The album title ”Rooms restored“ has programmatic meaning in a number of ways. The nucleus of the personnel is, now as before, the ensemble of Claudius Valk, Hendrik Soll, Christoph Hillmann and myself, who, through years of working together, are extremely well attuned to one another. On the other hand, the group has been heavily flirting with the trumpet for some time. First, in the shape of Thomas Heberer on the preceding album „Wild open rooms“. Then, on an impressive tour with Paolo Fresu. These two wonderful experiences catalyzed the wish for further, compositionally more elaborate, integration of the instrument into the music. The multifarious personality of Hamburg resident, trumpet player Stephan Meinberg, brings an infusion of fresh impulses into the playing constellation.
Thus, this album melds novelty with the qualities of continuity.
This image of „rooms restored“ also aptly reflects the fact that many of the compositions here took their incentive from the harmonic structures of classical standards. This incentive doesn’t so much refer to the idea of writing a new melody to well-known chord changes but rather the development of new forms and shapes through reinterpretation, displacement, reduction and abstraction of the source material. Illuminating something old from a new angle, without nostalgia, and combining it with new material often generates something timeless. And timelessness, to Nendza, is the real hipness of jazz. And – there is no doubt – this CD is a jazz CD. In his view, the supposedly inevitable question of European imprint or American origin belongs in the musicology seminar. This music, in fact, originates from the midst of life and is defined by the creativity and group spirit of those involved.
Other than the individual artistic strengths of the musicians involved, one of Nendza’s fundamental interests in jazz is the composed material. It serves as a starting point and as a map for an inspired journey. This CD is, essentially, about incorporating compositional structures into improvisation. The setting is neither completely free nor does it involve unvarying song forms. Metaphorically speaking, the musicians know the common destination but can design their intineraries for themselves.