16 November 2023

Local scene

Another local jazz outing with an opener band and a subsequent jam. This one with students from the local music school. Interestingly it was held in the Moritzbastion, what's left of Leipzig's mediaeval city walls various eras of destruction. Mostly underground, of course. Due to circumstances, I literally only heard a minute or two of the opening band. Too bad, because they did sound very inventive and capable, but the players all came back in various other jam combinations playing bop and the like, but jamming is never quite like a regular band. I got chatting to Tomas, a local jazz follower, and it turns out morph (the band) had played the previous night at Blue Note Dresden and were to play in other clubs on following nights. Thomas advised they had opened with In walked Bud, morphed into free then finished on Tenor madness. See the gig on YouTube. But those minutes I caught were fascinating. Just students? Music is good in Germany and jazz is good in Leipzig and Dresden. Then a few sets with mixes of these and a few other players. One bassist; two drummers; three pianists (of which one also played drums); two tenors; one trom. The blow tunes were obvious enough, bop and modal and blues. Kevin on bass was all firm walks, a few melodic solos and quick fills and always nicely supportive. Nice. Some varied approaches to drums; two quite different tenor players, one more melodic, the other more out and firm with big tone, both effective; pianists again diverse, Victor of morph busy and big hands of notes and longs quick scalar runs and a nice line in sidestepping by whole tones and movements from straight 8s to swing and return; Hakim ended his outing with huge fists of notes and a musical collapse and lots of smiles. He obviously enjoys his playing. Not a late or long night, but an interesting visit to the local jazz scene. I'd go again on Thursday but NYC calls.

Jazz band morph performed at Moritzbastion, Leipzig. morph comprised Victor Möhmel (piano), Kevin Knödler (bass) and Markus Lämmel (drums) with Markus Rethberg (tenor) and Linus Berg (trombone). Other players at the jam session included Jorn Kleinbrahm (tenor) and Hakim Azumi (piano, drums). Apologies for names I missed.

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