Such a debut comes rarely, It is innovative on many fields too, as well as brave and mature. The band and vocalists are interpreting here the poetry of the Irish writer Dylan Thomas who used to broadcast his works in its days as an open series, entitled Under the Milk Wood, to which the recording title directly refers. As one who is not familiar with his outcome, I found the recording to be very touching and imprinting strong images into listeners imagination. That confirms both, the value of the poetry itself and depths of the interpretations which Boguth develops in the front of the listeners ears like a skilled merchant trading precious fabric.
Of course, it is all the band who cares that delicate tissue with an incredible sensitivity and deep emotional understanding, but that comes without saying. All of them despite the young age have a lot behind already. Frischkorn, the pianist in Eva Klesse Quartett as well, is especially important here as a co-builder of the mood, with his unique romanticism and ability to lay the notes like a stair for the words walking out of the vocalist’s month. Deller, another youngster evolving from the Leipzig jazz movement also left his marks on many projects and has already well-established reputation of the versatile and imaginative sideman. Drummer Phillip Scholz, originating from Dresden but polishing his skills in the same Leipzig pot, I remember from collaboration with an eccentric clarinetists Rudi Mahall as well as congenial pianist Pablo Held.
What touches in this tastefully played back and arranged spectacle most is an incredibly wide range of feelings. Every text comes as an interesting challenge, touching universal truths about life, love and hanging around. Despite of lyrics being declaimed poems written in 50’s, they didn’t sound out of fashion for even a single moment. The emotional makeover that band and the singer brought to it gave them entirely new life, shining, glowing and sparkling all the time.
An opening Intro sets the mood and introduces the drama with Boguth’s rich and sonorous baritone. It brings the image of the coastal sleepy town waking from a moonless night.
Following The Draper blossoms with a sublimely sung lines accompanied by impressionistic piano like straight from the Cabinet of the Dr. Calligari. The theme floats nicely on the thick texture weaved under the piano lines by bassist sensitive bowing.
Whose name was Tom coming next grows into regular jazz ballad with nice chord progression counterpointing complicated figurative phrasing which Matthias employed into his interpretation. Here the skills span from scatt to mono-declamation and the rhythm of the poem keeps flirting with the one that the section brings.
What seas did you see strikes like The Bad Plus with massive energy culminated into the piano chops riding on the solid drum framework. Vocals brings contradictory moods which ones are sliding on the racing on runaway trio’s rave, other times during impressionistic piano interludes such as Satie, this comes to the hallucinogenic and introvert figures shaped with the words in a almost architectural sketch-esque precision.
Each of them brings a challenge, therefore there are still eight undiscovered territories left untouched by myself, waiting for your imaginative power to be conquered. Enjoy every step and be sure that you walk barefoot.
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