Recommended: Jochen Rueckert – “We Make the Rules”


Jochen Rueckert - "We Make the Rules"Jochen Rueckert brings a melodic sensibility to We Make the Rules that is positively magnetic.  Tenor saxophonist Mark Turner and guitarist Lage Lund weave those melodies together, seamlessly and with a compelling linearity, and yet their motion gives the impression of unending cycles, curvatures that zero in on the contrails of their previous notes without ever retracing their steps.  Drummer Rueckert and bassist Matt Penman not only dance within this tight funnel of motion but also skip along the surface of its exterior, and it’s why this quartet is able to sound locked in step while at the same time untethered and free.  The thing of it is, it’s not just about the construction… these melodies are both pretty and unconventionally delivered, as if Rueckert took a straight-forward melody, cut it into pieces and then reassembled the sections in a different order.

“Pretty From Afar” has a nice delayed motion to it, where accelerations forward are balanced by uneven depressions on the brake pedal, imposing an uncertainty that keeps the ear locked in.  “Eggshells,” on the other hand, scoots right along, with each quartet member applying their own loose definition of “scoot” to the tempo.

The smokey “Bess,” moves with deliberation and an abiding lightness, creating some contrast between weighty melodic thoughts and nimble footwork to action.  “The Cook Strait” is the image of swing in a warped mirror.  “Alloplasty” goes through a series of scene changes, making the sudden transitions seem natural, even logical.

And those are just some of the notable highlights on this excellent album.

Your album personnel:  Jochen Rueckert (drums), Mark Turner (tenor sax), Lage Lund (guitar), and Matt Penman (bass).

Released on Whirlwind Recordings.

Jazz from NYC.

Available at:  eMusic | Bandcamp | Amazon CD/MP3



Some of this material was used originally in the weekly new jazz releases column I write for eMusic and Wondering Sound, so here’s some language protecting their rights to the reprinted material as the one to hire me to write about new jazz recordings…

“New Arrivals Jazz Picks,” reprints courtesy of, Inc.
© 2014, Inc.

As always, my sincere thanks to eMusic for the gig.