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Review by Scott Yanow: Stefan Schultze - Run


The Stefan Schultze Large Ensemble’s Run (DMCHR 71093) is a strong example of modern and original big band jazz.
The German arranger-composer Stefan Schultze studied at the Academy of Music in Cologne and he earned a composition scholarship at the Manhattan School Of Music in 2006. During his stay in New York, he led Stefan Schultze’s New York Big Band.  Since returning to Germany, he has worked on several big band projects including leading his Large Ensemble and writing for the Metropole Orchestra. Schultze has also led highly rated quintets and octets and been busy as an educator.
On Run, which was recorded in 2010, Schultze leads a 17-piece big band. He wrote and arranged all nine of the originals. His writing often has dense ensembles and is quite advanced harmonically but also swings and leaves space for the band’s many fine soloists to stretch out. Whether it is modern medium-tempo pieces or brooding ballads, Schultze’s music, and the solos by his sidemen, are consistently passionate with the closing “Monsterkind” being particularly intense.
Featured along the way are such strong improvisers as altoists Heiner Wiberny and Florian Trubsbach (who takes a memorable soprano solo on “Karawahn”), tenor-saxophonists Claudius Valk and Uli Kempendorff , Matthias Tschopp on bass clarinet, trumpeters Florian Menzel and Benny Brown,  guitarist Martin Schulte and pianist Jurgen Friedrich.
Most impressive is that the music on Run sounds fresh, lively and unlike anyone else’s large ensemble. This is a fine effort from Stefan Schultze and his musicians.
Scott Yanow

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