Pär Lammers Trio: All die bunten Schafe: Release Information
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Release Date: 23.02.2007
TT Catalogue No: 4500
All die bunten Schafe (All The Speckled Sheep)
The title alone casts a spell before you even hear one single note. Pär Lammer’s trio of piano, bass, and drums, one of jazz’s most conventional setups, already starts breaking tabus with the name of their CD. „All die bunten Schafe“ sounds more like a children’s book than an instrumental jazz album. Pär Lammers, having mastered all the rules and tricks of jazz, cheerfully tosses his „jazziness“ aside here to tell us stories on the piano. Unforgettable the first time you hear them, these songs are packed with a unique commitment.
The music keeps what the title promises. From the first note you are immediately transported to a colorful playground of adventure that doesn’t just invite you to listen, but makes you hungry for more. Born in 1982, pianist Pär Lammers first played drums and bass in various rock bands before discovering jazz. Jaunty, captivating, his jazz notions are markedly different from traditional jazz models. „When musicians from my generation adhere too strongly to jazz philosophies and close themselves off from their own influences because they are not „intellectual“ enough, it’s difficult to buy,“ emphasizes Lammers, making his own position clear. „When I write music I try to include my own musical influences. And that’s not just jazz, because I was introduced to jazz relatively late. I am much more a child of the MTV generation. I was always surrounded by music, but rock and pop had the greater influence. I don’t know if I would even call my music jazz.“
That’s something for listeners of „All die bunten Schafe“ to decide for themselves. Considering this, it is amazing that Lammers, who had already earned his spurs as a hiphop producer, set up a piano trio at all (with bassist Marcel Krömker and drummer Benni Wellenbeck). No other instrumental combination has yielded such inflationary phenomena in recent times as piano-bass-drums. Yet Lammers, laid-back, juggling with the expectations of his listeners. knows that as soon as he hits the first note on the keys that all preconceptions evaporate. „Piano trios are just as attractive as they’ve always been“. he maintains serenely. „ Because the concept is continually being revamped to adapt to contemporary needs, it continually finds new audiences. . The piano trio is the most bought jazz formation. I never really developed programmatics for my trio, the concept arose from the music itself.“
The fact that Lammer’s music can’t be labelled offhandedly is exactly what makes it so urban and compatible to everyday life. An adventurous jazz fan can identify with his songs just as much as a pop-experienced classical listener. Or a rock fan who listens to more than Top 10. Lammers himself confidently calls his compositions „songs“. „Our strength is compact songs with understandable harmonies and catchy melodies that you can get across easily. Songwriters have influenced us much more than most jazz musicians. We don’t want to improvise for hours on some „changes“- we have something to say to those that don’t listen exclusively to jazz. I don’t want to play music I wouldn’t listen to myself.“
You usually imagine a song to be a piece of music which is sung. But Lammers’ piano playing congenially manages to compensate for one by transporting the concrete word. His medium is the singable melody. Instrumental music and „singability“ are by no means contradictory for him. „The fact that the music isn’t sung doesn’t mean that you can’t sing it. The listener always needs a reference point to the material being presented, but that doesn’t automatically mean it has to sound like a top 10 hit. The tragedy of jazz is often the fact that at best, the music is made for people who play jazz. That certainly doesn’t help to make this music more popular.“
Of course Pär Lammers knows as well that the voice in a song can’t just be replaced by a pretty melody, so for him it’s not essential what he „sings“ on the keys, but how he does it. He has created his own language. with a fine feel for timbres, colorations, atmospheres and dynamics. His melodies are beguilingly beautiful and as simple as children’s songs, but far from bland in every sense of the word. Lammers didn’t just consume MTV as a child, he heard a lot of classical music at home and had classical training on the piano. The result is a sensibility for sound that he benefits from today.
The energy set free from this soft collision of the worlds of classical music and pop is best revealed in the song „Enjoy the Silence“. A Depeche Mode cult hymn of synthie pop, it gave Lammers the opportunity to implement his affinity to outstanding songs. „The Depeche Mode number is a truly great song. A lot of people don’t really listen to it because the sound or the production gets on their nerves. The whole superstructure kind of clouds the real quality of the song. I really pay attention to these things. I listen to everything with no preconceptions, try to free myself from the sounds and images and just get to the musical essence of the song.“
Pär Lammers is a pianist who is just starting out but has already developed his own individual and distinctive musical language. He can be regarded as the new shooting star in the German jazz sky, or for those who aren’t crazy about the term jazz, as an original songwriter and crafty pianist. But jazz or no jazz, „All die bunten Schafe“ is exactly that splash of color that the German music scene has long been waiting for.