Impressum | Contact

boom box

Sensitive. Boom Box and another Free Jazz. ( jazzthetik July 2011)

boom box

»» tour dates     »» audios & videos

* * * * ½
... Thomas Borgman is one of those rare examples of equal part musician and instrumental virtuoso.
... Another standout on Boom Box is the fugue like proportions and dimensions of Little Birds may Fly.
Like Bach (yes, that Bach) Borgman knows how to melodically set them up and knock them down with precision and invention.
His task is consistently facilitated by the contrapuntal excellence of bassist Akira Ando and drummer Willi Kellers.
Was there ever any question, both are forever now in The Book; ours is now to follow and listen.
Boom Box makes you wish you wish the Borgmann trio would come to your home town and stretch out on those songs at your favorite haunt
~ stan zappa @ free jazz blog reviews (february 2013)

* * * * ½
...This aspect of 20th Century music, and Dolphy's alchemistic embodiment of it, has everything to do with the seemingly eternal and fluttering beauty of "Jazz"...
The bird image, and the fluttering, soaring of the idiom of jazz itself, meet here, on the shimmering glacier of Borgmann's music.
So, whether it is all about the bird or all about jazz ultimately does not matter.
In the end, it is all about the profound beauty of where music and life meet.
Borgmann's prophetic conversations with bassist Akira Ando and drummer Willi Kellers regarding the mighty flight of the avian being are a parallel to how music captures the downward spiral of blue sorrow and the upward spiral of the joy that follows with equal majesty and splendor.
The fact that "Little Birds May Fly" is a precocious song about the very flock of living songbirds that make up a jazz tune is a masterstroke.
The playful nature of the music may sometimes be misleading, as this is a very serious journey, indeed.
It is a reminder that ears are a pathway to the mind, which is a pathway to the soul.
That is the real answer to the question-in-song, "And To Where?"
~ raul d'gama rose at allaboutjazz (july 2011)

* * * * *
In line with the album title, the music is unquestionably jazz. Although obviously rooted in free jazz, it is surprisingly replete with qualities that some may not associate with that description, such as swing, restraint, delicacy. There is no screaming—or booming—here.
On an album where every track is peerless, the standout has to be "Albert and Frank"...
the longer this trio plays the better it sounds. There is never any sense of running short of ideas or falling back on stock phrases; everything sounds freshly minted.
Borgmann seemingly has the ability to endlessly spin out solo lines that are melodically and rhythmically inventive, making the process sound as simple as breathing.
He switches between tenor, soprano and sopranino with ease, using them in a painterly fashion for their different tonal qualities, as required; on the closer, "Only for Dörte," he even briefly uses two harmonica chords to good effect.
His rhythmic sense helps give the trio its swing; it always feels as if all three players are creating it equally, without any sense of them being soloist plus rhythm section.
"Jazz" is the best surprise of the year so far, and a favorite that's sure to be one of the best albums of 2011.
~ john eyles at allaboutjazz (july 2011)

* * * * ½
Free jazz can have some fairly antisocial connotations. Too often, the term raises an undeserved fear in the uninitiated, as freedom can be scary.
That hardly necessitates that it lack beauty, lyricism or intimacy, however; it simply means that those traits are arrived at by organic means rather than controlled ones.
Few artists understand the form's capability for such qualities as the three musicians comprising Boom Box.
All veterans of the world, multi-reedist Thomas Borgmann, bassist Akira Ando and percussionist Willi Kellers combine their efforts for a series of fluttering extrapolations on loose themes that pull from an enormous variety of free jazz's past realizations while still defining itself with a distinct sound all its own...
Boom Box traverses new ground at every turn.
~ henry smith at allaboutjazz (august 2011)

Derek Bailey may have denied such a thing existed but this is a free jazz record...
"Jazz" has a strangely weightless, dateless quality... The music orbits in its own atmosphere, untroubled as to prevailing styles or doctrines, not identifiably anyone’s name but a genuine collective of three. Its freedoms are thoroughly leashed by dancing passages that depend on a strict count, bold but orthodox harmonic devices and refreshingly direct melody...
it’s fascinating and instructive to listen to Brötzmann after an hour or two of Borgmann; the similarities are more pronounced than not – in favour of deceptively simple lines in which intervals are nudged at, worried, teased apart but mostly spun out in long, segmentary lines...
~ brian morton at point of departure (june 2011)

