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   Thärichens Tentett: Farewell Songs: Release Information

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Release Date: 25.09.2009
EAN/UPC: 705304452820
TT Catalogue No: 4528
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Thärichen’s Tentett - Farewell Songs

In the ten years of its existence, Thärichens Tentett has been lauded as the band that delivers “the most felicitous compositions, the most polished arrangements, and the most humorous presentation of all larger German jazz groups” (Süddeutsche Zeitung). And the major newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said about vocalist Michael Schiefel: "Germany has perhaps never had such a jazz singer." Audiences, too, have become more and more enthusiastic during the years that spanned from the publication of the tentet’s first album Lady Moon to their third record Grateful, from their first performance at the A-Trane (Berlin) in 1999 to their concerts in China and India in 2009 and 2010. In 2009, ten years after its inception, Thärichens Tentett published their fourth album: Farewell Songs. Is Thärichens Tentett saying goodbye?
There is no need to worry, Nicolai Thärichen und his tentet are doing just fine. The music might have become more mature, but it is no less freaky. Thärichens Tentett faces the serious side of life with a good deal of irony. While Sven Klammer’s flugelhorn mourningly bids a last farewell to the lightheartedness of adolescence in “The last day of my youth,” Kai Brückner’s guitar quickly brings back the olden days with full force in Thärichen’s virtuoso cover-arrangement of AC/DC’s “Up to my neck in you.”
In “On being a woman,” composed on a poem by Dorothy Parker, the tentet mockingly muses about the eternal difficulty of having to decide between two choices. When I am in Rome, I want to go home; when I am at home, I want to go to Rome. Michael Schiefel rises to the occasion with flying colors; he cuts loose with a scat improvisation, not a conventional jazzy one, but with the voice of an overblown opera singer. Saying goodbye with Thärichens Tentett can actually be lots of fun. Especially when Ronald D. Laing’s acerbity gets its turn (“Unadored”). If your partner treats you like dirt, why not leave him or her with words such as: “It’s none to soon / for a new spittoon / and something else to shit in”? Add a funky 7/4 groove, and off you go, slamming the door in a dancing step.
Yet, Thärichen’s music is also influenced by the critical moments in life he has recently experienced. The threepart “Farewell Suite” is dedicated to his father, who passed a short time ago - composer, author and solo timpanist of many years with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Werner Thärichen (1921-2008). But how do you put a farewell to your father into music? Nicolai Thärichen’s musical mourning covers an entire spectrum of feelings: The suite strides from grief and pain (“Waltz for my Father”) to a questioning halt and introspection (“Strange Bells”), and finds in the song “If” a conciliatory end with Robert Creeley’s succinct lines: “...you’ve had the world, such as you got. / There’s nothing more, there never was.”
The peacefully flowing ballad “This Time” is about love, eventually. For once, even about a happy one, and quite unexpectedly so. This is also a theme of this very personal record: Some feelings can only be understood with time.
The Farewell Songs by Thärichens Tentett sound as worldly-wise as they do profound, are both deadly serious and completely far-out. They are about losing and finding – and about the fact that you seldom get one without the other.

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