Peter Protschka Quintet

Hearts and Minds

Price: € 14.95
Format: CD
Label: Double Moon Records
UPC: 0608917139723
Catnr: DMCHR 71397
Release date: 25 March 2022
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Label
Double Moon Records
UPC
0608917139723
Catalogue number
DMCHR 71397
Release date
25 March 2022

"... Here really beautiful, unspectacular jazz is played, which makes the heart jump for joy, "Straight Ahead Jazz", as I could read about this. Yes, from the hearts and minds of the musicians into the hearts and minds of the listeners, a perfectly successful synthesis in this case. ..."

Musikansich, 17-5-2022
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About the album

“Hearts and Minds” is not just a random album title, because the quintet of the Cologne trumpeter and flugelhorn player Peter Protschka actually plays with heart and mind. The band's first studio album – they previously released the live album “Twilight Jamboree” – is a collection of eight compositions, half of which come from the band leader and the other half from the American tenor saxophonist Rick Margitza. Behind these sophisticated pieces, there are homages to various jazz greats. and it should be clear to everyone whom is meant with "St. Sonny" or "E Jones". But he also describes his adoptive country in "August in Paris" or the sound of the band with “Warm”.

“Our long-standing repertoire is huge and that's why we decided to record it on a studio album,” Protschka explained his motivation. "The band was well rehearsed, because the recordings were made during our tour last September. As a result, the band was documented as it actually sounds live."

And that is quite pleasant to hear, although the label Post-Bop only fits the five-piece band to a limited extent, because it also processes many twisted bars and uses more open forms and more complex harmonies than a classic Post-Bop band.

"We play contemporary European straight-ahead jazz, but without losing sight of the American tradition," Protschka stated formulating his sound ideal. "It is a very warm, lyrical sound, with which our various backgrounds and influences can also be heard. But we all appreciate American music very much and you can hear that too."

The quintet has been playing together in the same line-up for nine years, and you can hear the carefully coordinated sound that the five musicians have developed together, be it in a sensual ballad like "Hymn for the Suffering" or in the ten minutes of "Tom's Groove" – by the way dedicated to the American trumpeter Tom Harrell. "We were all happy from the first second," Protschka recalled when first listening to the recordings. "Sound engineer Klaus Endel sent out great vibes and mastered a good sound."

The furious passages with Protschka and Rick Margitza in unison merge into a very special sound, but of course the tenor sax player also gets a lot of space for solos. "Rick is one of the most original tenor saxophonists of his generation," Protschka said. "He has developed his own language, very lyrical, but sometimes also intellectual. He plays very sensitively and works a lot with timbres, but you still hear the whole tradition – he even played with Miles Davis."

Protschka is also enthusiastic about his pianist Martin Sasse. "Martin is one of the very few pianists in this country who can play this music authentically," he stated enthusiastically. "He is one of the leading straight-ahead pianists and is constantly evolving. He is also a fantastic accompanist."

With Tobias Backhaus there is a man on the drums who has already played with musicians like Till Brönner, Tony Lakatos, Bob Degen, Frank Chastenier and Wanja Slavin. "Tobias is a very versatile drummer who is at home in many styles, but his heart beats for the American way of playing," Protschka stated. "He manages to maintain his energy continuously during a concert or recording session and thus gives the soloists the necessary kick."

Martin Gjakpnovski is responsible for the band’s solid foundation with deep tones on the double bass, which can already be heard on more than one hundred albums. "Martin is one of Europe's top bassists, who is always in demand when American musicians come over," Protschka said impressed. "But it's hard to get him, because he now lives in the Balkans."

Together with “Hearts and Minds”, the Peter Protschka Quintet presents music that sounds as relaxed and casual as it is fresh and energetic.

„Hearts and Minds“ ist kein beliebiger Albumtitel, denn das Quintett des Kölner Trompeters und Flügelhornisten Peter Protschka spielt tatsächlich mit Herz und Hirn. Das erste Studio-Album der Band - vorher gab es das Live-Album „Twilight Jamboree“ - versammelt acht Kompositionen, die zur Hälfte vom Bandleader und zur anderen Hälfte vom amerikanischen Tenorsaxofonisten Rick Margitza stammen. Hinter dessen raffinierten Nummern verbergen sich Huldigungen an diverse Jazzgrößen - es dürfte wohl jedem klar sein, wer mit „St. Sonny“ oder „E Jones“ gemeint ist -, er beschreibt aber auch mit „August in Paris“ seine Wahlheimat oder mit „Warm“ den Klang der Band.

„Unser langjähriges Repertoire ist riesig und deshalb haben wir uns entschieden, es jetzt einmal auf einem Studio-Album einzuspielen“, erläutert Protschka seine Motivation. „Die Band war gut eingespielt, weil die Aufnahmen während unserer Tour im letzten September entstanden sind. So wurde die Band dokumentiert, wie sie tatsächlich auch live klingt.“

Und das ist ziemlich süffig, wenngleich das Etikett Post-Bop nur bedingt auf der Fünfer-Bande haftet, denn sie verarbeitet auch viele krumme Takte und verwendet offenere Formen und komplexere Harmonien als eine klassische Post-Bop-Band.

