Date(s) - 11.04.2019
Quelle Fotos/ Video/ Reference/ Pressetext: NWOG Records
Christoph Stiefel has been on the road with the Inner Language Trio for many years and selects his respective players according to the current artistic challenges he faces. In the current version of the trio he performs with bassist Lukas Traxel and drummer Tobias Backhaus, both of whom are considerably younger than the 57-year-old pianist. Stiefel does not like to repeat himself in his musical statements; he looks for the new in continuity.
And with Traxel and Backhaus he can always celebrate the intensity of the momentum at eye level. Indeed, these two bring exactly the energy and willingness to take risks with which Stiefel can translate rhythmic energy into pure joie de vivre. In addition, they have the maturity and dedication to create a dense and strong mood together in the quiet pieces with few tones.
The piano trio is not only one of the oldest, but above all one of the most conventional constellations in jazz. Christoph Stiefel confesses frankly that jazz is still the most exciting of all art forms for him. And yet, or perhaps because of that, he is looking, within the coordinates of jazz, for individual rendezvous he can use to reach the listener – whom he does not even know per se. By coincidence, he came across isorhythm, a medieval compositional principle with rhythmic shifts used, among others, in the motets of the famous composer Guillaume de Machaut.
But Stiefel’s own music is definitely not a fusion of jazz and medieval sounds. It plays completely in the here and now, yet he makes use of the inner tension resulting from isorhythm to embrace the listener according to the motto of his album. In his own words, it is not so much about playing isorhythmically as about playing around with isorhythms. This may sound like a paradox, but one of Stiefel’s maxims is that when the concept becomes more important than the music, the music falls apart. In other words, he moves away from the preconceived concept, embracing listeners in the natural flow of things and leaves it to them what they make of the musical offerings.
The resulting options are unlimited. For boundless music, all three musicians bring along the unconditional openness of shifting their own internal boundaries to finally dissolve them completely in playing together. None of the three protagonists is at the service of each other; rather, each one is an indispensable part of the whole and thus also contributes his part to it. Bass and drums do not accompany the piano, but complete it.
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