Christoph Grab’s Reflections | Oneness | January 26, 2024

While jazz today often seeks to modernize the genre by leaving the tradition in the past, Swiss saxophonist Christoph Grab aims to prove that creative music can be rooted in history and still be fresh and vibrant. His new album ‘Oneness’ is set to release on January 26thon Lamento Records.

The record follows the quintet’s 2020 release ‘Live at Haberhaus’, an album met with widespread critical acclaim resulting in a German Record Critic’s Awardin the same year. 

Reflections’ new album’s name is reflective of a feeling of closeness and cohesion Grab and his band discovered after extensive periods of live performance. Speaking to the title, Grab says: “Oneness with the world, the ability to embrace the new and the foreign: empathy – in this age of bitter trench warfare, both on the internet and in the real world, these are important qualities.”

Dedicated to the works of jazz visionary Thelonious Monk, who Grab sees as one of the genre’s most inspiring composers, the album is a collection of nine Monk pieces arranged for a five-piece ensemble. Featuring an atypical lineup of three frontline horns and the omission of a harmony instrument, Grab aimed to transfer Monk’s unorthodox chord and cluster language to his three-piece woodwind and brass section.

Recorded live in a single day, the record’s tone is fearless and explorative. Bookended by creative reinterpretations of melodies any Monk fan will be familiar with, each member of the quintet is given the space and freedom to impart their own improvisational voice and energy into the music. Percolating swing grooves, intricate interplay, extended Monk-influenced harmony, blues-tinged melodies and angular horn lines come together to create a musical statement driven by a love of tradition and contemporary individuality in equal measure.

Line up

Christoph Grab | Saxophones
Lukas Thoeni |
Andreas Tschopp |
Bänz Oester | 
Pius Baschnagel |

Track Listing

We See
Something In Blue
Booboo’s Birthday
Crepuscule with Nellie
Who Knows
Ugly Beauty

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