* * * * ½
Some might think there an element of presumption in titling a CD Jazz, but German saxophonist Thomas Borgmann gets right to the essence in this set by his Boom Box trio: spontaneous three-way conversations which swing...
While writing credits are apportioned equally between the participants, the six tracks spanning this generous 76-minute studio session actually sound like extemporized constructs with loosely sketched themes.
Improvised or not, they are notable for their tuneful nature and the restraint evident in their measured evolution and structure. A high level of responsiveness and communication is necessary to make everything work and seem so natural...
~ john sharpe at allaboutjazz (september 2011)

...Certainly the drummer’s “Hey Little Bird” is a far cry from the emotions expressed on the saxophonist’s “Albert & Frank”.
Temperate, restrained and almost folk-like, the first piece is built on a constant swirl of drum beats and cymbal pressures plus Ando’s low-pitched tremolo stopping which exposes all string colors.
Similarly Borgmann’s output varies from mellow story-telling which could encompass a slice of “Blues in the Night” to tongue-rolling squeals and slurs...
~ ken waxman at (october 2011)

...Being European doesn’t preclude the presence of a bluesy drawl from Borgmann’s tenor on “How Far Can You Fly?” as he purrs, dips and wails in a meaty landscape of strings, skin and copper.
But as rhythmically and harmonically liberated as the proceedings are, they're still quite tied not just to tradition, but a sense of groove and lyricism that’s immediately accessible.
Importantly, it doesn’t necessarily require Borgmann to be accompanied by American musicians, either.
~ clifford allen at ni kantu (october 2011)

...It all cooks like a proto, Neo-Swing... I play this record hypnotically, over and over.
~ mike maguire at amazone review

* * * * *
...Boom Box versteht es, die Avantgarde mit dem Althergebrachten zu ver-, nun ja, zu versöhnen.
Es sind zarte, animierende, belastbare, erinnerungsfähige Klänge, die den „Jazz“ im Sinne der Band vom Naturell eventueller Künstlichkeit befreien.
~ klaus hübner at westzeit

* * * *
...Articulé, intériorisé, mélodique même, Borgmann, tout en gardant une tension palpable, exerce un contrôle constant sur le volume de son émission et un travail sensible sur la sonorité de ses instruments...
~ philippe elhem at Le Vif Magazine (august 2011)

* * * *
...Agréable surprise que cet album en trio de type free-jazz, mais un free-jazz pas très violent ou hystérique, mais plus proche de ce que pouvait faire un Ornette Coleman dans le temps. Il y a quelque chose de délicat et qui swing ici. Des longs morceaux, totalement improvisés, où le jeu d’ensemble prédomine sur les solos. Ça “bounce” en masse, le son du saxophone étant feutré par moment, ou suggérant les avenues empruntées par Albert Ayler et Frank Wright...
~ maxime bouchard at Jazz à crédit – Du Vanguard au Savoy (december 2011)

...Boom Box breaks consequent the established structures, including those of free jazz, and creates their own far from any cliché. Hopefully this Berlin trio got a long life.
~ jazzpodium july '11   +/-


Although this trio's music is basically free, there is a playfulness and consistent connection between all three members like old friends conversing in an atmosphere of trust and heated exchange.
There is little or no screaming going on here, just a most engaging and thoughtful affair.
~ bruce lee gallanter   downtown music gallery

...Melodien, die ins Ohr gehen. Tanzbar fast sind sie, bieten aber noch genügend Raum für Improvisation. Egal ob auf dem Tenorsaxophon, oder auf dem Sopran. Erfrischend klingt das bei Borgmann, modern halt...
~ gottfried schalow  neue musikzeitung nmz (september 2011)

