The songs of some bands have a way of irresistibly sneaking into your ears. Luciel, a young band from Cologne, have a lot to offer when it comes to song writing ideas. Songs that seem to implant themselves effortlessly in your auditory passages, without revealing all their secrets immediately. Stylistically they are set in the border regions of r&b, soul and pop. Here at the office we can´t stop humming along. The musicologists among us wonder: how does something like that work? One colleague stammers something along the lines of “subliminal”. Well, we are no experts in psychology.
There is something nocturnal about the Nighthawks – quite literally! Their punchy, energetic and at the same time melodic electro jazz sound has earned them many a fan around the globe. Last November at the Fabrik in Hamburg they gave one of their truly high-flying, intoxicating performances and we took the chance to film this special event. The house was packed with passionate music lovers. Time and again this band manages to amaze audiences with their ability to create sonic spaces. They truly are architects of sound, building into the sky, with melody, pulse and groove.
It is no secret: there a many great pubs in Cologne. The musicians of Luciel have chosen “Zum Scheuen Reh” (“The Shy Deer”) for their release concert. The house was packed and buzzing, as this excellent young band celebrated their very own brand of neo-soul on stage, serving wonderful hooklines and the finest of grooves. It comes as no surprise that these four musicians already have been supporting the likes of Bilal and Snarky Puppy. Simply fascinating music, which yesterday evening was additionally enriched by soul singer Rachel!
We know Benny Greb as the casual jeans guy. So it does come as a bit of a surprise that the change into a fine suit seems to have an effect on his playing as well. The occasion being an homage to Buddy Rich, undoubtedly one of the greats and one of Benny´s idols. Buddy Rich is and will remain a true legend! At Benny´s side the Royal College of Music Big Band in London.
Last summer Lily Dahab has released her latest and truly wonderful album Bajo un mismo cieleo. Now the Argentinian singer will go on tour, starting on January 18th. The fans are in anticipation and if you haven´t discovered this very special voice from South America for yourself yet – don´t miss this chance! Warm and passionate timbres await you, likely to shine a light through the dullest of skies and chase the grey away. Take a look at the video:
Way back it all started with heated discussions: “Why should we produce vinyl, who would buy it?” In the meanwhile we simply love our 180 gr discs - just as the fans do. This superbly produced music just is perfectly suited for being enjoyed on a vinyl record. A feast for the ears and the eyes as well! And a must for every sound enthusiast, just as these musicians are. This music creates a sonic space, while turning in circles. Listen to all four records in a row and get high on Nighthawks. Highly recommended for New Year´s Eve.
Jeff Cascaro has just finished his wonderful tour of four cities. And getting to the heart of it: jazz still has a great deal of potential, particularly when it appropriates popular songs. We heartily suggest that you look up Jeff Cascaro in the net and listen to his interpretation of “Ain´t No Love in the Heart of the City”. What you will find: rhythmic energy, beautiful timbres and sophisticated distinctiveness. That´s how the more laid-back hits stick to the mind.
Great acoustics can make for a truly sensual experience! Lisa Bassenge, accompanied by pianist Jacob Karlzon and Andreas Lang on double bass, has played a concert at the small hall of the Elbphilharmonie, which only can be called memorable in all aspects. The thunderous applause rightfully went to this wonderful trio, but also to the very special songs they were interpreting and to the phenomenal architectural acoustics surrounding the audience. Lisa Bassenge and her companions quite obviously were enjoying this evening along with the crowd.
For many years now Jeff Cascaro has been an ambassador of soul jazz. Along the way he has released quite a number of brilliant albums, already classics of the genre. At present the singer is on tour with his latest album love & blues in the city, underlining his status as a major voice in jazz singing. Don´t miss your chance to see and hear him this weekend, Friday the 16th of November, at the Gulfhaus in Vechta.
Heck! Who forgot to put the dates on the posters for the date with the Nighthawks? In any case, that´s something we won´t let stand, so up the ladder we climb! Every poster around town counts, especially this close to the Fabrik. For the Fabrik in Hamburg Altona is where the Nighthawks will be playing on November 24th. No doubt, this is going to be a special evening. If you haven´t seen this fabulous electro-jazz band yet, don´t miss this chance. And if you already have, chances are you will be there again … and again.
