Modern Jazz
35 - 0584211
  • Artist: Sarah Chaksad Orchestra
  • Format: CD
  • Order No.: 0584211
  • Release Date: 18.10.2019
  • Label: Neuklang
  • Genre: Modern Jazz
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"The sound of the saxophones - a sweet, dry and often insipid yellow when only four were used - transformed into a woody umber when the baritone later dropped in. The impact of the three trombones in harmony was majestic. Four trumpets could take on the sound of flames yet be dampened to a citric, distant loneliness by Harmon mutes. Combined, these elements made up the sound of a big band.”

This is how Gene Lees - singer, critic, author and editor of Down Beat - described the big band in his essay, “Pavilion in the Rain”: his farewell to the golden era in which jazz, swing and thousands of big bands – the original candidates of pop in music history – shaped an era of two decades until around 1948. Contrary to predictions, both jazz and the big band have survived; not as dance and pop music, but as a highly sophisticated form of art. Yet the music of jazz orchestras no longer feeds primarily off the melodies from films, musicals and operas. Instead, it offers new, complex compositions.

The Sarah Chaksad Orchestra has already caused a stir with its debut album, "Windmond", and the compositions from the bandleader. According to JAZZ'N'MORE, this is around about how the big band of today would sound, and in his column, the powerfully eloquent jazz connoisseur, Peter Rüedi, describes the whirlwind of amazement that has transpired from the orchestra music of the Wohlen-born talent who now lives in Basel.

With "Tabriz", Sarah Chaksad and her orchestra present their opus through new compositions, which demonstrate their evolution and raise the bar even higher than the first album did. The enchanting title track, in which the brilliant guest musician, Wolfgang Muthspiel, adds the crowning point with his delicate guitar part, is not the only thing to express this. With the name of the historically significant city in north-western Iran, the composer proves the credentials of her father's origins whilst simultaneously indicating that she is ever more confronted with different cultures and thus expanding her own jazz dialect.

This can be heard distinctly in "Mehamn" with the Norwegian trumpeter, Hildegunn Øiseth, and her striking goat horn. Along with Pepe Auer, Paco Andrea, Thomas Lüscher, Sebastian Gieck and Eva Klesse, she joined the band, of which Andreas Böhlen, Cédric Gschwind, Fabian Willmann Julie Fahrer, Charles Wagner, Jonas Winterhalter, Octave Moritz, Lukas Wyss, Lukas Briggen and Lucas Wirz are also members. The development of Sarah Chaksad's compositional language through new, cultural influences is rather subtle and not necessarily immediately audible - and yet in the spirit that has always distinguished jazz as a lover of the most diverse brides - just think of Latin American, Afro-Cuban or an array of music from the most diverse, European origins.

The current Sarah Chaksad Orchestra captivates with a colourfulness that is richer than that of the big band in its distant heyday, as highly praised by Gene Lees. The complex songs of the composer, bandleader and saxophonist; her cleverly intricate rhythms between dynamic beats and fine ballads; a blaring tutti; a quirkiness that, every now and then, gets in the way of cosiness at the right moment; chromatically refined, superimposed brass parts as well as clear, individual parts and fantastic solos in amongst the whole shebang: it is all of these elements combined that make Sarah Chaksad's music a truly touching experience.

Basel, April 2019 / Steff Rohrbach

  • Dreamcatcher
  • Tabriz
  • Home
  • Mehamn
  • It‘s Too Late
  • The Flower
  • Song of a Lark
  • Thankful