...wie schön diese band swingt. immer. und dieser swing ist durch drei teilbar. allein kellers beckenarbeit in diesem stück – welch leichte, komplexe bewegung.
das ist nicht nur fliegen – das ist das spreizen von federn, kontrahieren von muskeln, drehen der richtung, auswählen der schneisen.
und dazu wird gesungen. auf dem tenor und dem sopran im wechsel, im battle. der hymnische ton und der analytische ton. das stöhnen und das sagen. ein motiv finden, das in sich schön ist, von allein steht, ein angebot ist – um es dann anzuspannen, überzustreichen, zu zerreißen oder weiterzuentwickeln.

die vorbilder sind bereits fortgeflogen. vom wichtigen vorläufer des trios mit wilber morris und denis charles ist nur noch borgman da.
geister können beschworen werden und ALBERT & FRANK fängt mit GHOSTS an, den geistern des kleinen vogels, der wie ein hund starb. auch albert ayler und frank wright haben gesungen, nicht „kaputtgespielt“.
die konservativen sprechen von variationen, die freien von energie. aber diese musik, jazz, fliegt weit darüber hinaus. es trotzt dem alltäglichen impulsfluss schönheiten ab. und eine haltung.
(„alles was schön ist, ist auch politisch“, sagt william parker, der es mehr mit blumen hat als mit vögeln. vor allem mit denen, die abgeschnitten werden, bevor sie blühen.)...
...boom box spielen jazz. und jazz handelt vom fliegen und vom singen.
~ jan künemund, september 2010, edition salzgeber    +/-


...this band does swing so well. always. and this swing is divisible by three. take kellers’ light yet complex use of the cymbals in this number – it’s more than mere flying, it’s about spreading your wings, contracting your muscles, changing direction, choosing the right path.
and then there’s the singing. tenor and soprano alternating. battling it out.
the hymnlike sound and the analytical sound. sighing and saying.
finding a motif that is inherently beautiful, one that can stand alone, one that makes an offer – only to stretch it tight, smooth it over, rip it apart, or keep on refining it.

the role models have already flown away. only borgmann remains from the forerunner to this trio, the pivotal grouping that also featured wilber morris and denis charles.
just as spirits can be conjured up, ALBERT & FRANK begins with GHOSTS, the ghosts of the little bird that died like a dog in the gutter. albert ayler and frank wright sang too, they didn’t “play the music to death.”
more conservative types talk about variations, whereas the free spirits speak of energy. but this music, jazz, soars far beyond all that. it wrests beauty from the everyday flow of impulses. and attitude as well.
(william parker said that everything that was beautiful was also political. flowers is his thing rather than birds, especially those that were cut before they bloomed.)
...boom box play jazz. and jazz is about flying and singing.
~ jan künemund, september 2010, berlin (edition salzgeber)   +/-


...Hier entsteht aus den verschiedensten Anregungen ein neues Produkt voller überraschender Wandlungen und enormer, absolut origineller Vielfalt...
Borgmann pflegt hier auf dem Sopransaxophon eine ungewohnte Sanglichkeit und einen Schönklang von irgendwie kindlicher Unschuld. Die Rhythmusgruppe pulst zwar frei, aber so dicht und zusammen, dass man sich fast zu der Erkenntnis zwingen muss, hier keinen normalen Vierviertelswing vorzufinden...
Free Jazz ist diese CD allemal. Allerdings wird sich niemand darunter das vorstellen, was ihn hier erwartet.
~ ulrich olshausen (faz)

...Inspired by a mixed bag of ideas, they have created an altogether new product, packed with wholly surprising transformations and tremendous, absolutely original diversity...
Borgmann’s soprano sax cultivates an unusual melodious quality and a delightful sound that is somehow childlike in its innocence. Although the pulse of the rhythm section is free, it is also so compact and together that one is almost forced to conclude this is no normal 4/4 swing...
This CD is undoubtedly free jazz.
But it’s safe to say that nobody is expecting free jazz to sound like the music on this recording.

~ ulrich olshausen (faz)    +/-






Impressum | Contact