Relaxin' in Ireland Julian & Roman Wasserfuhr
- 1Cello Bello04:09
- 2Drunken Sailor04:35
- 5Knot in the Belly04:59
- 6Moon over Ireland04:36
- 7Später Bess04:45
- 11Lost in Time04:47
- 12You Are a Friend of Mine03:07
- 13Your Green Eyes04:23
Info for Relaxin' in Ireland
What the title of the album does is to set a tone: Here is the typical Wasserfuhr sound with a relaxed way of playing – the Irish attitude to life shines through again and again.
Music never happens in a vacuum. The places where it is played inspire it, shape it and help it to develop; they are like an extra musician. And therein lies the creative stimulus which Siggi Loch provides as producer to Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr. He continually seeks out new contexts for their playing, and that opens up hitherto unimagined musical perspectives. After the Wasserfuhrs’ musical journey to meet the elite in Gothenburg in Sweden in 2009, and a thrilling session in hip and happening Brooklyn in 2017, the brothers, who come from the peaceful little village of Hückeswagen near Cologne, have now travelled to the South Coast of Ireland, and to John Fitzgerald’s Lettercollum Studio in Country Cork, a secret bolt-hole where several Irish and English rock stars have recorded albums.
They were joined there for the first time by cellist Jörg Brinkmann. Julian explains the concept of the new trio thus: “Dispensing with bass and drums gives us more scope to develop ideas, far greater harmonic freedom, and also allows us to think in long arcs. It gives the music much more buoyancy.”
But why Ireland? Let Roman explain: “The studio in the middle of nowhere and directly by the sea offered us the ideal conditions to be creative. The weather was unusually fine for the season, almost Mediterranean, and that had a way of getting us into the right mood. Ireland has always been a place that Julian and I wanted to visit. We were struck by the culture, the joy, the “craic” of the Irish. Going to the pubs there, seeing how lively, relaxed and above all how unaffected they are when they play music together left a strong impression.” To which Julian adds: “and over and above that, Irish songwriter and singer Gilbert O’Sullivan is an artist whose music we really admire.”
It goes without saying that the Wasserfuhr brothers and Jörg Brinkmann aren’t playing Irish folk music; what the title of the album does is to set a tone. Here is the typical Wasserfuhr sound with a relaxed way of playing – the Irish attitude to life shines through again and again. There are also subtle melodic and harmonic twists from Irish music, or, to be specific, direct connections such as an interpretation of the O’Sullivan hit “Clair”, plus “Moondance” by Van Morrison, arguably Ireland’s best-known musician. Finally, the piece “Lettercollum” came into existence directly under the influence of the brothers’ Irish trip.
“Relaxin‘ in Ireland” is the very personal glimpse of the Emerald Isle through the language of music. But it is also an album which tells the story of how the surroundings of West Cork cast their spell over the trio at the very moment of musical creation.
Julian Wasserfuhr, trumpet, flugelhorn
Roman Wasserfuhr, piano
Jörg Brinkmann, cello
Recorded by John Fitzgerald at Lettercollum Recording Studios West Cork, Ireland, June 25 - 27, 2018
Additional recordings by Roman E. Wasserfuhr at Schnaff Recording Studios, July 03 - 06, 2018
Mixed and mastered by Klaus Scheuermann, July 2018
Produced by Siggi Loch with the artists
After their debut album Remember Chet (2006), on which the then 17-year-old trumpeter Julian Wasserfuhr followed in Chet Baker's footsteps, the Wasserfuhr brothers grew into an exceptional phenomenon on the German jazz scene. Such incredible and astonishing maturity had not been heard in a young trumpeter. Equally impressive was the way his only older brother Roman accompanied him on the piano in a near symbiotic way. The trumpeter Manfred Schoof once said.
"A career begins with imitation," and the brothers have devoted themselves to their heroes at this early stage of their career, because only when you're familiar with the jazz tradition is it possible to create your own oeuvre.
By playing numerous concerts the Wasserfuhrs quickly reached a broad audience and gained acclaim on the scene. Therefore, it is rather obvious why their second album was called Upgraded (2009) - from the provinces into the international jazz stage. Having recorded with jazz stars Nils Landgren and Lars Danielsson in Gothenburg, they put aside the label "Young German Jazz" and entered the major league of German jazz.
Their new album is called Gravity. It deals with the importance of staying grounded when your career starts to take off. It is about overcoming gravity - the ground beneath your feet has to be firm and steady for you to lift off. The Wasserfuhrs are again in the company of world class musicians - the master of melodic bass from Sweden, Lars Danielsson, is joining them for the second time and the most sought-after drummer in Germany, Wolfgang Haffner, for the first. These two form a superb rhythm section and prove to be the perfect choice - like the Wasserfuhrs they are also keen on jazz that is carried by emotion, full of details and sonic beauty. With his fine sense of drama and atmosphere, Haffner was also the natural choice to be the producer of Gravity. He acknowledges the talent of the Wasserfuhr brothers thus: "Despite the fact that their career has just started, they both know exactly how they want their music to sound. Working together on Gravity was really inspiring and productive."