Pär Lammers Trio: Hinten rechts, der Regen: Release Information
[Tracks] [Info] [Press] [Media Resources] [Order CD]
Release Date: 14.03.2008
TT Catalogue No: 4512
Pär Lammers Trio - Hinten rechts, der Regen
Jazz is at its most beguiling when it exploits the whole range of styles at its disposal, but – at least initially – doesn’t sound like jazz at all. Pär Lammers, born 1982, is a thoroughbred Jazzman. His piano trio, with bassist Marcel Krömker and drummer Benni Wellenbeck, has everything that a jazz band needs. But happily, it sets itself apart from the legions of piano trios currently flooding the scene. Lammers doesn’t seems to require that his listeners be steeped in a century of jazz history in order to enjoy and be inspired by its music: his is as fresh and untouched as the first crocus breaking through snow in spring, his fingers floating like butterfly’s wings across the keys. And yet his sound has depth, and it has contours.
With the 2007 album “All die bunten Schafe”, the Pär Lammers Trio made an impact: the trio’s free-wheeling nonchalance as they tackled Sujet Jazz was all but unique. They may have been instrumental, but the album’s compositions came across like trouble-free songs which stayed with the listener long after the first play. Jazz had rarely been so uninhibited in its positivity and lust for life while the pianist came across as an observer quiet and contented, translating everyday impressions into sparkling stories. With his new album “Hinten Rechts, Der Regen”, he picks up this home-made tradition, telling more tales learnt from life’s everyday experience.
As was the case with the last album, the new title describes a picture. But after the colourful sheep (All die bunten Schafe …), this release’s title does not signal the onset of rain (Hinten rechts, der Regen). Perhaps a little more thoughtful here and there than its predecessor it may be, but more accurate would be to say that the trio has developed what they had already begun. Lammers, Krömker and Wellenbeck have grown together; with nothing more to prove, the dialogue between them can now mark out completely new boundaries between jazz, pop and classical with every song. The novelty factor has made way for sovereign quality, with the trio’s musical foundations mixing themselves into new, astonishing constellations with each piece. “I don’t give a thought to genres or stylistic features,” admits the young pianist frankly. “For me it depends on the song and the story I’m trying to tell. That doesn’t mean I’d never work within certain genres. But there’s never any discussion about it: the genre emerges out of the song”.
Trust is the foundation upon which Lammers has built his trio’s latest construction. His vocabulary, drawn from an edgily idiomatic blend of everyday stories and memories, has become an instantly recognisable feature of the European jazz scene. It’s not hard for Lammers to put himself in the position of his rhythm section: he himself plays bass and drums. “We’ve learnt to communicate freely”, he summarises. “I write the pieces, but the arrangements are created much more democratically. This is not piano with accompaniment; we’ve created a combined sound that makes us the band we are. The hours of improvisation has allowed a language to develop which makes us independent of any style”.
Alongside a sense of continuity from the last album, “Hinten rechts, der Regen” also features considerable changes, most noticeably the presence on the record of two guests. Although to call them ‘guests’ is perhaps not quite right: vocalist Jessica Sligter and guitarist Andy Arnold are old friends of Lammers, with whom the sense of trust is almost as significant as with the trio itself. He admires Jessica Sligter most of all for her qualities as a song-writer, and Andy Arnold for his enthusiastic musical story-telling. Rather than makes the trio a quartet, their contributions unlock surprising colours, timbres and hidden reserves. In one example, Arnold’s presence led Lammers to discover the guitar, the instrument for which – and on which – “Somewhere Inside” was written. Finally, the decision to integrate the studio itself as an instrument in order to exploit its full potential contributed to the band’s full and compact sound.
One interesting development on the new CD is the adaptation of Elliot Smith’s “Between the Bars”. Known as a song-writer plagued by depression, Smith’s mysterious death was the inevitable consequence of a system of dead-ends into which he willingly led himself. However, shining through every note, Lammers’ untrammelled enthusiasm for life manages to give even Smith’s fatalistic addiction to depression a burst of energy. “I always feel connected to strong song-writers”, says Lammers. “Elliot Smith was without question one of the best song-writers there has ever been. Maybe he was not a depressive as he is constantly portrayed. I hear a lot in his songs which I find very positive. My preoccupation with song-writers has made an impact on my own compositions; I sometimes structure the rhythm in a more complicated way so that it can better serve the song by following the melody. Ultimately, the listener shouldn’t hear everything that’s gone into the track. A good song just speaks for itself”.
“Hinten rechts, der Regen” is an innovative jazz album that doesn’t force a philosophy upon the listener. The musicians’ virtuosity is just as understated as the structural or conceptual framework: it’s a record that you can just listen to, without reservation or qualification. Lammers doesn’t hold tight to jazz, but then he doesn’t need to. He celebrates jazz for connoisseurs of everyday life: in the end, it also reveals its own pictures without having to explain or justify anything.