Sunday, November 15, 2015
USA/GERMANY/SWEDEN:Amok Amor-Amok Amor (Boomslang Records 2015)
The provocative band name „Amok Amor“, sounds truly promising, considering the members of this German- American- Swedish formation can certainly not be viewed as a tender loving group. They ride a merciless attack and leave the listener after thirty-six eventful minutes totally exhausted and yet extremely happy behind.
Three members of the quartet are well experienced as an already existing trio. They live in Berlin and have for many years been supporting the city’s jazz life in numerous constellations and with decisive impulses. Wanja Slavin (33) the alto saxophone player and ECHO Jazz Award winner, Swedish bass player Petter Eldh (since 2009 active in Berlin) plus Germany’s most agile and unpredictable drummer, Christian Lillinger (31) recorded with “Starlight” an already rousing album, released under the Suisse label Unit Records. Ulrich Steinmetzger’s evaluation of this production in the magazine „Jazz Thing: „This CD is a perfect example for the vitality of a never ending young metropolitan jazz scene, constantly moving forward while escaping the experimental hermetic towards integrating various elements deriving from the participant’s musical and other social essences and bringing all of this together in a relaxed and well considered combination“.
This trio, praised by the above mentioned hymn has now engaged in a mutual operation with an excellent and versatile trumpet player, the American Peter Evans (34) who is among other famous for being a long lasting member of the group „Mostly Other People Do The Killing“ (he has meanwhile left the group).
In a quartet, the two Germans, the Swede and the man from the United States developed an enormous spin on their album „Amok Amor“, a contagious and outraging energy and a breathtaking power. Somehow they have internalized the spirit of the wild sixties and yet their music is incorporated in the here and now. It is music drawn out of common categories. Rhythm is prolonged here and accelerated plus artistically maneuvered and unconventionally accentuated until the bar lines tremble. Barely signalized melody shreds are added while wild and fast themes often tightly embrace the brass players.
Incomparable and ludicrous tempi are added by Petter Eldh, Christian Lillinger, Wanja Slavin and Peter Evans in distinct compact pieces with such beautiful titles like „Manipulating II“, „Sons of Angels“, Born As A Socialist“ or „Axis Of The Good“ and which are without any garrulousness despite the immense information tightness.
This over active and yet controlled amok run is not killing – it is reviving! The „Amok Amor” - listeners will moreover question where these four members drew their strength, their motivation, their naturalness, their chuzpe and their incentive.