Official Press Release for “Thursday”.
Our friend, jazz journalist and author Wolf Kampmann wrote a very nice press release for our first Malletmuse album “Thursday”!
Mastermind Katie Lynn Köster made a wonderful translation. Katie is also writing lyrics for our colleague, contemporary music composer Tristan Köster.
David Friedman Generations Trio – “Thursday”
Malletmuse Records, Berlin 2018, mm 001
“The culture of Jazz has traversed not only centuries, but now, too, the turn of a millennium – and yet, we still seem to be surprised when this platform acts as a meeting place for multiple generations. The Berlin label, Malletmuse Records, is a determined effort to confront the irrational rationality of the music business with a platform which, amidst varying artistic and economic conditions, concerns itself exclusively with the desires of the participating musicians. Above all else, Malletmuse Records is the cumulation of two drastically different perspectives engaging with one question: How does today’s Jazz musician reach his listeners?
Our two Malletmuse protagonists are Vibraphonist, David Friedman, and Drummer, Tilo Weber, with one having bid farewell to 70, and the other having not yet greeted 30. The elder is tranquil yet hungry, looking back on a vast treasure of experiences and encounters; the younger hungry yet tranquil, looking to encounter new people and assemble his own wealth of experience. Friedman learned Jazz from scratch in the USA, and has played with nearly all of Jazz’s greats. He has imparted his wisdom on Weber, who is forging ahead to take on the world. These two searched for and found each other in the most spectacular way, beginning as teacher and student, and growing to balance each other out as equals in their endeavour as label heads and band members.
These differing experiential backgrounds and stages of life act not as hindrances, but rather enrich each other. The cement that holds these two together is their unlimited trust, allowing them to circumvent the inevitable crises and differences of opinion. Friedman and Weber stress that they needn’t always be of one opinion, and it is enough to know that the other has a reason for that which he does. Their music, like their label, thrives on the fact that they search not for the elusive common denominator, bur rather for inspiration from the disparities in their individual realities.
Compared to other Jazz labels, one significant difference can be found in the fact that Malletmuse only performs their own music. The reason stems from a recording by the Generations Trio – an ensemble completed by the incredible Bassist, Oliver Potratz – which was put on the back burner for much too long, and demanded to finally be heard. As Weber and Friedman are artists through and through, and are thus men of action, the natural consequence was the musicians’ foundation of their own label; here, the famous allegory of virtue and necessity is woefully out of place. The musical projects and work on the label are two facets of one single approach, which demands that a work of art be realised as effectively as possible. This can’t be achieved under imposed rules, but must instead be self-determined.
“I admire that David Friedman never says, ‘everything would have been better in the past’,” says Tilo Weber, regarding his fascination with his former teacher’s attitude. As many differences as Friedman and Weber have, they have just as much in common.
A contagious touch of serenity, vitality, and wisdom unfurls throughout the songs from their first album, three components which combine into authenticity. All three musicians are phenomenally ubiquitous, even when they aren’t producing a sound. In the way of the trinity, Potratz manages to transcend his own lines and intentions, and thread himself wondrously into the train of thought of his fellow players. Each of the three is a fusion between the active player and listener. Friedman says, “When it comes to playing, I feel like Oliver and Tilo are completely worry free. That, of course, has a lot to do with their generation. For me, this is a great joy when playing music with the two boys. Many musicians from my generation are often anxiety-ridden and careful. In the Generations Trio, it really doesn’t matter what I write, the two eat it up – entirely without worry, reservation, and deliberation.”
Among Friedman, Potratz, and Weber, there is no right or wrong; there is only that which happens. Because of this, one can listen to this CD as much as they want to – it will always sound different depending on the viewpoint, time of day, and atmosphere. For the three musicians, this is a matter of reliable communication. If they can’t believe each other, then who can they honestly convince? In the end, it’s of little importance who plays which instrument. Through their reciprocality, they tell wonderful and energetic stores, inviting the audience to listen to the tales as partners in dialogue: that which cannot be incorrectly told cannot be incorrectly understood. This isn’t music which is reserved for solitary jazz experts. Instead, Potratz, Weber, and Friedman enable the listener to become engaged, and incorporate the music into themselves. They give them the feeling that what is being played is only for them, or, as Tilo Weber would put it, “This is music without a need for clarification.”