Richard Koch Quartett – Stadt (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 45:00 minutes | 479 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © XJAZZ Music
“The grass is greener on the other side” seems to be the artistic motto of the exceptional Austrian trumpeter from Berlin – Richard Koch.
Strictly speaking, he no longer lives in Berlin, but moved to the surrounding area last winter in a Brandenburg rural commune – 40 km from the capital.
But he is still drawn to the city to make music, where he Record and give concerts with Nils Frahm, Jimi Tenor, Peter Fox and Beatsteaks. In this respect it is fitting that he called the second studio album of his quartet, which will be released on November 6th, 2020 by XJAZZ Music, “City”. He called his 2018 debut album in the role of band leader “Wald”, but it was composed on the Dutch island of Vlieland and Koch finally traveled to Athens with the album in his luggage.
Sometimes you don’t know for sure whether Richard Koch wants to piss us off with these album titles, which are obviously always about where he is not at the moment, or whether in the end there is maybe a big master plan behind it. Maybe a trilogy ?! A ten piece ?! And what will happen next ?! “Sea”, “Village” or “Mountain” ?!
If you ask him about it, you will first get his typical, charming smile as an answer, at which he always squints his eyes slightly. Mischievous and very warm at the same time.
“Since I’ve been living in the country, I’ve only really come to appreciate life in the city again,” the 41-year-old finally says.
His new album doesn’t begin with an homage to the jazz city of Berlin, but Koch dedicates the opening track to his grandmother Pauli, who was buried the day before the song’s live premiere.
In “Pauli” Koch repeats the same, continuous melody and remembers the vehemence and persistence of his Austrian grandmother. Circulating thoughts as a recurring motif in music.
“In the Sky” was the first single on the album – and it highlights the sky over the cities. The longing of the residents in the Carrés for space and distance. Rooms that city dwellers mainly find in the reverberation room of music. Or in the cinema on the big screen. Richard Koch discovered this vastness in Berlin primarily on the Tempelhofer Feld.
It really is a great pleasure to follow Richard Koch, his trumpet in one hand and a compass in the other, as he explores places and contemplates. “The sun is always there, regardless of whether there are clouds in front of it or not,” he says about his song “Sun and Clouds”. A simple truth that one forgets again and again in everyday life, also in order to be able to be outraged about the weather together with other people. This music helps us to remember the essentials.
With “The Mirror Pt. I + II ”ends the A side of the vinyl edition. The musician doesn’t mean a mirror in the city or in a farmhouse, but rather improvisation in jazz as a reflection of the soul. It is always about the state of mind of all protagonists who interact musically in the room.
“I think it’s amazing what you can learn about yourself in these pieces,” says Koch about the recordings of free music.
Together with the pianist Michael Hornek, the alternating bassists Andreas Lang and Igor Spallati and Moritz Baumgärtner on drums, Koch has formed an excellent quartet. Regardless of whether you are invited to a collective stand-up game as in “The Mirror” or whether you cover British popstep musician James Blake together in “The Wilhelm Scream”. By the way, this song was originally written by James Blake’s father James Litherland, who is known as a founding member of the prog rock formation Collosseum.
In any case, Koch is an ardent James Blake fan and is simply interested in the “people” around him. Regardless of whether it is in the country or in the city. With “People” when composing, he actually had the metropolitan areas in mind. “Sometimes the people in the city are just too much for you, but what a pleasure it is to celebrate the sum of human energy together on lavish nights,” says Koch.
There really is no better way to describe a party. And which city dweller doesn’t like to go for a walk in the woods on the Sunday after the party? Richard Koch now lives a five-minute walk from a piece of forest where he can breathe deeply. He inhales the forest air for us and exhales through the trumpet and is looking forward to the next jazz club gig with his quartet in town.
With Richard Koch everything exists in, with and through each other in the infinite space of music.
01 – Richard Koch Quartett – Pauli
02 – Richard Koch Quartett – In the Sky
03 – Richard Koch Quartett – Sun and Clouds
04 – Richard Koch Quartett – The Mirror, Pt. I + II
05 – Richard Koch Quartett – The Wilhelm Scream
06 – Richard Koch Quartett – Baku
07 – Richard Koch Quartett – People
08 – Richard Koch Quartett – Walk in the Woods
Richard Koch – trumpet
Michael Hornek – piano
Andreas Lang – double bass on 1,2,3,4,6
Igor Spallati – double bass on 5,7,8
Moritz Baumgärtner – drums