Jochen Rueckert – Charm Offensive

charm-offensive(Pirouet Records)

The German drummer makes his second appearance on thejazzbreakfast in a week – he also played on the new one from Reeds Ramble (reviewed HERE).

This disc unites him with the tenor saxophonist from Somewhere Meeting Nobody, his first Pirouet album as leader, Mark Turner, and replaces guitarist Brad Shepik and bassist Matt Penman with Mike Moreno and Orlando Le Fleming.

All the compositions are by Rueckert and reveal the wide inspirations for his music, from dichotomy – it’s there in the album title – to the carnatic music of Asia – three pieces, Purring Excellence, Parasitosis and Charm Offensive – are based on patterns from such music – to the intriguing double character of 5-Hydroxytryotamine which Rueckert describes thus: “I composed half the song while on antidepressants, and the other half while discontinuing the use of said antidepressants.”

There may be all sorts of stuff feeding into this music, but this superb quartet makes it all into a thoroughly cohesive whole by virtue of their strong individual musical characters and the rock-solid, highly focussed writing of the leader.

An exceptionally fine album – rounded, full of space, tight yet loose, expansive yet concise, a prime example of the parts and the whole being in complete agreement while able to act independently. A classic multiple dichotomy right there – and as beguiling as a charm offensive.

Categories: CD review

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