Planning a tour can be like solving a huge jigsaw puzzle and sure can make one grow a couple of extra grey hair. But by mid November, when Lisa Bassenge and Andreas Lang will pick up Swedish pianist extraordinaire Jacob Karlzon at the airport Berlin for the final rehearsals, the joy will start to kick in. In my mind´s ear I start hearing songs like “Three Cigarettes, Grandma´s Hands ...”, and these wonderful musicians in the practice room, going through their material, discussing arrangements. On November 16th they are expected to play a studio concert at the MDR.
50 years is quite a number in today´s music business! The Pasadena Roof Orchestra will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019 and to get you in the mood, we are happy to announce the release of a beautifully designed 3 CD Box Set with some the orchestra´s finest recordings: “Ladies and Gentlemen”, as well as two of their classic recordings from the 1970´s, “On Tour” and “The Show Must Go On”.
Miu is hardly on the line to get. This has good reasons. Let the horn section play in here, the strings there, a few vocals here. Everyday life in the music business. Everyday life, if you push the second production together. We get financial support from the Initiative Musik gGmbH! That's not a piece of cake, because only in this way is it possible for us to produce a really thick album. And Miu really holds the strings in her hand. She is completely into it and will get her band on stage at Mojo Club Hamburg on August 31st. Then everyone can hear what has been created.
The Nighthawks have a penchant for videos. Their performance at the ElbJazz festival in 2018 truly was a memorable one. Outside thunder and lightning were raging and people were literally running into the hangars for shelter. On this stormy late evening the Nighthawks entered the stage in the machine hall of Blohm + Voss to present their new program 707. There were three cameras on stage and four more in the audience, to catch as much of the atmosphere as possible. That very night the video files were sent to Barcelona for editing. The result is a remarkable live video, capturing the special ambience of this festival and the energetic performance by the Nighthawks perfectly. See and hear for yourself! The 707 album already is advancing to become a classic.
Lisa Bassenge´s new album “Borrowed and Blue” has been released quite recently. And we are hoping for and expecting an ever growing audience to discover this very special singer from Berlin. The critics have shared some very nuanced opinions on why this is such a wonderful album. Read for yourself:
It must be a generational, well age thing: musicians sending us postcards?! And who may it be? The jolly jokers of the Nighthawks, of course! They just wanted to remind their label on their upcoming concert in its home town. And now, of course, we are wondering, if carnival is already raging again down in Cologne. In response we have printed a pretty blue postcard in discreet Hanseatic design. And since we are brothers in spirit now, we will, at least for a while, ignore all new media hypes and take a stroll to the nearest mailbox. More importantly though: advance ticket sales are great.
Once upon a time I used to count my coins of German Marks and then walked them to my local record shop. While they were weighing heavy in my pockets, their chink was part of the joyful anticipation of the pending purchase. Credit Cards and streams don´t make any noise and don´t need to be walked. The world has become aseptic and somehow unwholesome, because there is less to sense. And to my mind the effects of this trend are to be felt in music culture as well.
"Borrowed and Blue", the new album by Berlin-based singer Lisa Bassenge, will be released on September 28th! Now we are providing you with one more track to download or stream. Paul Simon's classic song "Still Crazy After All These Years" is interpreted by Lisa Bassenge in a trio formation with pianist Jacob Karlzon and Andreas Lang on bass. This trio has achieved a version of timeless beauty.
The 4th floor! I am pretty sure, that by now nobody knows better than Lisa Bassenge: the weight of vinyl is considerable. One hundred records in one swoop. Why so many? Lisa is signing her new album Borrowed and Blue, which will be released on September 28th, for jpc. Don´t worry – CD´s will be available too. And of course you will find the album in all the usual download forums. Lisa Bassenge has a different problem though: how to get this huge box of vinyl down to the ground floor again, because the records have to be back at jpc in good time.
Wonderful! Just two days ago Benny Greb and I had a rather pleasant barbecue session and over the food we got to talking about drums. Basically I wanted to find out more about how drummers think their music. It was the beginning of an intense and, particularly on my part, insightful discussion. Benny simply is great at explaining: a bit like the kind of teacher one always wanted to have, captivating and inspiring, with a roguish smile sparkling over the edges of his glasses.