Jan 16 2018
The impression left by Holzig is one of languid melodies and cinematic imagery. And it certainly does possess those qualities. But the music has a little kick in its step on tracks “Fährmann” and “Polonia,” and “Tiefe” jacks up the volume and the intensity while title-track “Holzig” scrambles the melody up. So, it’s not like this album lacks for electricity or liveliness.
At the center of this disparity lies the lovely contrast between cello and bass clarinet. The quintet Holzig makes no less of an impact through the utilization of guitar, drums or bass, but the way in which the former instruments lay the melody on thick while the latter grouping of instruments incite a series of subtle acrobatics is why it’s easy to walk away thinking this was a thoroughly peaceful affair. But it’s not. And be thankful for that. Because this band is just as compelling when the heat rises as when drifting off into tranquil ambiance.
Worth noting that Holzig was one of the final cuts on this site’s Best of 2017 list. No reason not to approach it, however, as one of the year’s best.
Your album personnel: Hans Arnold (drums), Christoph Möckel (bass clarinet, tenor sax), Veit Steinmann (cello), Moritz Sembritzki (guitar) and Florian Herzog (bass).
Released on the AJazz label.
Listen to more of the album on the label’s Bandcamp page.
Music from Leipzig, Germany.