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   Frederik Köster / Die Verwandlung: Die Verwandlung: Release Information

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Release Date: 26.04.2013
EAN/UPC: 705304458525
TT Catalogue No: 4585

Frederik Köster – “The Metamorphosis” [orig.: Die Verwandlung]

Every few years there comes a time for every creative mind to reassess itself, to drop unnecessary freight and to search for new content. Such a process is mostly perceived as a metamorphosis. If this human realignment of the musician accompanies an artistic metamorphosis as well, then great things can be expected.

The new album of Frederik Köster doesn’t bear the title “The Metamorphosis” in vain. The trumpeter from Cologne does in fact seem entirely newly positioned. New band, new sound, new philosophy. Only his curiosity remained the same. After having successfully recorded three albums with the same steady lineup, the time came for him to go different ways with new companions. Inspired by the title of Kafka’s novel “The Metamorphosis” his new CD is filled with literary references from Allen Ginsberg to Haruki Murakami. However, the music certainly cannot be described as Kafkaesque; Köster has instead found a new clarity of expression.

While many jazz-musicians tread the path from the primal base of this genre to abstraction, Köster goes exactly the opposite way. To him it is the return to a place he’s never been before. “The Metamorphosis” is his most unmistakable commitment so far, to the music for which we could without any digressions agree to use the term Jazz. The trumpeter wanted to accentuate the playful moments of his music once again and not be stuck in a conceptual corset. He had the current Wayne Shorter Quartet in mind, which at least initially reached a maximum of mutual permeation on a personal human as well as on a playful abstract level.

The pieces themselves also leave plenty of room for metamorphosis, precisely because this playful level is emphasized. Since they are not overly devised, but evolve from small cells, which the musicians simply let lead a life of their own, they develop a lot of space for spontaneous shaping. In the original sense of jazz these recordings only present an intermediate stage, that will be replaced by completely different incarnations when performed live. The album does not stand for the final result of a metamorphosis, but rather describes the process of transformation exactly in the moment of the immediate change. No one needs to prove anything here; all songs convey a state of creative serenity. Where Köster’s previous, clearly rockier albums were predominated by tendencies towards urban constriction and motor stress, an impression of pastoral vastness and independence from time now prevails. Köster himself is originally from the countryside and his new album is not lastly a certain expression of escape from the city of the matured musician. Even the sparingly used electronics broaden the horizon rather than representing the digital bustle of the present age.

However, Köster reveals himself as trumpeter more than ever. He is again more a soloist with band, even though his fellow musicians Sebastian Sternal (piano), Joscha Oetz (bass) and Jonas Burgwinkel (drums) cannot complain about a lack of freedom or collective participation. Several of the trumpeters heroes also speak through the music, for example Tomasz Stanko, Chet Baker or Kenny Wheeler. Some of these references he allowed very intentionally, others came more from his subconscious. “I’ve listened to all these trumpeters a lot. There is no way around them. You can’t detach yourself from them and in this way after years they manifest themselves in one’s own playing.”
A very special piece is “Guru/Night Gleam”, for which Köster took a text by Allen Ginsberg, that is performed by Tobias Christl. “For the most part as a musician you have a melody first, for which you then find lyrics. I wanted to go the opposite way. That’s why I deliberately decided to use a prose text without any speech rhythm or poetic meter. That way we as musicians had to adjust to the text.”

With his new record Köster took a new position between past and present. He himself knows that he didn’t reinvent the wheel but it wasn’t about that. He wanted to find something new for himself and succeeded at that. His metamorphosis is so authentic and appealing precisely for that reason: it doesn’t illustrate the complete new, but reminds us of the every day new in the familiar.

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