Eva Klesse Quartett - Creatures & States
Evgeny Ring – sax
Philip Frischkorn – piano
Stefan Schönegg – bass
Eva Klesse – drums
It's easier to describe what the quartet doesn't play: neither classical nor contemporary swing, nor funk or jazzy rock in any variations, no classical ballads, no free jazz. What remains? Free cool jazz? That's not quite wrong, but it's not quite right either. Let's try an approach to the music without the conventional terminology.
The music shows itself as a wide "frame", which composition and arrangement only loosely put in. More accurately formulated: a wide musical space, which the drummer stakes out, which she offers to her colleagues, so that they can fill it with their own ideas, their own expression.
The solos of the sax, piano and bass colleagues are predominantly restrained in expression, more lyrically introverted than irrepressibly expressive. Longer musical statements are preferred: hinting at a theme or motif, developing it, making it work, amplifying it, withdrawing again, leaving the field to the others. The central personality in this game is the drummer Eva Klesse, who fulfills her function as boss in an integrating way. She sets the rhythm, but leaves the shaping to her colleagues.
This is exactly one of the great freedoms in jazz: the equality of instruments, of individual styles in the interpretation of themes.
This is especially noticeable in the bass, which is given a lot of room for individual playing, to emancipate itself from traditional roles. Stefan Schönegg is often heard as a soloist, then strongly shapes the sound of the ensemble. Pianist Philip Frischkorn can claim a similar role. His playing also breaks away from the "only" harmonic chord accompaniment. The saxophone's playing is also not as exposed as is common in many jazz quartets, where the rhythm section more or less perfectly offers the wind player a rhythmic-harmonic space in which the saxophonist can shine and sparkle.
Nevertheless, saxophonist Evgeny Ring uses his free space. His restrained, rather lyrical style prevails, to which he remains faithful, even if occasionally harmonic free excursions can be heard. He shows his diversity when he turns a theme into sonorous ballads with mature, warm-toned lines.
This is all thanks to the lady on the drums, who provides the essential basis for this with the wide-ranging "framework of the composition". For this she needs no weighty drumming, no energetic power play, certainly no wild flailing. With subtle playing and technique and with melodic drumming Eva Klesse can achieve the same results.
Text: Cosmo Scharmer