Kazalpin

Sniezki / Schnee

Price: € 14.95
Format: CD
Label: Double Moon Records
UPC: 0608917151022
Catnr: DMCHR 71510
Release date: 30 October 2015
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Label
Double Moon Records
UPC
0608917151022
Catalogue number
DMCHR 71510
Release date
30 October 2015
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
DE

About the album

They sit in front of a hut and enjoy a cup of coffee and the sun's rays. Why can't it always be that easy? The photo of Kazalpin in the booklet outlines an idyll that is seemingly totally ignored the renewed East-West conflict. A phenomenon bringing different peoples together, which apparently can only work in art and demonstrates the absurdity of the idiots of nation rulers with a few notes and a successful musical joint venture in a charming way. In the case of Kazalpin, they have already being doing this for five years despite all geopolitical shifts. For the second time, that Alpine ensemble of the Lucerne tenor and soprano saxophonist Albin Brun (who plays the diatonic accordion on two songs) tries to square a circle, i.e., to achieve the impossible, with Patricia Draeger (accordion, flute), Claudio Strebel (double bass) and Marco Käppeli (drums) as well as the Belarusian singing trio Akana (Irena Kotvitskaja, Rusia, Nadzeya Tschuhunova). In this particular case, this means to interweave Franco-Swiss jazz images with Belarusian folklore tunes. What sounds at first glance like a project with a seemingly incompatible mixture layer works beautifully in the real life of the musicians. While nobody had to compromise or disavow his origins on the debut album of Kazalpin "East Side Story" (DMCHR 71509) in 2011, curiosity and genuine artistic openness drives each Kazalpin band member far beyond his or her horizons on the current album "Śniežki – Snow". The collaboration has become much more interesting and differentiated, Albin Brun said. "We know each other so well now that we trust each other. These ancient Belarusian songs are an integral part of the band concept. Each of us wants to keep their primitive force, their core statement. We jazz musicians especially have no interest at all to destroy these traditional pieces with some wishy-washy arrangements." Indeed, what Kazalpin presents on the twelve songs of their new CD sounds like a successful experiment: the amalgam of two worlds. Strangely familiar, pleasantly consumable, rousing, but still different than comparable world-jazz-crossover productions in a quite natural way, maybe even a little strange and inaccessible. The bilingual song "Śniežki – Snow" is symbolic of this, which exposes the reckless symbiosis as a fortunate coincidence of destiny. "Irena, Rusia and Nadzeya sang this Belarusian a capella song called 'Śniežki' one day," Brun said. "When I found out that it translated as 'snow', I was quite taken aback. The reason was that I had composed a song independent of that which is also called 'Schnee' (trans: 'Snow'). Two perspectives on one and the same thing, not agreed about in advance. I thought to myself that it could result in a beautiful connection. And it really fits!" "Śniežki" and "Snow" are on the disc in addition to a number of traditional tunes and some original ones, whereby the differences between a revised folk song and a jazz tune can only be detected by analytical listening.

Zum zweiten Mal versuchen sich das Alpin Ensemble des Luzerner Tenor- und Sopransaxofonisten Albin Brun (der diesmal in zwei Titeln sogar zum diatonischen Akkordeon greift) um Patricia Draeger (Akkordeon, Flöte), Claudio Strebel (Kontrabass) und Marco Käppeli (Schlagzeug) sowie das weißrussische Gesangstrio Akana (Irena Kotvitskaja, Rusia, Nadzeya Tschuhunova) an der Quadratur des Kreises. Im konkreten Fall bedeutet dieser, franko-schwyzerische Jazzbilder mit weißrussischen Folkloreweisen zu verweben. Was sich auf den ersten Blick wie ein Projekt mit einer schier inkompatiblen Gemengelage anhört, funktioniert im realen Musikerleben prächtig. Musste sich schon auf dem Debütalbum von Kazalpin „East Side Story“ (DMCHR 71509) von 2011 niemand verbiegen oder seine Herkunft verleugnen, so treibt die Neugierde und die ernsthafte künstlerische Offenheit jedes Kazalpin-Bandmitglied auf dem aktuellen Album „Sniezki – Schnee“ weit über den eigenen Horizont hinaus.

