Mar 29 2017
The vibrant mix of joyful enthusiasm and raw power resonates through every note of It Is What It Is! The Trio Bastonal of saxophonist Magnus Mehl and dual trombonists Eberhard Budziat and Stephan Kirsch don’t hold back when they want to muscle a melody through harmonies thick as ocean fog. On this session, they bring in guitarist John King and drummer Hans Fickelscher, and the immediate advantage is that they are able to serve the dual role of providing definition to those melodic intentions and mark a trail for them to traverse. But that’s all secondary to the unadulterated fun radiating from this music. The title-track opens things up with a burst of rocket fuel and all the fire it can burn off. “Melancholia Balkanoia” doesn’t stray far from that approach, but eases into it more slowly. The Eastern European influence emerges gradually, giving shape and form where before there was none. And then the album changes direction, and brings in the blues and gospel on “S.O.S. (Same Old Shit)” and “Swab Soul aka My Swabian Soul,” and veers into avant-garde territory with the three-part “Unfold Time.” But no matter how the music presents itself, it’s delivered with heart. This holds true on the album finale “Auf der Wielandshöhe,” with its funk groove and rock edge.
All kinds of serious fun here.
Your album personnel: Eberhard Budziat (trombone), Stephan Kirsch (bass trombone), Magnus Mehl (alto & soprano saxophones), John King (guitar) and Hans Fickelscher (drums).
The album is Self-Produced.
Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Music from Korb, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
Available at: Bandcamp