Berlin and Hamburg quickly are growing together closer this year. The simple explanation being the tight communication between the artist and the label. A constant back and forth of information. And despite the pace, we are keeping connected to our shared vision: providing good listeners with good music. That is not just a matter of marketing, for in the end it is you, the critical listeners, who will decide. And by the end of September you will be equally surprised and excited by the mature brilliance of Lisa Bassenge´s new album Borrowed and Blue.
Summer is here and so is Lily Dahab´s new summer album. What kind of music are we listening to in summer? Vivacious and passionate music, of course! Which is exactly what Lily Dahab has to offer in abundance. The singer, being raised in Argentina and now based in Berlin, has incorporated an ever wider range of Latin sounds and rhythms into her music. Original compositions, as well as interpretations of songs by Djavan, Violeta Parra, or Baden Powell – everything the heart desires.
How truly delightful, if you have the time – and will - to take some time off now and then. That way you may climb up the stage, take a good look around and ponder how the artists may feel. On June the 1st during the Elbjazz at the Schiffbauhalle with a felt temperature of 30° degrees I had the chance to do exactly that. When the Nighthawks were entering the Schiffbauhallen-stage at 22:45 a mighty early summer thunderstorm had just passed. And the warm groovy sound of this great band provided the perfect conclusion for the first festival day in front of a swinging swaying crowd of 2000.
In 2011, at one of the first editions of the Elbjazz, the Nighthawks gave a legendary performance. This is documented on their CD & DVD “Live in Hamburg”. Now the signals are send across the Elbe once again and the band will return to the Blohm & Voss site to present their new album “707”. On June the 1st this award-winning rock-jazz-ensemble will play at the Schiffbauhalle 7. The concert will begin at 22:30 h. If you love moments for eternity – don´t miss it!
The 23. Hildener Jazztage are taking place between the 29th of May and the 3rd of June, featuring international jazz artists of all styles. On Friday, June 1st, at 21 h, Jeff Cascaro will present his varied and exciting new program in a quartet with Hendrik Soll (piano and keyboards), Jörg Achim Keller (drums) and Christian von Kaphengst (bass). The concert will be recorded by radio station WDR and broadcast on WDR 3.
Forststraße 73, 40723 Hilden
More information and tickets:
Throughout the years of our active label work we have forged many a close relationship. But the Jazz Rally, this absolutely unique music festival in the old town of Düsseldorf, has become a true friend. Over the years almost all of our artists have let their voices resound or blown their horns here. Be it in the Festival Tent, in the pubs, the state parliament or at the shopping mall – the whole city becomes a cosmopolitan stage. And this time even four of our artists will be represented!
Every year the international jazz scene gets together in Bremen. Only a hop away from Hamburg, but almost half a world from Canada. We just have to load up our yellow van and whiz over to Bremen, full of enthusiasm. You will find us at the joined stand Jazzmoves 6D19. Come to us, we are open and happy to talk, be it business or pleasure. Open-mindedness is the common credo of this fair – a fair that also stands for an open society in general. The damage to the musical culture of Germany that has been done at the Echo Awards, will be at least partly mitigated here.
It is a mind-boggling degree of ignorance the decision-makers of the Echo Awards seem to be blessed with. Giving one of the most prestigious German music awards to Kollegah & Farid Bang, while these deranged pseudo-artists are making fun and business out of mocking the victims of the Holocaust in their lyrics. Some people may want to raise the flag of artistic freedom, while ignoring the context we live in – when victims are vilified by malicious blather, freedom - artistic or not - comes to an end, one way or another.
In late April Jeff Cascaro will go on tour with his new program Love and Blues in the City: April 26th in Cologne, Erzengel Michaelkirche; April 27th Herford, Schiller; April 28th Greven, Kulturschmiede. He will be joined on stage by Christian von Kaphengst (b), Roberto Di Gioia (p) and Jörg Achim Keller (dr). Soul jazz connoisseurs will smack their lips at Cascaro´s congenial interpretations of songs like Ain´t no Love in the Heart of the City, Ode to Billy Joe, Inner City Blues and many more.
