MULO FRANCEL

Crossing Life Lines (GLM Music)

Release: August 2020

“His tone, on a variety of saxophones plus clarinet, is sweet and gentle, his compositions lyrical and playful by turns, and the total effect utterly disarming.” Dave Gelly, The Observer

Globetrotting German saxophonist and clarinettist Mulo Francel’s new project brings together creative musicians with roots across Central and Eastern Europe. With inspiring jazz and world music they celebrate 75 years of peace between their respective countries.

Following a tour through the Czech Republic and Poland, Francel wondered: “How do I deal with the suffering caused by our grandfathers’ generation? Do I address it? Do we apologize?”

To grapple with these questions, Crossing Life Lines brings together 11 top European musicians, featuring them in various formations to offer a number of instrumental textures. The repertoire ranges from covers of Chopin and Jerome Kern, to heartfelt original compositions.

Francel is a member of the multi award-winning ensemble Quadro Nuevo, and has toured to the furthest reaches of the globe. He has released more than 40 albums on SONY, ACT and now GLM Music, with Kulturnews magazine describing him as having the “most sensuous saxophone sound in Europe”.

 

Izabella Effenberg
vibraphone, steel drums, aray mbira

Philipp Schiepek
guitar

Diknu Schneeberger
guitar

David Gazarov
piano

Bernd Lhotzky
piano

Robert Kainar
drums

Stefan Noelle
percussion

D.D. Lowka
bass, percussion

Sven Faller
bass

Jiří Bárta
cello

Mulo Francel
saxes, clarinet

 

Mulo Francel:

“The end of the Second World War was over 75 years ago. Gone are the occupation, the internment, the mass rape and killing, the expulsion of people from their homelands. Gone, at least in Central Europe and the neighbouring countries in Eastern Europe.

I was looking for colleagues who understand my concern. Musicians who, due to their own experiences, have an ability to overcome borders and build reconciling bridges between peoples.

Such as the Polish vibraphonist Izabella Effenberg, who lives in Nuremberg, or the Viennese guitarist Diknu Schneeberger, who has Yen and Sinti roots. People whose familial DNA is multi-layered. Substitutes for many who fall through the grid of nationally influenced patterns of thought.

In this peace-focused project, Slavic and Germanic, Czech-Bohemian and, Sudeten German, Silesian a Hungarian-Austrian, Polish and Caucasian, Jewish and Christian elements come together here.

Regardless of their origin, the artists come together to create meaningful art via the languages of contemporary jazz and world music.

Here their lifelines cross. By meeting each other in their musical art, in their songs. Songs inspired by the biographies and roots of the participants, such as a groovy new version of Smetana’s ‘Moldau’ or the song ‘Frieda’, which the young guitarist Philipp Schiepek composed in memory of his great-grandmother.

It was important to me that each of these fantastic musicians can freely develop his or her creative power on the album. Our music is the message: Let us spread the knowledge of the inestimable value of peace like a shining torch by treating each other with respect and appreciation.”

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