Evgeny Ring: Alto saxophone; Philip Frischkorn: Piano; Stefan Schönegg: Double bass;Eva Klesse: Drums

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Exactly two years ago, the Eva Klesse Quartet released their second album Obenland, establishing its status on the European jazz scene. Excellent reviews followed, as well as invitations to festivals and international concert tours, which took the band to Asia and Central and South America. JazzThing described Obenland as “wild, romantic, elegiac and tantalising,” while the Weser Kurier picked up on the band’s “impressively precise interaction”. The FAZ wrote: “The pieces develop fluently, and typical boundaries between composition and improvisation blur imperceptibly. The Eva Klesse Quartet’s jazz is rich in interesting melodies and harmonies, attracting different kinds of listeners, yet is far removed from the mainstream.”

And now begins the third chapter in this artistic success story: miniature – ten songs for chamber jazz quartet. The title of the new album indicates the band’s aesthetic direction this time. While Obenland captivated the listener with its extended tracks and featured sweeping dynamics and wide arcs, the new album is more intimate and reduced. What has not changed, however, is the impelling interaction of different approaches to playing and the members’ different characters, which add significantly to the quartet’s appeal. The fellow performers attentively listen and give space to each other while showing a keen intuition for storytelling without words.

Miniatures was recorded in Cologne’s “Loft”, whose studio guaranteed an intimate atmosphere. On the first evening, the quartet recorded a concert, from which “Gravity” was transferred straight to the record; the rest of the album was recorded the following day, piece by piece, without an audience but played live. The band is palpably more attuned and coordinated than ever before.

In spring 2018 Eva Klesse was appointed professor of jazz percussion at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media; and in 2017, she was awarded the Westphalian Jazz Prize. The jury wrote: “Klesse’s dynamic style of playing is impressive; she is skilled in producing the finest nuances and softest sounds. […] She is creative artist with a recognizable signature and at the same time, a congenial partner.”

The characteristic sound of the Eva Klesse Quartet on miniatures is more detailed and transparent than ever. Many subtleties of chamber music, clear or cleverly forking compositions and balanced improvisations make 50 minutes pass quickly. Conceptual ideas and the resulting focus show the ensemble’s convincing artistic development. The band’s depth of expression produces a musical narrative that can confidently exist in an international environment. Such music will delight not only long-time followers of jazz, but also recruit new aficionados in the future