A couple of weeks ago, at the end of March, we had a meeting in our office, discussing the means, ends and possibilities of brand development. Routine in big business – a novelty for us. This morning, while shuffling my way to the bakery quite early, with eyes and mind open, taking a gaze to the right and there it was: a disfigured trademark. Quietly smiling to myself I was on my way, for sometimes and in a deeper sense it feels like there is music in everything. Up and down, loud or quiet, high or low. Music is not bad music just because it uses more or less notes.
Lily Dahab has come a long way. She has found a new home in Berlin, where she - together with pianist Bene Aperdannier - is creating her musical visions, reaching an ever broader audience. Now her new album will be released in May. Truly enchanting and mesmerizing music! Lily Dahab has put a vocal intensity into these recordings, that is likely to take your breath away: voices, loud and proud, whispering, breathing. Deeply existential music, equally concerned with the personal and the general.
Who ever did invent vinyl? It almost smells of the times of gunpowder and moonshine whiskey. And still it gets the true listeners all excited and dewy-eyed. You will find them at the record booth – not the CD-shop! - checking out and enthusing over 180gr. discs. And we are in the midst of providing the appreciators with some hot new fodder in the shape of a Nighthawks classic: Rio Bravo. Truly wonderful music, deserving to be remastered for and released as a vinyl LP. You may say it is a bit like the fruit vendors polishing their apples and pears to an even fresher shine.
When the daffodils are only just poking their heads through the snow, the confirmations for the summer festivals are dropping in. The Nighthawks, as well as some of our other bands, will be playing the Jazz-Rally Düsseldorf on May 19th. The Nighthawks will then rally on to the Elbjazz in Hamburg on June 1st. You will have the chance to see Jeff Cascaro on June 1st at the Hildener Jazztage, on the 22th of June in Essen at the Lange Jazznacht and at Lörrach´s Stimmenfestival on July 17th.
Let´s begin with last words of the evening: “Thank You Soul Town Kassel!” It was a low and heartfelt bow for Jeff Cascaro and his band at curtain call. On the one hand, because Markus Knierim, manager of Kassel´s Theaterstübchen, somehow manages to manage the impossible: hosting a Jazz festival lasting several days for ten years now. On the other hand, because the audience in Kassel is a truly appreciative and attentive one. People in Kassel still seem to know why there are ears on their heads. After a close listen communication begins, experiences are exchanged and emotions expressed.
One might assume, that a duo of just a piano and a set of drums won´t offer too much variety soundwise. Now take a listen to a couple of pieces by Frankfurt´s duo The Oh!chestra and be surprised. Through intelligent composition and unexpected entries of diverse timbres these two musicians manage to sound like a full orchestra at times, while maintaining the intimacy of a small group. In her animated video for “Land of Gold” comic artist Nacha Vollenweider has found a congenial approach to The Oh!chestra´s unique soundscape! Enjoy!!!
There it is: a piece of printed paper. And You are looking at it, side by side with the artist. It is an already signed contract, the beginning of a contractual relation, to put it profanely. But more so, and especially in the music business, it is a statement of trust and commitment. In this case, the signing of Lisa Bassenge, it also is a very personal pleasure that the next production of such an exceptional artist will be released on our label.
Some years ago, whilst being in Warner Music´s employ, two young dudes came into my office, giving me their plug about the Soulounge. While they were informative and easy going enough, it was the music that captivated me. Packing more than a few punches and executed with a simple straightforward idea: A steady, classy band presenting diverse singers within a show – the sound: Soul! Things went uphill quickly and the Soulounge became established all over the country.
“Jeff Cascaro sings since he can think … “. This PR statement marks the beginning of my liaison with Jeff Cascaro in 2005. And indeed this fabulous singer at the crossroads of jazz and soul has proven himself a master of sophisticated entertainment – as audiences at the Jazz Baltica, the Rheingau Musikfestival, or the Elbjazz, not to forget countless clubs all over Germany, had the pleasure to witness over the years.
It is not quite business as usual for the manager of a record label to be able to just plunk down in your chair, relax and listen to the organizers announcing: “Welcome to the concert with Les Brünettes, which has been sold out completely for weeks.” The Kulturetage in Oldenburg being a rather distinguished venue accommodating up to 500 seated guests. After the concert, which was rewarded with a thunderous applause, one could meet the four radiant young women a the CD stand, signing their latest release. Sometimes it is just that simple.