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Time Suite - Jazz Thing Next Generation Vol. 88

Gilles Grethen Quartet

Time Suite - Jazz Thing Next Generation Vol. 88

Price: € 14.95 10.47
Format: CD
Label: Double Moon Records
UPC: 0608917138429
Catnr: DMCHR 71384
Release date: 28 May 2021
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Label
Double Moon Records
UPC
0608917138429
Catalogue number
DMCHR 71384
Release date
28 May 2021

"... but in the overall picture it is a captivating debut album that deserves several listens."

Concerto, 18-6-2021
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
Press
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DE

About the album

Many musicians have already thought about the concept of time. The young guitarist Gilles Grethen has written a whole “Time Suite” for his quartet, which plays in a repeatedly new and surprising way with the diversity of sounds of his ensemble.

Grethen comes from Luxembourg, where he came to jazz through classical music and his father's CD collection. “That’s when I heard Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald, and I even secretly danced to their music,” he remembers. “I found the old Count Basie recordings to be very refreshing and modern.”

The young Gilles first learned violin and clarinet, later also drums and bass. “I started playing electric guitar at the age of thirteen,” Grethen said, who was born in 1994. “The jazz guitarist Greg Lamy was my teacher and quickly realized that I wanted to play jazz instead of rock and pop.”

At first Grethen listened to the classics of the instrument, which were more at home “on the funky side of things”. “At that time, I listened to Wes Montgomery nonstop, for example, ‘Smokin‘ at the half Note’,” Grethen said. “But I also listened to Grant Green extremely often, and he was one of my great idols.”

Grethen later studied at the University of Music Saar in Saarbrücken, where he also met his co-musicians, namely the Luxembourg drummer Michel Meis, who debuted with his own quartet in our next-generation series, and the Italian bassist Gabriele Basilico. “We were initially a trio,” Grethen remembers, “but then I invited the German trumpeter Vincent Pinn to join us. I really wanted a brass instrument, because the sound of trumpet and flugelhorn combines extremely well with the guitar – I think the just sound great together.”

Gilles Grethen chose a suite due to the wealth of ideas in his head. “I had a lot of ideas that somehow fit together, but not in one piece,” he said. “This construct of the classical suite, where you have six pieces, which are connected but still have their own character, seemed suitable for this. I did not use the formal concepts, but there is a leitmotif that holds the six pieces together. The harmony runs through all the pieces, and there are melodies that reappear in a different form in other pieces.”

Located somewhere between traditional and modern jazz, the compositions are characterized by their warm harmonies and lyrical melodies. The pieces often start quietly and slowly, but always change character, develop concise rhythms and harmonious ideas. Especially the unisono passages of trumpet and guitar have their appeal, but it is the warm yet lively guitar sound and the common playing culture of all four musicians that makes “Time Suite” sound so convincing.

“Michel Meis is a very energetic person, and this also characterizes his drumming,” the band leader pointed out the tension that the drummer brings into the band. “He contributes an incredible amount of energy, which fires your own enthusiasm so much while you are playing that the music almost explodes.”

Of course, Grethen is also full of praise for Vincent Pinn. “I value him as a trumpet player and as a human being. He has a very round sound and improvises very imaginatively. He plays with melodies and is full of surprises. He never plays the way you expect, and I think that’s great.”

And then there’s the unusual, variant-rich bassist. “I appreciate Gabriele Basilico as a double-bass player who, like all of us, comes from classical music. He has an incredible sound and very nice ideas when accompanying. He does not fall into the typical bass role, but also plays with melodies and the theme.”

Between sensual relaxation and bold improvisations, Gilles Grethen Quartet creates a variety of sounds that are truly unparalleled.

Über die Zeit haben sich schon viele Musiker Gedanken gemacht. Der junge Gitarrist Gilles Grethen hat für sein Quartett gleich eine ganze „Time Suite“ geschrieben, die auf immer wieder neue und überraschende Weise mit der Klangvielfalt seines Ensembles spielt.

