• joe haider jazz orchestra Back to the Roots (CD, £13.25)

    This album from the Joe Haider Jazz Orchestra was recorded in Winterthur in September 2017. The jazz orchestra was joined in the studio by old acquaintances of Haider: vocal quartet, The Sparklettes. Joe Haider’s music and the associated feeling of dazzling freedom have accompanied him during his whole life. Even if the modern, hard bop, blues and even a pinch of soul have influenced his style over the decades, the now 82-year-old pianist and Swiss national from Darmstadt, continues with his special blend of rhythmic presence and matter-of-factness rooted in tradition. Consequently, it is fitting that Joe Haider returns to his roots with his new album “Back to the Roots”, which he has never really forgotten. He does it with a mixture of nonchalance and sustainability, which already results from his choice of co-musicians - nine musicians whose brass-centred members enable a wide variety of modern, jazzy tonal qualities. This scaling-up of the quartet sound makes it possible to create both big band associations as well as references to the typical sound ideas of small ensembles, which often characterise styles. The three saxophonists Daniel Blanc, Thomi Geiger and Domenic Landolf, who also play flute and clarinet in addition to their customary instruments, confront the trumpeter Dave Blaser, trombonist Rene Mosele and bass trombonist Lucas Wirz. All of them are trained in experimental projects in addition to traditional styles, which in turn benefits the intricacies of the arrangement. Besides Haider himself on the piano, the bass player Raffaele Bossard and drummer Dominic Egli round out the sound of the nonet. Together with the Joe Haider Orchestra, the Sparklettes launch into a soul swinging sound, then again to a ballad-like iridescent program or one between modern harmonies and experimental expressiveness that leads to a lot of blues in the pedigree of Joe Henderson and Charlie Parker and all the way to Isla Eckinger and original compositions.

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