TANN ,the young German trio are guitarist Dirk Haefner, bass man Rene Bornstein and drummer Demian Kappenstein. The know last one very well and some of the projects he had been a part of I already reviewed here. It is clearly showing his versatility. Remaining two gentlemen I am listening to for the very first time and I am glad I do.
The way rhythm section works builds up the solid foundation for the music of the trio. It is not by accident that that music sounds very familiar to my ears. In blind test I would vote for Bill Frissell trio without smallest hesitation. It’s clearly audible that Dirk knows Bill’s works very well, adores it and refers to that constantly. Not coping it, but by developing style which contains massive chunk of Frissell’s phrasing.
On pieces like opening Nanus Garten or Kapaun he is mirroring Bill’s articulation from his music for Buster Keaton’s recordings. Damien doesn’t play however like Joey Baron does and entire section works in a different way, with more melodic, less burlesque approach. The way he merges blues and folk harmonies had clearly been learned from Frissell. But Bill is not Derk’s only inspiration.
When you listen carefully to the chorals and chords structures you will find out there elements of style of great Joe Pass. Listen to Okapi. It’s so present there. In the way the chords fade and the pause is considered between the notes I can hear the spirit of Jim Hall. Von Mir zu Dir is like a tribute written for him. Mind then that he is learning from the best.
This is very eclectic style, but also very intelligent. He takes a lot from great guitarists who contributed to Jazz over decades, but he also includes something personal to this blend. Purely due to his inspirations are not coming from the Jazz only. There is a lot of Blues harmonies and Rock riffs, too. All together makes it very modern guitar vocabulary supported by an excellent technique and vivid imagination.
Listening to this set is very engaging and keeps you following musician’s intentions through the entire recording. Dra Di Ne Tum for instance is a perfect example here. It is a psychedelic like guitar driven piece with purely rock influence bringing to memory early John McLaughlin , but also Jimmy Page.
The band definitely developed his own language here, which is a kind of collage –job. It contains quotes from different directions, strong inspirations, and loose improvisations leading to new findings. All musicians are mature enough to play the game like that with a full responsibility for the final result. To my ears they developed both a challenge and a listening pleasure. Maybe not such freshness, but it doesn’t really matter as far as it tastes so good. And it does.
Recording quality, as always from Traumton is breath taking and the feeling of being there probably contributes significantly to the complete picture.