" ... Outstanding is the melancholy blues "Topolino" or "Moving Through", where Ms. Zurhausen hacks away on her electric guitar. But it's interesting."Concerto, 09-2-2024
The first hundred has been completed. But "life goes on", as football coach Dragoslav Stepanovic already knew, and that of course also applies to the Jazz thing Next Generation series. Our protagonist, the trombonist Clemens Gottwald, already thought of the fact that he is number 101 in the series: "I had the idea to do something with Dalmatians, but somehow I couldn't think of anything right."
Gottwald and his quartet Prisma – with the decisive addition of guitarist Christina Zurhausen – play seven compositions by the trombonist (the ingenious "Live is Shorter Than You Think" twice), and the album is opened by the musical tantrum "Camel Crossing". "Enraged, I stood alone in my small apartment in 2017," Gottwald recalled "and thundered the entrance motif into my trombone. The rest of the melody just flowed out of me afterward. The band contributed to sorting out this chaotic song." No small thing for the bassist Conrad Noll (he is an old duo partner of the trombonist), the pianist Simon Below (whom Gottwald met during his studies in Cologne) and the drummer Mareike Wiening. At the same time, Christina Zurhausen is a guest here and on three other songs, whom Gottwald asked to participate for a very specific reason. "She doesn’t come primarily from jazz, but from grunge," the bandleader explained. "That suited me, because I didn't want a typical jazz guitar, but someone who is rockier on the road." This is a big understatement for the guitarist's sharp-edged and hard-hitting sound, which is able to charge a song electrically at any time and take it away toward avant-garde garage rock. Even a song title like "Niggli's Rest" is a mystery, because everyone knows that the Swiss drummer is "alive and kicking". "'Niggli's Rest‘ is dedicated to a cat that my mother christened after Lucas Niggli," Gottwald explained. “That cat died. This song wants to describe her path, her struggle, because in the end death embraces us as the last lover." The quartet can be heard there without Zurhausen, and the song was created quite spontaneously, "without much thinking about it ". There is also a story behind "Topolino". "A funny and melancholy song," is how its creator describes it. " Imagine driving an old Fiat Topolino across the Alps and the brakes fail on the way down. Good luck!" Clemens Gottwald comes from the countryside and first played brass music before his first trombone teacher, who was a classical musician but also played in big bands, introduced him to jazz. But Gottwald's older brother was also an important influence. “My brother was the first in our family to have internet,” the trombonist recalled. "That was at a time when you downloaded a video in the morning and you were only able to watch it after you came home at noon. I only knew big band jazz at the time, but my brother always played me other things for me as well. It was often music that made me think: What in god’s name is this? And then it won't let you go." Gottwald's formative influences ranged from Kid Ory to Albert Mangelsdorff, and the universal aspiration he places on his instrument is best embodied by a musician like Ray Anderson. Although still young, the trombonist now teaches a trombone class at the Würzburg Music Academy, where he commutes from Cologne, which he has made his home. And he has already noticed one thing: “Booking has become easier since I was able to announce this album on a prestigious label like Double Moon.”
... Outstanding is the melancholy blues "Topolino" or "Moving Through", where Ms. Zurhausen hacks away on her electric guitar. But it's interesting.
The album opens with the spectacular song "Camel Crossing"....
... Lyrical melodies dominate the aesthetically consonant interplay of trombone and guitar....