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   Frederik Köster Quartett: Zeichen der Zeit: Presscuts

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Release Date: 20.03.2009
EAN/UPC: 705304452226
TT Catalogue No: 4522


  • "„Has social unrest, the kind which we have been warned about again and again, now taken possession of German jazz? When a CD is called "Sign of the Times", and starts off like a punk song - with an angry man’s voice counting in – we could very well be led to think so. Cologne-based trumpeter Frederik Köster’s amazing quartet can, thanks to its convertible guitarist Tobias Hoffmann, indeed make noise – but that’s not what matters first and foremost to this group. The "Sign of the Times", which the band is bearing witness to here must be interpretted thus: that contemporary jazz can do anything and everything (or at least a lot): sound like alternative rock, or like chamber music, get lost in electronic wormholes and resurrect in storms of sound, be a familiar ballad, or a nervous folksong.
    Frederik Köster‘s specialtiy is not to spread all this out over different compositions, but to be able to put it all into one piece in a pleasantly inartificial way. His music for trumpet, e-guitar, contrabass, and drums brings the past ten, fifteen years in improvised music together, all by itself: from grunge to ambient, all the way to songwriter-jazz. No small feat, which recently brought Köster and co. the "New German Jazz Award", the most highly acclaimed distinction for professional jazz bands in these parts."
    Rondo, Josef Engels, 11.05.2009

  • "Cologne-based trumpet and flugalhorn player Frederik Köster has already been playing with this quartet in a fixed lineup since 2003. An intimacy has developed out of this, ever-present and quite tangible, and it leads to an organic bonding of diverse musical elements on the new CD ,,Sign of the Times". Tobias Hoffmann with his rocking electric guitar has his place here, as well as jazzier bassist Robert Landfermann, and highly flexible drummer Ralf Gessler. Köster composed and arranged all the songs, proving himself to be the master of fusion. With his steely trumpet sound, for example in the title song, he molds the music just as much as with his soft sound on the flugalhorn, like in „Ballade vom guten Menschen“(„Ballad of the Good Human“).
    The band is totally convincing live as well; winning the New German Jazz Award 2009 both for the quartet and for Köster as a soloist certainly attests to this. The CD is an excellent example of the new wind blowing in the German jazz scene whipped up by the extremely talented newcomers in the last few years."
    Jazzpodium, Hans-Bernd Kittlaus

  • "Use electronics and still sound organic - trumpeter Köster from Cologne manages to do exactly that with his quartet of five years, consisting of hard-rock inspired guitarist Tobias Hoffmann, bassist Robert Landfermann and drummer Ralf Gessler. The combo is an enrichment for the German jazz scene."
    Kulturspiegel, April 2009

  • "New German trumpet-blooming: chapter four: Frederik Köster.
    Strong tone, untouched by mufflers, in a brew that becomes electric drama."
    DIE ZEIT #12, 12.3.2009

  • "Completely furnished but not cluttered
    The trumpeters sound the departure to new horizons – With his „Sign of the Times“, Frederik Köster has now given the movement its banner. Of course this CD belongs in context - what music doesn’t? Joo Kraus, Matthias Schriefl, Thomas Siffling, Sebastian Studnitzky, Nils Wülker in Germany, Lorenz Raab in Austria, Werner Hasler or Martin Dahanukar in Switzerland. Not to mention the rest of Europe. New trumpet players everywhere, who don’t do the orthodox theme-solo-theme-thing, who flirt with pop and rock, with grooves and beats, and jump out of and away from the traditional pigeonhole so far that a new one has to be coined for them. As if Frederik Köster wanted to find a label, he called his CD "Sign of the Times“, and it once again stands under the sign of the trumpeters. When jazz went electric with Miles Davis it was like the afterquake and realignment of electronic beats caused by Nils Petter Molvaer almost three decades later. Now the trumpets sound the departure. You can see it all on a banner, with the new sound unfurling right with it.
    In the case of this remarkable, furiously masterful coup however, you don’t have to, because this music is unique from the very start. A revolutionary attitude is not where it’s coming from, it is much more a distinct fanfare on top of the new mainstream, one that fills the clubs, bundles the zeitgeist, and makes you want to get down on the dancefloor. Finding the music simply chic however, is completely missing the point. 31-year-old Köster not only studied his instrument, but also compositions and arrangement. As was fitting, he played in the Bundes-Jugend-Jazz-Orchester (National Youth Jazz Orchestra), and in the mean time he’s already a music professor in Osnabrück. Well educated, like all of the above-mentioned, he has seconded international jazz greats, and lent his voice to the world of pop - Nina Hagen and Sportfreunde Stiller. Why he won the New German Jazz Award in February in Mannheim, and best soloist to boot, becomes clear when you hear "Sign of the Times".
    This is popular, plausible, intensive music that juggles with trust in wide waves of consciousness without getting caught up in clichés. It can snuggle up into dreamy ballads and break out forcefully into the rocky open, it brings hardbop patterns unnostalgically into the present and breaks the familiar with unexpected originality between contemplation and ecstasy. It maintains a coherent transparency and doesn’try to hide the influence of alternative rock music on a generation. It opens doors to rooms that are fully furnished, but not cluttered. Above all, Tobias Hoffmann gets the opportunity to play long, intensive, free-floating e-guitar solos that the trumpeter takes up attentively, and carries away. The drum and bass fundament underneath is both elastic and stable.
    The CD is full to the very brim, and a lot of perserverence is demonstrated on the seven tracks, perserverence which makes Köster’s compositional finesse evident. Breaks speak whole stories here, dramaturgies unfold, suspense is built up and sustained, all without forgetting the listener."
    Leipziger Volkszeitung,Ulrich Steinmetzger, 9.10.2009


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