Philipp Gropper’s Philm – Sun Ship (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 45:28 minutes | 693 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Booklet, Front Cover | © WhyPlayJazz
Philipp Gropper is a German composer and saxophonist of jazz and modern creative style. Ultimately, Philm use Gropper’s themes as a way of goading the jazz language to its limits. All four band members are highly sensitised, lashed to a convoluted framework, but frequently escaping into the unpredictable dark corners of improvisation.
Philm has evolved quite rapidly, over a relatively short time period, after coming together in 2012. Philm’s third album is Sun Ship, named after the John Coltrane composition from 1965, but opening with an original work that shares the same title. Tenor saxophonist Philipp Gropper has composed all three of the album’s pieces, each of which is divided up into two or three thematic sections. Gropper owns up to the Coltrane Sun Ship album being amongst his favourite jazz recordings, but he also has another reason for echoing the title, inspired by his brother’s first comment upon hearing the music, describing the impression of ‘a spaceship, launched on a secret mission, navigated from far away’. Indeed, this music is exceptionally well-navigated. In sympathy, Gropper creates a tension that strains against this anxious stick-work, issuing surprisingly soft tones, cool and reclined as he ladles tenor progressions across the disjointed rhythms. Besides the onrushing linear flow, Philm make massive use of divergent rhythmic cells, sometimes ramming directly, at others criss-crossing to provoke a third momentum. It’s an exciting war between the cerebral beat-space and the gutsy, full-tilt hurtle. Ultimately, Philm use Gropper’s themes as a way of goading the jazz language to its limits, whilst still retaining the structure and style of the classic quartet line-up. All four band members are highly sensitised, lashed to a convoluted framework, but frequently escaping into the unpredictable dark corners of improvisation. Gropper’s compositions are descended from the approach of New York saxophonist and composer Tim Berne, and the school of players that grew up being influenced by him, but as with so many such artists, these tactics are only the starting point for a deeply involved individualist expression.
01 – Sun Ship (Part 1)
02 – Sun Ship (Part 2)
03 – J (Part 1)
04 – J (Part 2)
05 – J (Part 3)
06 – Who Owns The World? (Part 1)
07 – Who Owns The World? (Part 2)
08 – Who Owns The World? (Part 3)
Produced by Philipp Gropper for WhyPlayJazz.
Recorded on October 31 and November 1, 2016 by Benjamin Spitzmüller at Zentrifuge, Berlin, Germany.
Mastered by Arne Ziemann at Oakfield Mastering.
Philipp Gropper – tenor saxophone, composition
Elias Stemeseder – piano, synthesizer
Robert Landfermann – double bass
Oliver Steidle – drums