Friday, June 28, 2013

Ilona Haberkamp Quartet featuring Ack van Rooyen / Silvia Droste - Cool is Hipp is Cool (Laika 2013)

This music production Cool is Hipp is Cool pays tribute to Jutta’s historical importance as Europe’s First Lady of Jazz and “true Blue Note legend”. Cool as an expression meaning “hip” and “in”, and this way the individuality of her playing is musically reflected and at the same time interlinked with the impulse to something new. Cool is Hipp is Cool recalls Jutta Hipps multi-faceted artistic work and draws our attention at the peculiarity of her playing. In fact, her style encaptures comparisons to Fats Waller, Eroll Garner, Teddy Wilson, Lennie Tristano as far as Horace Silver. But without the development of her own style, she hardly would have been invited to New York by Leonard Feather. Her very special fughetta-like, contrapuntal, melodic and lucid playing stands out, becomes an art form of Frankfurt-style Cool Jazz and can unmistakably be heard on her American Blue Note recordings as well. Later she affirmsed, she played Cool Jazz only since it was demanded from her in Germany and America. Her heart would beat for Rhythm & Blues and the Hard Swinging Style. But still: Her personal, cool style remains outstanding.
Linear phrasing and a sound with relatively few overtones are basic principles of Cool Jazz, which on Cool is Hipp is Cool are primarily assumed by alto saxophone and piano. The cautious and spare solos by Ilona Haberkamp become a concept. Integrated between the top-class individualities of her co-players, she succeeds in a remarkable musical journey.
Two originals by Jutta Hipp, one extended to a little suite, excerpts from piano transcriptiptions, merged with the personal style of the  musicians involved, poems on Jazz greats, she knew personally, inspire new compositions and new arrangements. Musical renderings and recitations of her poems present Jutta Hipp’s artistic vein. Her original voice on the album stems from a very private and yet unpublished interview, Iris Kramer did with Jutta in New York in Ilona Haberkamps presence in 1986. A tiny little selection of this interview creates atmosphere, serves as transition to the pieces or augments the poems.