Groove Galaxi: Groove Galaxi: Release Information
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Release Date: 17.01.2001
TT Catalogue No: 4452
Three men and a groove. Electrifying groove-jazz trios from New York like Medeskie, Martin & Wood or Vibes paved the way. Hamburg's threesome Groove Galaxi doesn't just imitate the style; it describes its very own galactic orbit to eavesdrop on the pulse of the cosmos. Saxophonist Stefan Kuchel, organist and keyboarder Markus Kuczewski, and drummer and sampling crack Sönke Düwer have gone where no man has gone before, an undiscovered quadrant from which they beam spherically tight ambient sounds, catchy introverted jazz hooks and laid-back enthralling grooves down to earth. "Nothing is more frustrating than imitating other bands”, Sönke Düwer explains the band's conscious decision for an originality not easily found on the German jazz scene.
Groove Galaxi's music is full of creative contrasts that go straight under your skin. Technology is pervaded by tradition, noblesse and an almost aristocratic elegance in the combination of sound and timbre couple with coolness, the joy of playing and a sophisticated sensitivity for keeping their audiences on the edge of their seats. They seek the heat of the groove and then spread out into the depths of the galaxy. Space and dynamics are the characteristic features of Groove Galaxi. Sometimes the album makes you wonder why they use the term "groove” in their name, but nothing is obvious here – it's lovingly woven into an overall concept that adequately describes the jazz of the new millenium. If on one track the groove is unmistakeably in the foreground, it can only be faintly perceived in the next, where Sönke Düwer plays around it with a mischievous thirst for adventure, or it lies subliminably in a keyboard sound or a saxophone lick.
Düwer, Kuczewski and Kuchel first met in this constellation in 1999 just to jam around at the opening of a new studio. But as things immediately clicked and an undreamt of chemistry between the three musicians sprang up, they decided to stay together, even though all three of them came from completely different musical backgrounds. Kuchel is a saxophonist who knows all the tricks of the trade of fusion. Kuczewski, on the other hand, is a natural talent who takes music as it comes and consequently has a whole bag of magic formulas hidden under his keys. Düwer is the only one who studied jazz and has a clear overview of the whole repertoire.
All of the group's compositions, with few exceptions, were written by the drummer, and you hear it. "I don't just write so that a soloist can comfortably spread himself out over a groove”, says Drüwer. "I prefer angular stuff that keeps coming from another direction.” If jazz has been misinterpreted as classical music of the 20th century in the past, Groove Galaxi makes it obvious that it has the potential to become the pop of the twenty-first century. That the band sees itself mainly as a live ensemble was of great benefit to the production of this album, which is very much alive.
Regularly featured at the Mojo Club (Hamburg), The A-Trane in Berlin or the Stadtgarten in Cologne with huge appeal, the trio also pulled a track out of orbit for the Mojo-Compilation "Never Felt So Free”. At the Hamburg Jazzport Festival they even shared an evening with groove-jazz icon George Benson. They venture into experimental realms as well, for example by writing the music for an underwater marionette show "Aqua X” , which was performed at the prestigious world fair "Expo 2000”. One of Groove Galaxi's few fixed rules is never to set limits for themselves, enabling them to delight a dancefloor audience and use the same basic melody to conjure up a completely free set with ease.
All of these highly different experiences flow together on the album "Groove Galaxi”. The band doesn't only move through extremely different states of matter; it overcomes various space-time continuums. The music constantly changes form, colour and consistence At the hands of the three musicians. Every piece has another contact, and surprises lie lurking within the very tracks. Anyone not wanting to lift off unexpectedly should definitely fasten their seatbelt, and anyone who doesn't want to be deliberately bombarded with noise particles during a particularly "nicely” played passage should don a safety suit. But whoever, after taking off the blinkers and laying aside any questions of faith, wants to be blasted away by a piece of visionary music in all its power and beauty, should just turn up the volume, count backwards from ten to zero, and embark on a unique journey into infinite space with Groove Galaxi.
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