Grethen stammt aus Luxemburg, wo er über die klassische Musik zum Jazz gekommen ist und über die CD-Sammlung seines Vaters. „Da habe ich Count Basie und Ella Fitzgerald gehört, dazu habe ich sogar heimlich getanzt“, erinnert er sich. „Gerade die alten Count-Basie-Aufnahmen habe ich als sehr erfrischend und modern empfunden.“

Zunächst hat der kleine Gilles Geige und Klarinette gelernt, später auch Schlagzeug und Bass. „Mit dreizehn Jahren habe ich angefangen, elektrische Gitarre zu spielen“, sagt Grethen, der 1994 geboren wurde. „Der Jazzgitarrist Greg Lamy war mein Lehrer und hat schnell gemerkt, dass ich statt Rock und Pop lieber Jazz spielen wollte.“

Dabei hat sich Grethen zunächst an den Klassikern des Instruments satt gehört, die eher „on the funky side of things“ zuhause waren. „Damals habe ich Wes Montgomery gehört, ‚Smokin‘ at the Half Note’ zum Beispiel rauf und runter“, erzählt Grethen. „Aber auch Grant Green habe ich sehr, sehr viel gehört und er war eins meiner großen Idole.“

Später hat Grethen an der Hochschule für Musik in Saarbrücken studiert, wo er auch seine Musiker kennengelernt hat, nämlich den luxemburgischen Schlagzeuger Michel Meis - der mit seinem 4tet selbst in unserer Next-Generation-Reihe debütiert hat - und den italienischen Bassisten Gabriele Basilico. „Zunächst waren wir ein Trio“, erinnert sich Grethen, „aber dann habe ich noch den deutschen Trompeter Vincent Pinn eingeladen. Ich wollte unbedingt ein Blechblasinstrument haben, weil der Sound von Trompete und Flügelhorn sich extrem gut mit der Gitarre verbindet - das finde ich einfach großartig.“

Für eine Suite hat sich Gilles Grethen dann aufgrund der Ideenfülle in seinem Kopf entschieden. „Ich hatte viele Ideen, die irgendwie zusammen, aber nicht in ein Stück passten“, sagt er. „Dieses Konstrukt der Suite aus der Klassik, wo man sechs Stücke hat, die zwar miteinander verbunden sind, aber doch einen eigenen Charakter haben, erschien mir dafür passend. Die Formvorgaben habe ich nicht übernommen, aber es gibt doch einen roten Faden, der die sechs Stücke zusammenhält. Die Harmonik zieht sich durch sämtliche Stücke und es gibt Melodien, die in abgewandelter Form in anderen Stücken wieder auftauchen.“

Die Kompositionen sind irgendwo zwischen traditionellem und modernem Jazz beheimatet und zeichnen sich durch ihre warmen Harmonien und lyrischen Melodien aus. Oft beginnen die Stücke ruhig und langsam, wechseln aber immer wieder den Charakter, entwickeln prägnante Rhythmen und harmonische Ideen. Insbesondere die Unisono-Passagen von Trompete und Gitarre haben ihren Reiz, aber es ist der warme und doch lebendige Gitarrensound und die gemeinsame Spielkultur aller vier Musiker, die „Time Suite“ so überzeugend klingen lässt.

„Michel Meis ist ein sehr energetischer Mensch und das kennzeichnet auch sein Schlagzeugspiel“, bringt der Bandleader die Spannung, die der Drummer in die Band einfließen lässt, auf den Punkt. „Er bringt eine unfassbare Energie mit, die einen beim Spielen so mitreißt, dass die Musik fast explodiert.“

Auch über Vincent Pinn ist Grethen natürlich des Lobes voll: „Ihn schätze ich als Trompeter und als Mensch. Er hat einen sehr runden Klang und improvisiert sehr ideenreich. Dabei spielt er mit Melodien und steckt voller Überraschungen. Er spielt nie so, wie man es erwartet, und das finde ich sehr gut.“

Und dann ist da noch der ungewöhnliche variantenreiche Bassist. „Gabriele Basilico schätze ich als Kontrabassisten, der wie wir alle aus der Klassik kommt. Er hat einen unfassbaren Sound und sehr schöne Ideen beim Begleiten. Er verfällt nicht in die typische Bass-Rolle, sondern spielt auch beim Begleiten mit Melodien und dem Thema.“

Zwischen sinnlicher Entspanntheit und kühnen Improvisationen erzeugt das Gilles Grethen Quartet eine Klangvielfalt, die tatsächlich ihresgleichen sucht.

