About the album
Any career goals? Computer games, web design or astrophysics? Florian Herzog would find those things pretty cool. Jonas Engel wanted to be a firefighter ("The same thing I'm doing on stage."), and Anthony Greminger even surprised in an interview with a rather perverse career aspiration: hitman. None of that came true for different reasons. As a result, the three decided to make music and have been even doing it together for some time under the band name "Just Another Foundry". Apparently not the worst choice. The group with shared interests won the 2015 Osnabrück Young German Jazz Award, the Grand Prix in Avignon and recently the Maastricht Jazz Award. This is how "the future of jazz in Germany" sounds, as the Süddeutsche Zeitung euphorically formulated it. Three adventurers pool their talents and have now even released their first recordings.
A foundry is similar to a factory. It is a large industrial facility calibrated to push its products through the retort ovens with tight tolerance guidelines. And always with one goal in mind: that one workpiece is exactly same as another down to its molecular structure and consequently can fulfill its predetermined purpose after a successful sale. However, is Just Another Foundry again only one of those countless sound factories as they now abound and appear in European jazz? A piano-less trio, sure of itself, but less than a grain of sand on the wide beach in a sea of very young groups? You might make this assumption, but that would be before you heard the first sound on the opener "Elle". Then it quickly becomes clear that the three young musicians from Cologne differ clearly from stamped molds in a foundry by the way they produce their music. Engel, Herzog and Greminger are concerned with diversity, shapeliness and above all cultivation of their individual roots. JAF have long considered themselves as a homogeneous organic unity and not as a combination of ambitious soloists and egomaniacs, which clearly sets them apart from the sea of sand grains. With one voice, they tell their stories, change tempos and keys depending on their feelings, juggle precariously between atonality and melodiousness as well as between speed-swing and ballads. Always remain unpredictable, and in no case let themselves be fit into any template: the saxophonist, bassist and drummer want to maintain this principle at all costs. It's all about authenticity. About uniqueness.
Instead of pressing a workpiece into a shape that conforms to generally applicable auditory parameters and consequently impose tight tolerances on it, JAF opt for complete freedom in their playing together. The fact that this is precisely why artful microtonal structures and fascinating intricate grooves are created is one of the many mysteries of this extraordinary band. The shared philosophy creates a basic melodic concept, and aesthetics remain as a fixed star over all compositions every second even if the approach occasionally seems quite rustic. That is how it just sounds when a closet astrophysicist, a wannabe fireman and a designated hitman play music together.
Jonas Engel, born in 1990, already began his musical career in the Hessian State Youth Orchestra when he was16. After graduation from high school and military service in the staff music band in Berlin, he studied jazz saxophone under Roger Hanschel, Claudius Valk, Frank Gratkowski and Hubert Nuss at Cologne University of Music. He has been a member of the German Federal Jazz Orchestra since 2014.
Florian Herzog, born in 1989, studied contrabass in Maastricht under Philippe Aerts and then under Dietmar Fuhr and Dieter Manderscheid in Cologne. He received a scholarship from the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation in 2013 and won the composition prize with his band "Turn" in the Biberach Jazz Prize competition. He has played as an active member of the Cologne scene alongside of Michael Moore, Sebastian Gramss, Christina Fuchs, Rob Bruynen and Sabine Kühlich, among others.
Anthony Greminger, born in 1994, has been playing drums since his childhood. Via participation in competitions (“Heavytone Kids"), drums camps in the USA (Dave Weckl, Peter Erskine and Horacio Hernandez) and the "European Big Band Master Class" conducted by Peter Herbolzheimer, he enrolled at Cologne University of Music after graduating from high school. Jonas Burgwinkel was his teacher there. Greminger has collaborated in various projects in the fields of jazz and pop.