Frederik Köster Quartett: Zeichen der Zeit: Presscuts
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Release Date: 20.03.2009
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
(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