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keys & screws

"This is glorious jazz that opens up most senses and that you should have the opportunity to hear in concert once."
~ Jan Granlie @ salt-peanuts, June-8th-2021

Thomas Borgmann - reeds & flute
Jan Roder - bass     Willi Kellers - drums

"Stunning, amazing, I have no words... Apparently traditional, but deeply avantgardist!!!"
~ Maciej Lewenstein

...Vielmehr basiert die Musik des Trios auf Prinzipien, die der große Sonny Rollins schon in den 1950ern über das Musizieren im Dreieck ohne Harmonieinstrument gesetzt hat.
Leicht können die Sounds dabei ein wenig zerbröseln, so gut wie in Ulrichsberg gespielt, birgt das andrerseits die Chance auf ein wunderbar ausbalanciertes Gleichgewicht von Dichte und Transparenz.
Der Einstieg ist sanft, fast bluesig, verbindet Leichtigkeit mit Tiefe, die Klänge stellen Bezüge zur Jazzgeschichte her, konfrontieren sich mit den Fragen der Moderne und sind dennoch von zeitloser Schönheit.... "

"...Rather, the trio's music is based on principles that the great Sonny Rollins had already set in the 1950s about making music in a triangle without a harmony instrument.
The sounds can easily crumble a little bit, as good as played in Ulrichsberg, but on the other hand it holds the chance for a wonderful balance of density and transparency.
The entry is gentle, almost bluesy, combining lightness with depth, the sounds make references to jazz history, confront the questions of modernity and yet are of timeless beauty..."
~ OÖ-Nachrichten, 16. Dezember 2019

keys & screws, live July 2020, Kulturbrauerei Berlin

"(...) The music of its three pieces shows the musicians of Keys & Screws to be artists of the first order, making music that comes from an increasingly sophisticated attitude to rhythm and musical time – in fact, a marriage between the pastoral and the urban/mechanical. Each of the pieces evokes the experience of being in a pulse labyrinth – a road map featuring three musical instruments propelled at some speed – which determines the routes along which the musical compositions travel through memorable and dynamic landscapes. (...)
A truly memorable set, captured in the beautiful warmth of this recording."
~ jazzdagama.com

"The first record we've seen under the name of Keys & Screws, but a set that features work from reedman Thomas Borgmann – a player who always catches our ears, and who turns out some wonderful music here on tenor, soprano sax, and a toy melodica!

Borgmann has this way of delivering a line that's spacious and soulful when his bandmates might be moving in a slightly different direction – creating this personal spirit of hope and redemption amidst the darker tones of Jan Roder on bass and Willi Kellers on drums and percussion – often blown with a sense of confidence that never has him pushing too far or too fast – standing his own beautifully, and really delivering a great sense of message."
~ dusty groove, Chicago

(...) On their joint project "Keys & Screws Some More Jazz", we get a nice and clear communication between the three, where you would think they had never done anything but play together. Borgmann is a saxophonist who has the melodic touch, and who layers fine melodies out of the loosely composed "ideas", thus becoming the most important voice in the trio.(...)
This is the trio's own version of modern jazz and improvisation, and a version of that form of jazz I really appreciate. There's something about the intensity, creativity and interplay of the trio that makes this a delightful record.(...)
This is glorious jazz that opens up most senses, and that you should have the opportunity to hear in concert once."
~ Jan Granlie @ salt-peanuts, June-8th-2021

"really a fantastic album. playful elements, flutes & steel drums, then almost seamlessly a great emotional depth. work on motifs until they fly up, without redundancies, loose grooves, moments of casual beauty. already a hot candidate now: i will still be able to listen in 5 or 10 years."
~ Jan Künemund

~ Christoph Dieckmann about Festival Peitz 2017

From the prosaic title on, a casual vibe pervades "Some More Jazz" which belies the depth of artistry involved in its execution. On each of the three cuts on this 47-minute LP, the seemingly random start progressively comes into focus. Notice of the naturally evolving unfolding arrive thick and fast.

On “The Other Morning In The Park” the pulse gradually coalesces from drummer Willi Kellers’ clanking steel pans, bassist Jan Roder’s discursive pizzicato and saxophonist Thomas Borgmann’s sweet soprano musings.
And then Roder drops out, leaving Kellers and Borgmann in tandem, so that when they pause he can return to initiate a new direction. Such shifts occur with so little fanfare they can be barely discernible.

Kellers and Borgmann go back a long way, already in partnership back in 1995 under the continuing moniker Ruf Der Heimat, and subsequently further documented on Boom Box (Jazzwerkstatt, 2011) and One For Cisco (NoBusiness, 2016), on each occasion with a new bassist completing the trio. The addition of Roder heralds a new brand: Keys & Screws.

And so palpable is the group feel, with Roder such an integral part in the proceedings, through his melding of rhythmic impulse with melody in an assertive counterpoint, that differentiating the threesome with a distinct name seems entirely appropriate.

Kellers similarly plays a key role. Like Louis Moholo-Moholo, he prompts, cajoles and almost sneaks in the beat, all the while without imposing himself, the architect of a transparent sound in which everyone can be clearly heard at all times.
He supplements that dexterity with another talent: the easy way in which he moves between haphazard clatter and relaxed propulsion.

On “Broadway Birdy” (split across the two sides), Kellers’ thumb piano, Roder’s strum and Borgmann’s toy melodica create a bucolic scene, briefly alluding to the hymn “Abide With Me,” before the reedman wields his tenor saxophone, outlining a wavering dirge which at times combines echoes of Trane’s “Alabama” and the free flow of legendary Chicago saxophonist Fred Anderson.
But even at his most hectic, Borgmann never loses control, building coherently and soulfully, sounding both familiar yet newly minted.

As with those previous albums, although each of the three tracks is credited to a different band member, the uncomplicated melodies could as well be extemporized. But the apparent simplicity is no obstacle to fulfilling and expressive invention. At the outset of “Chatham Bellbird” Borgmann uses tonal distortion to vary an incantatory tenor phrase, ultimately peaking in falsetto cries and hoarse shrieks, before later winding down on soprano with a slightly melancholy poppy lyricism.

Certainly the spontaneity with which each piece develops suggests three finely attuned sensibilities at work, or perhaps that should be at play.
But work or play, it’s an outstanding release.
~ John Scharpe @ Point of Departure

...deutsche Übersetzung +/-



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