Artist(s)

Gilles Grethen (guitar)

Luxembourg guitarist Gilles Grethen's quartet convinces with a rich sound diversity and compositions oscillating between traditional and modern jazz. Warm harmonies and lyrical melodies, combined with a captivating rhythm and underlined by Grethen's warm yet vibrant guitar sound, are the ingredients of their music. Both motives developed in unison and bold improvisations reveal that each of the four musicians gives important impetus and thus dissolve the stereotypical roles of soloist and rhythm section. A first album is currently in production.
more
Luxembourg guitarist Gilles Grethen's quartet convinces with a rich sound diversity and compositions oscillating between traditional and modern jazz. Warm harmonies and lyrical melodies, combined with a captivating rhythm and underlined by Grethen's warm yet vibrant guitar sound, are the ingredients of their music. Both motives developed in unison and bold improvisations reveal that each of the four musicians gives important impetus and thus dissolve the stereotypical roles of soloist and rhythm section. A first album is currently in production.

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Michel Meis (drums)

Born in 1989, Michel Meis belongs to the new generation of Luxembourgish jazz musicians and regularly proves his versatility and openness through numerous projects.   After years of style shaping and sound experiments, his 4tet is about to make its mark on the European jazz scene with a sonic vocabulary that skillfully blends the traditional palette of drums, trombone, piano and double bass with the fresh approach and the broad musical background of open-minded and fearless musicians. The result is an exciting modern jazz where free and experimental improvisations meet well-crafted compositions. Where a rhythm, bursting with energy and vivacity, meets introverted and lyrical melodies. Where conventional jazz elements meet a clever and subtle use of jungle beats and electronic sound effects....
more
Born in 1989, Michel Meis belongs to the new generation of Luxembourgish jazz musicians and regularly proves his versatility and openness through numerous projects.
After years of style shaping and sound experiments, his 4tet is about to make its mark on the European jazz scene with a sonic vocabulary that skillfully blends the traditional palette of drums, trombone, piano and double bass with the fresh approach and the broad musical background of open-minded and fearless musicians. The result is an exciting modern jazz where free and experimental improvisations meet well-crafted compositions. Where a rhythm, bursting with energy and vivacity, meets introverted and lyrical melodies. Where conventional jazz elements meet a clever and subtle use of jungle beats and electronic sound effects. Although a true powerhouse drummer, Michel Meis gives enough room for the other instruments to unfold, thus emphasizing the cohesiveness and harmony of the project.

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Vincent Pinn (trumpet)

Composer(s)

Gilles Grethen (guitar)

Luxembourg guitarist Gilles Grethen's quartet convinces with a rich sound diversity and compositions oscillating between traditional and modern jazz. Warm harmonies and lyrical melodies, combined with a captivating rhythm and underlined by Grethen's warm yet vibrant guitar sound, are the ingredients of their music. Both motives developed in unison and bold improvisations reveal that each of the four musicians gives important impetus and thus dissolve the stereotypical roles of soloist and rhythm section. A first album is currently in production.
more
Luxembourg guitarist Gilles Grethen's quartet convinces with a rich sound diversity and compositions oscillating between traditional and modern jazz. Warm harmonies and lyrical melodies, combined with a captivating rhythm and underlined by Grethen's warm yet vibrant guitar sound, are the ingredients of their music. Both motives developed in unison and bold improvisations reveal that each of the four musicians gives important impetus and thus dissolve the stereotypical roles of soloist and rhythm section. A first album is currently in production.

less

Press

... but in the overall picture it is a captivating debut album that deserves several listens.
Concerto, 18-6-2021

... The four almost completely break away from the usual role patterns of soloist and rhythm section. And the guitar - although extremely virtuosic - plays more of a servant role ...
Jazzthing, 01-6-2021

jazz-fun.de says: The sound of the trumpet and guitar here is wonderful. Their joint phrases in duet are beautiful, both musicians have an individual playing style and the rhythm section ties it all together perfectly. We like the "Next Generation" very much!
Jazz-Fun, 30-5-2021

...In this respect, one has the impression that almost every song is a suite within the suite. The band draws from many sources of the development of jazz and jazz rock, between the tradition and what may yet come, between highly energetic and dreamily taken back. All of Grethen's compositions are characterized by the thoughtfulness of the arrangements and, at the same time, by free spaces that can be used for spontaneous developments within the songs...
Musikansich, 28-5-2021

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