Hendrika Entzian Quartet: Turnus: Release Information
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Release Date: 10.04.2015
TT Catalogue No: 4619
Hendrika Entzian Quartett - Turnus
“We don’t play freely improvised music, but rather improvise over song-like structures”, Hendrika Entzian describes the aesthetics of her debut album Turnus. The Cologne-based quartet around the 30-year-old double bass player and composer has nothing in mind about singing. The song-like characteristic of the pieces shows itself in their form and in melodies, that sometimes arch in long phrases and other times create the atmosphere of a classic jazz bar long after midnight. Entzian’s musical narrative art appears lyrical and warmhearted, allures with enigmatic glow and leaves striking complaisance, repetition and juvenile muscle flexing to others. Often her motifs are stepping stones for sensitive, nonetheless imaginative improvisations. Thereby the elegant ghost of Kenny Wheeler, Stan Getz or Bill Evans occasionally wafts by on the horizon.
“We wanted to deliberately concentrate on acoustic sounds”, Hendrika Entzian describes the fixed starting point of the band. “Everything else was developed mostly by intuition while we played.” Entzian did compose six of the eight pieces; the arrangements however are collaboratively evolved work. Since January 2012 Entzian, Maxi Jagow (saxophone), Simon Seidl (piano) and Fabian Arends (drums) have been continuously working together. Entzian’s acquaintance with Jagow goes back even further, to the time when she started studying double bass in Hamburg. The musical accordance is evident, because Jagow’s piece “Blauer Berg” [Blue Mountain] seamlessly fits in on the album. About Seidl and Arends the bandleader says, “they are both imaginative soloists and accompanists, furthermore they can listen extremely attentively.”
For the production of Turnus, Entzian invited the guitarist Sandra Hempel, born1972, whom she had also met during her time in Hamburg. Her warm, clear sound suits the acoustic concept of the quartet. “We all think she’s an incredible guitarist and an excellent soloist. Through her participation new possibilities and ideas unfolded, even in compositions that have been in our repertoire for a while already”, Entzian says. “Since we recorded all pieces live in the studio, Sandra also gave us an extra energy boost there.”
Hendrika Entzian was born in 1984 in Kiel and made her first musical experiences in a children’s choir. Next came the piano, then the guitar and a widely familiar band problem: too many guitarists, but a bassist is missing. “This role somehow got stuck with me and since I played quite often, I wanted to take some bass lessons. My teacher was a double bass player and at that time I started becoming interested in jazz.” The large bass and the fascination for jazz paved the young woman’s way towards studying music in Hamburg. “It was always clear to me, that I didn’t want to be a classical orchestra musician. But I already had friends back at school, who listened to and some who studied jazz, and when I first held an upright bass in my hands it was suddenly clear to me, this is it.” In 2009 Hendrika Entzian moved to Cologne, where she studied with Dieter Manderscheid, Dietmar Fuhr and Sebastian Sternal. In addition, she took lessons in classical bass and is currently completing her master studies in jazz-composition and -arrangement.
To solo in the foreground with a lead instrument was never Entzian’s goal. But as a bassist she never feels like an outsider, but rather like the backbone of the band: “You have to listen very intently and give exactly the impulses that are needed in that respective moment. Sometimes this means to respond to soloists and sometimes I can spontaneously bring in new ideas.” There is another aspect that is essential to her as well. “I’ve always liked the vibrancy of handmade music. You play something on an instrument and it is received directly, without any technology, electronic effects or the like.” That is also why the Hendrika Entzian Quartett sounds timeless in the best sense. Is the distance to trendy effects a conceptual statement? “We didn’t want deliberately distance ourselves from modernisms, but just played what we like”, Entzian explains. Finely nuanced sounds, diverse compositions and a well-rounded band sound give Turnus its characteristic aura.