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It is an unusual quintet that Jochen Rueckert offers us here: no harmonic instrument (piano or guitar) but three blowers who, in addition to their melodic function, share the solos.

The nine themes composed by the drummer-leader are obviously thought for these musicians who give them life with vigor. Rueckert‘s writing is abundant and at the same time very simple. Often very melodic, it is an ideal ground for the solos of the blowers.

The least known (by me) is the Dutch bass clarinetist Joris Roelofs and it is a wonderful surprise to discover this musician with a warm, woody sound whose improvisations are all interesting. Mark Turner is a regular companion of Rueckert and we find here all his qualities in terms of sound and inventiveness in the solos.

Nils Wogram is also familiar with the drummer, who plays regularly in his bands, and the German trombonist is perfectly at ease in this quintet where his voice contributes amply to the group sound. This new sound is the result of the arrangements written by Rueckert, whose melodic and stimulating drumming is a major element of the overall sound without ever coming to the fore.

Together with the bass of Doug Weiss – one of the most prominent bassists on the New York scene – they form the backbone of the band, which they support in strength and beauty. Bringing these musicians together and writing for them has been a long-standing project of the drummer, who is himself a sought-after sideman, whose sixth record as a leader this is. It is also the first time he has led a band of this size after having played extensively in a quartet. Settled in New York since the end of the 90’s the drummer, in his forties and born in Cologne, quickly made a reputation for himself there, playing in many contexts while at the same time asserting himself under his own name. He confirms here that he is a major leader capable of proposing an original music and of gathering around him some of the most interesting improvisers on the two sides of the Atlantic.

Line Up:

Jochen Rueckert: drums, composition

Mark Turner: tenor saxophone

Nils Wogram: trombone

Joris Roelofs: bass clarinet

Doug Weiss: double bass

©Photo Header Gerhard-Richter

With Best Intentions was released only in digital by the label Colonel Beats

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