„Wir spielen zeitgenössischen europäischen Straight-Ahead-Jazz, der aber schon ein intensives Auge auf die amerikanische Tradition wirft“, formuliert Protschka sein Klangideal. „Es ist ein sehr warmer, lyrischer Klang, bei dem auch unsere verschiedenen Hintergründe und Einflüsse zu hören sind. Wir schätzen aber alle sehr amerikanische Musik und das hört man auch.“

Seit neun Jahren spielt das Quintett jetzt in der gleichen Besetzung zusammen und man hört dem sorgfältig aufeinander abgestimmtem Sound an, dass die fünf Musiker miteinander gewachsen sind. Sei es in einer sinnlichen Ballade wie „Hymn for the Suffering“ oder in dem zehn Minuten mit hoher Energie nach vorne stürmenden „Tom’s Groove“ - übrigens dem amerikanischen Trompeter Tom Harrell gewidmet. „Wir waren alle von der ersten Sekunde an happy“, erinnert sich Protschka an die Aufnahmen. „Toningenieur Klaus Endel hat einen super Vibe verbreitet und einen guten Sound gemacht.“

Die furiosen Unisono-Passagen mit Protschka und Rick Margitza verschmelzen zu einem ganz eigenen Klang, aber natürlich erhält der Tenorist auch viel Platz für Soli. „Rick ist einer der originellsten Tenorsaxofonisten seiner Generation“, findet Protschka. „Er hat eine ganz eigene Sprache entwickelt, sehr lyrisch, aber manchmal auch intellektuell. Er spielt sehr sensibel und arbeitet viel mit Klangfarben, aber trotzdem hört man die ganze Tradition - er hat ja noch mit Miles Davis gespielt.“

Auch von seinem Pianisten Martin Sasse ist Protschka begeistert. „Martin ist einer der ganz wenigen Pianisten hierzulande, die diese Musik authentisch spielen können“, schwärmt er. „Er gehört zu den führenden Straight-Ahead-Pianisten und entwickelt sich stetig weiter. Außerdem ist er ein fantastischer Begleiter.“

Mit Tobias Backhaus sitzt ein Mann hinterm Schlagzeug, der schon mit Musikern wie Till Brönner, Tony Lakatos, Bob Degen, Frank Chastenier und Wanja Slavin gespielt hat. „Tobias ist ein sehr vielseitiger Schlagzeuger, der in vielen Stilistiken zuhause ist, aber sein Herz schlägt für die amerikanische Art zu spielen“, freut sich Protschka. „Er schafft es, seine Energie während eines Konzerts oder einer Aufnahme-Session kontinuierlich aufrecht zu erhalten und so den Solisten die nötigen Kicks zu geben.“

Für die Erdung der Band mit tiefen Tönen ist Martin Gjakpnovski am Kontrabass zuständig, der schon auf über einhundert Alben zu hören ist. „Martin ist einer der Top-Bassisten Europas, der immer angerufen wird, wenn amerikanische Musiker rüber kommen“, zeigt sich Protschka beeindruckt. „Es ist aber schwer, ihn zu kriegen, weil er mittlerweile auf dem Balkan lebt.“

Gemeinsam präsentiert das Peter Protschka Quintet mit „Hearts and Minds“ Musik, die genauso ausgeruht und lässig wie frisch und energisch klingt.

Artist(s)

Peter Protschka (trumpet)

Rick Margitza (tenor saxophone)

Rick Margitza, born in 1961 in Detroit, started playing saxophone at a very early age and got his first big job with the Miles Davis band in the 1980's. From that point, things went fast: he recorded three albums on the Blue Note label and was invited by numerous musicians including Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Maria Schneider, Joe Calderazzo, Eliane Elias, Cecilia Norby, Dave Douglas and most of the stars of today’s New York jazz scene to tour and/or record with them. In Europe Margitza had many concerts and led a lot of masterclasses since the early 1990’s. He has three records on Challenge Records: Game Of Chance (CHR70044), Hands Of Time (CHR70021) and Conversations (CHR70062) with the Bert van den...
more
Rick Margitza, born in 1961 in Detroit, started playing saxophone at a very early age and got his first big job with the Miles Davis band in the 1980's. From that point, things went fast: he recorded three albums on the Blue Note label and was invited by numerous musicians including Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Maria Schneider, Joe Calderazzo, Eliane Elias, Cecilia Norby, Dave Douglas and most of the stars of today’s New York jazz scene to tour and/or record with them.
In Europe Margitza had many concerts and led a lot of masterclasses since the early 1990’s. He has three records on Challenge Records: Game Of Chance (CHR70044), Hands Of Time (CHR70021) and Conversations (CHR70062) with the Bert van den Brink Trio.
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Martin Sasse (piano)

