Zodiak Trio (Germany)
File under: Jazz
John-Dennis Renken: trumpet, electronics, composition
Every single note is gold. Are there any jazz records that can fulfill such a claim? Is Zodiak Trio’s second album even jazz at all? The lineup of trumpet, guitar, and drums would lead one to think so, and it certainly wouldn’t be wrong to place the trio’s music in the immediate vacinity thereof. If, however, you really get immersed in this band’s rugged sound architecture, you’ll find just as much that is jazz-like as jazz-alien. There is improvisation here, not only with notes and themes, but with sounds and densities, states of matter from solid, to liquid, to gas, to gold. Most unusual are the shortcuts they take to get down to the nitty gritty. From jazz to rock and back again you don’t have to take detours over those worn out and bumpy old jazz-rock roads. The Zodiak Trio finds exactly the right note for a new decade still in search of its sound identity.
"The Zodiak Trio pulses with energy, even when it’s playing slowly
and softly; the restless impulse to uncover and explore new possibilities
is ever-present in this trio’s work. But that is far from the entire
story. I know John-Dennis and Andreas, and I’ve played with them (and
I’d like to get to know Bernd as well), and I’ve experienced for
myself the sense of fun they bring to making music. I think it was Gil Evans
who described this balance of serious intentions and play as “a party
with a purpose.”"