more. And I realize that I have to tighten my grip on the sound a little more to get through it." Taking all these calculated and unexpected factors together, the Janning Trumann Quartet reaches a new level of openness with its guest Brandon Seabrook. The interaction becomes even more unpredictable, the sound more urban, the overall appearance more complex and more challenging, perhaps even provocative, for players and listeners alike. Janning Trumann and his quartet boldly take on the challenges of the present and confront reality with a musical concept that consciously focuses on the contrasts and contradictions of our time. They create a creative, aesthetic network of relationships that does not completely negate the traditional and familiar, but gives much more space to the new. Janning Trumann does not need slogans to formulate exactly the right statement for the times with "Echo".
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For a Reason
Seasons #5
Release: 26.01.2024


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