Echoes Of Swing
Based in Germany, Echoes Of Swing are an internationally renowned quartet. Formed in 1997 they have an instrumentation that is highly unusual in Jazz: Trumpet, Alto Sax, Piano & Drums. The original idea was to form a group that would perform in the stylistic range of such pioneers as Roy Eldridge, Benny Carter, Teddy Wilson or ‘Big’ Sid Catlett.
In 1998 came the debut CD ‘Harlem Reflections’, followed in 2000 by ‘Harlem Joys’. In the first years, the style of the group was heavily influenced by the great ‘Stride’ piano players in Harlem, New York: Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller, James P. Johnson & Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith. In 2002, the third Album ‘You’ve Got To Be Modernistic’ saw the band develop musically. As before, the ‘Bass’ role was taken by the piano player’s left hand. This time though, the arrangements were more complex, with the right hand on the piano sometimes adding a third, fourth or even fifth voice to the Trumpet & Alto Sax front line. This combined with experiments in rhythms, styles, tempos, percussion & timbre can lead you to believe that Echoes Of Swing are actually a much bigger unit.
‘4 Jokers In The Pack’ (2006) was the title of the fourth recording. Influences from musicians such as Mel Powell & John Kirby were beginning to steer the band into other directions. As well as material from the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, there were now new arrangements of classical compositions. Also performed live and on the album were another four original compositions. This album was awarded the ‘Prix Du Disque De Jazz 2007’ from the ‘Hot Club de France’ (established 1932). Aside from the recording dates, Echoes Of Swing were touring regularly not only throughout Europe, but performing concerts in the U.S.A., Japan, New Zealand and even the Fiji islands.
Expanding their musical borders further, 2010 saw the arrival of the award winning fifth CD, entitled ‘Message From Mars’. This took Echoes Of Swing into further unchartered territory. The title piece was originally performed by an 18 piece Orchestra and rearranged for 4. There were again three new compositions and arrangements of works from Chopin, Schostakowitsch, Kreisler and Nazareth. On the cover are quotes by Dan Morgenstern (former editor of ‘Downbeat’ magazine) and mainstream master of the Tenor Saxophone, Scott Hamilton. This album was showered with awards such as the ‘German Record Critics Award’, the ‘Swinging Hamburg Award’ and in Paris the ‘Prix de l’Académie du Jazz’.
In early 2013 Echoes Of Swing signed a contract with a major recording company. ‘ACT Music & Vision', based in Munich with worldwide distribution and winners of the 'ECHO JAZZ: Best Label of The Year’ in 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013. The first collaboration with ‘ACT’ will be released in September 2013.