Die Zusammenarbeit sei viel interessanter geworden, sagt Albin Brun, noch differenzierter. „Wir kennen uns inzwischen so gut, dass wir einander vertrauen. Ein wesentlicher Bestandteil des Bandkonzepts sind diese alten belarussischen Lieder. Jeder von uns will, dass sie ihre urwüchsige Kraft, ihre Kernaussage behalten. Gerade wir Jazzmusiker haben überhaupt kein Interesse daran, diese traditionsreichen Stücke mit irgendwelchen Wischiwaschi-Arrangements kaputt zu spielen.“ In der Tat klingt das, was Kazalpin auf den zwölf Titeln ihrer neuen CD präsentieren, wie ein geglücktes Experiment. Das Amalgam zweier Welten. Seltsam vertraut, angenehm konsumierbar, mitreißend, aber dennoch auf eine ganz natürliche Weise anders als vergleichbare World-Jazz-Crossover-Produktionen, vielleicht sogar ein wenig fremd und unerreichbar. Symbolisch steht dafür der zweisprachige Titel „Sniezki – Schnee“, der die waghalsige Symbiose als eine glückliche Fügung des Schicksals entlarvt. „Irena, Rusia und Nadzeya sangen eines Tages dieses weißrussische A capella-Lied namens ´Sniezki`“, erzählt Brun. „Als ich erfuhr, dass es übersetzt ´Schnee` bedeutet, war ich ziemlich verblüfft. Denn völlig unabhängig davon hatte ich einen Titel komponiert, der ebenfalls den Titel ´Schnee` trägt. Zwei Blickwinkel auf ein und dieselbe Sache, nicht abgesprochen. Ich dachte mir, dass das vielleicht eine schöne Verbindung ergeben könnte. Und es passt wirklich!“

„Sniezki“ und „Schnee“ finden sich neben einer Reihe von traditionellen Weisen und einigen Originals auf dem Silberling, wobei die Unterschiede zwischen einem überarbeiteten Volkslied und einem Jazz-Tune allenfalls beim analytischen Hören erkennbar werden. Wer sich dem Werk von Kazalpin jedoch mit dem Herzen nähert, der wird in einen faszinierenden Kosmos aus Grooves, Klangbildern, urbanem Puls und archaischer Weite gezogen. Albin Bruns Bearbeitungen vertiefen sich respektvoll in die folkloristischen Vorlagen und phrasieren behutsam die melodischen Elemente. Er und Marco Käppeli vervielfältigen ihre Ausdruckspalette durch die Hinzunahme neuer Instrumentalfarben wie zum Beispiel dem Waterphone, einem geheimnisvollen Gebläse, dessen Klang Walgesängen ähnelt, während Käppeli das Asa Chan, ein Resonanzraum im Stile des Hang, für sich entdeckt hat.

Artist(s)

Kazalpin

Albin Brun is a guarantee for the success of such a borderline experience, which also attempts to come to terms with the tradition of its own country of origin. The Neue Luzerner Zeitung wrote about the premier of its 'Alpin Ensembles' (Willisau Jazz Festival 2008): '…the audience responded with enthusiasm… Instead of coating all with a light, crossways jazz covering, the ensemble succeeded in creating a new connection with Alpine material that was as interesting musically as it was emotionally touching.' However, Albin Brun has also dealt with the traditions of other countries time and time again, most recently in a joint project with the oud player Georges Kazazian in Egypt. The starting gun was fired for 'KAZALPIN / КАЗАЛЬПІН' in...
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Albin Brun is a guarantee for the success of such a borderline experience, which also attempts to come to terms with the tradition of its own country of origin. The Neue Luzerner Zeitung wrote about the premier of its "Alpin Ensembles" (Willisau Jazz Festival 2008): "…the audience responded with enthusiasm… Instead of coating all with a light, crossways jazz covering, the ensemble succeeded in creating a new connection with Alpine material that was as interesting musically as it was emotionally touching." However, Albin Brun has also dealt with the traditions of other countries time and time again, most recently in a joint project with the oud player Georges Kazazian in Egypt. The starting gun was fired for "KAZALPIN / КАЗАЛЬПІН" in September 2009 when Albin Brun was in Minsk for a week with the drummer Marco Käppeli and met the Belorussian singer trio Akana for the first time while they were looking for a suitable group. They understood each other from the start; with their respect of tradition and simultaneous cosmopolitan spirit, the three women complemented the Albin Brun Alpin Ensemble ideally. Akana is one of the most well known groups in the young music scene of Minsk. The three singers are specialized in old pre-Christian ritual songs, which they collect and record during trips to old people in the countryside. On one hand, they sing the songs totally authentically to preserve them from being forgotten, and on the other hand they are open to current music trends and consequently reach a young, urbane audience with their joy in experimenting with music.
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Albin Brun (saxophone)

Rusia (vocals)

Patricia Draeger (accordion)

Composer(s)

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