Martin Gjakonovski (double bass)

Martin Gjakonovski ( * 1970 in Skopje , Macedonia ) is a living in Germany jazz bassist Macedonian origin . He is considered one of the most prominent jazz players in Europe.Gjakonovski comes from a musical family; his mother was a jazz singer and his father founded and directed the Radio Jazz Big Band Macedonia. Martin Gjakonovski learned from the age of six violin and moved with 14 years to double bass. He soon formed his own band, the trio Spato. Since 1991 he studied at the Cologne University of Music.  He worked in groups of Paul Kuhn, Lynne Arriale, Olivia Trummer, Paul Shigihara, Nicolas Simion, Bojan Z, Anders Berg Krantz, Omer Klein and the Frankfurt Jazz Big Band. With...
more
Martin Gjakonovski ( * 1970 in Skopje , Macedonia ) is a living in Germany jazz bassist Macedonian origin . He is considered one of the most prominent jazz players in Europe.Gjakonovski comes from a musical family; his mother was a jazz singer and his father founded and directed the Radio Jazz Big Band Macedonia. Martin Gjakonovski learned from the age of six violin and moved with 14 years to double bass. He soon formed his own band, the trio Spato. Since 1991 he studied at the Cologne University of Music. He worked in groups of Paul Kuhn, Lynne Arriale, Olivia Trummer, Paul Shigihara, Nicolas Simion, Bojan Z, Anders Berg Krantz, Omer Klein and the Frankfurt Jazz Big Band. With musicians such as Roman Schwaller, Andy Middleton, Tony Lakatos and Charlie Mariano, he was on the major European festivals, such as in Zagreb, Brussels, Bilbao, Krakow and Leverkusen. He produced an album with Hugo Read and Thomas Cremer in Frankfurt Jazz Trio and belonged to Markus Burgers Septer Bourbon. Previously, he played more than eighty jazz and world music CDs a, inter alia, with Dusko Goykovich, Paul Kuhn, Nicolas Simion, Antonio Faraò / Bob Berg, Michael Sagmeister, Anke Helfrich, Torsten Goods, Ferenc Snétberger, Dejan Terzic European Assembly, Claudius Valk Trio, Ratko Zjaca / Simone Zanchini / Adam Nussbaum.

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Composer(s)

Rick Margitza (tenor saxophone)

Rick Margitza, born in 1961 in Detroit, started playing saxophone at a very early age and got his first big job with the Miles Davis band in the 1980's. From that point, things went fast: he recorded three albums on the Blue Note label and was invited by numerous musicians including Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Maria Schneider, Joe Calderazzo, Eliane Elias, Cecilia Norby, Dave Douglas and most of the stars of today’s New York jazz scene to tour and/or record with them. In Europe Margitza had many concerts and led a lot of masterclasses since the early 1990’s. He has three records on Challenge Records: Game Of Chance (CHR70044), Hands Of Time (CHR70021) and Conversations (CHR70062) with the Bert van den...
more
Rick Margitza, born in 1961 in Detroit, started playing saxophone at a very early age and got his first big job with the Miles Davis band in the 1980's. From that point, things went fast: he recorded three albums on the Blue Note label and was invited by numerous musicians including Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Maria Schneider, Joe Calderazzo, Eliane Elias, Cecilia Norby, Dave Douglas and most of the stars of today’s New York jazz scene to tour and/or record with them.
In Europe Margitza had many concerts and led a lot of masterclasses since the early 1990’s. He has three records on Challenge Records: Game Of Chance (CHR70044), Hands Of Time (CHR70021) and Conversations (CHR70062) with the Bert van den Brink Trio.
less

Peter Protschka (trumpet)

Press

... Here really beautiful, unspectacular jazz is played, which makes the heart jump for joy, "Straight Ahead Jazz", as I could read about this. Yes, from the hearts and minds of the musicians into the hearts and minds of the listeners, a perfectly successful synthesis in this case. ...
Musikansich, 17-5-2022

... Located in the late bop of the European school, the combo impresses with its first-class line-up in all positions and the interplay perfected over 9 years. ... This reads like old school now, but sounds absolutely timelessly modern.
NaDann, 11-5-2022

Soft and elegant glide the notes from the trumpet or flugelhorn of Peter Protschka, and somewhat rougher sound the saxophonist Rick Margitza ... This band keeps acoustic jazz alive.  
Stereoplay 05 2022, 31-3-2022

... They make 'Hearts And Minds' a tradition-saturated ride through jazz modernism.
Jazzthing, 23-3-2022

The quintet has been playing together in the same line-up for nine years (!) and the carefully coordinated sound that the five musicians have developed together can be heard whether in a sensual ballad like Hymn for the Suffering
SK.Jazz, 27-6-2022

... all own compositions, some of which sound like classics because of the intrinsic quality.
Rootstime, 22-3-2022

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