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  • 1Stufen08:31
  • 2Rhyme or Reason07:44
  • 3Your Silence Is Killing Me07:46
  • 4Until I Find You07:40
  • 5Further in the Summer06:16
  • 6Road Trip06:11
  • 7Stella04:50
  • Total Runtime48:58

Info for Stufen

Frederik Köster's band Die Verwandlung has been playing together for 10 years, and with each album the multi-award-winning musicians (various Jazz Echos, New German Jazz Prize, WDR Jazz Prize) surprise with new sound variations. In 2018, the quartet amazed with the spectacular orchestral production Homeward Bound Suite, in 2020 they presented individual fusions of acoustic virtuosity and clever electro aesthetics on Golden Age. The album was longlisted for the German Record Critics' Prize and received a lot of media attention. Concerto magazine heard "modern jazz of the very finest quality", Stereoplay praised "brilliant storytelling" and Jazz Facts on DLF found:. " of Germany's outstanding jazz musicians. His radiant trumpet playing commandingly commands the entire palette of the modern tradition - from Freddie Hubbard to Kenny Wheeler."

On the new album Stufen, Köster and his creative partners again take a turn and concentrate entirely on the acoustic possibilities of their instruments. "I wanted a contrast to the previous album, and besides, all the signs were already on nature when I was composing," Frederik Köster explains the current focus. "I wrote almost all the pieces during the first Lockdown, when I was often in the forest. So it could be foreseen early on that a kind of 'natural album' would emerge, shaped by the impressions and thoughts during extended walks."

The outstanding playing possibilities of the soloist ensemble are thus perhaps even more impressively brought to bear. Thanks to their nuanced tonal language and personal creative will, the stylists are even able to pick up on historical aspects at points while maintaining their contemporary attitude. Especially since Köster obviously did not have icons of jazz in mind when composing. Rather, he was inspired by piano pieces from Impressionism and late Romanticism, the latter of which is heard in the title track of the album, for example. Or from Steve Reich's minimalism, recognisable in the last part of Until I Find You. It is not only in Rhyme Or Reason that Burgwinkel's sonically inciting drums, Oetz's calm yet powerful bass groundings, Sternal's modern, lyrical to urgent piano fantasies, which inspire Köster's radiant playing that oscillates between elegance and expression, fascinate.

"The past two years have been extremely intense for me," Frederik Köster sums up, outlining emotional rollercoaster rides that, in addition to the Corona circumstances, also include profound private changes such as the end of a long-term relationship. Nevertheless, his new pieces are by no means gloomy. "At the beginning, after all, many of us thought that the pandemic would soon be over again and even felt the calm during the forced break to be an unexpected opportunity for moments," Köster recalls of the crazy spring of 2020. "Basically, I'm an optimist, so I'd rather have positive moods on CD." The idea of looking at a crisis as an opportunity is familiar to the musician from Cologne, who was born in 1977, which is why Hermann Hesse's poem Stufen, which "revolves around the beginning of something new, but which needs time to develop", keeps gripping him. Other tracks on the album are also more or less strongly influenced by poetic words or a literary spirit. For example Until I Find You by John Irving and of course Further In Summer, in which Köster dresses Emily Dickinson's text in an atmospheric song and sings it with adept expressiveness. By contrast, the vehemently propulsive Road Trip, with its agilely rapid staccato motifs and sinuous lines, establishes a link with the Arabic influences on Golden Age.

There's another striking difference from the quartet's previous releases. "I had been planning to make a live album for a long time, because you simply play differently in front of an audience than you do alone in the studio," says Frederik Köster. The new sonic orientation made it obvious to realise this project now. "Originally we thought we would play a few warm-up gigs beforehand to get to know the pieces. After these gigs all fell through, we had to rehearse correspondingly more intensively in order to then record live on two concert evenings at the Loft."

From the material, those pieces were selected that can now be experienced on stages without post-production. Only Further In Summer was recorded in one afternoon without an audience. "Although we hadn't performed together for a long time before, the understanding was there again at the first rehearsal on snap," Köster describes the long-term memory of the band organism. The working principle that he himself composes the framework of the pieces and the quartet develops all the details regarding form and execution while playing together has proven itself over the past decade, he says. "Of course, we have long been extremely familiar with each other. Nevertheless, everyone sits on the front edge of the chair, we continue to try to surprise ourselves, to discover new facets, which still works very well."

The cover photos visualise Frederik Köster's musical reflections on inner emotional worlds and events around you. "The new album is in some ways an introverted work that has to do with myself above all," he states. There have been private references in his music before, just think of the Homeward Bound Suite as an acoustic homage to Köster's old home. Of course, Stufen does not sound like a diary set to music. The subtle to suspenseful music lives from Köster's power of abstraction and from the sensitive interaction of a dynamic band that knows how to use transparency and density in a pointed way. With Stufen, Frederik Köster / Die Verwandlung confirm their status as a particularly variable and playfully outstanding working band in European jazz.

Frederik Köster, trumpet, vocals
Sebastian Sternal, piano
Joscha Oetz, double bass
Jonas Burgwinkel, drums

Frederik Köster
(geb. 14.10.1977) studierte in Detmold Schulmusik und in Köln Jazz-Trompete und Jazz-Komposition/Arrangement.

Seit 2007 ist Frederik Köster Professor für Jazz-Trompete an der Institut für Musik der Hochschule Osnabrück und hatte von 2010 – 2018 einen Lehrauftrag an der Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover.

Der Kölner Trompeter spielte bereits mit: Phil Woods, Albert Mangelsdorff, Ack van Rooyen, Biréli Lagrene, Randy Brecker, Nils Wogram, Simon Nabatov, Nils Landgren, Wolfgang Haffner, Hiram Bullock, Jiggs Whigham, Rick Margitza, Jane Monheit, Lalo Shiffrin, Trilok Gurtu, Nils Petter Molvaer, Johannes Enders, Paul Heller, Niels Klein, Michael Wollny, Florian Weber, WDR Big Band, HR Big Band, Peter Herbolzheimer’s Rhythm Combination & Brass, etc.

Frederik Köster erhielt im September 2006 beim Jazz Hoeilaart International Contest in Belgien den Preis für den besten Solisten. Das Frederik Köster Quartett erhielt am 14.02.2009 den mit 10.000€ dotierten neuen deutschen Jazzpreis in Mannheim. Der Preis für den besten Solisten ging ebenfalls an Frederik Köster. Im Mai 2010 erhält er für sein Album “ZEICHEN DER ZEIT” den ECHO JAZZ in der Kategorie Instrumentalist des Jahres national – Blechblasinstrumente/Brass! Frederik Köster erhält am 29.10.2010 den mit 10.000€ dotierten WDR Jazzpreis in der Kategorie „Improviastion“! Im Januar 2013 wird Frederik in Münster mit dem Westfalen Jazzpreis 2013 ausgezeichnet! 2017 erhält er für sein Album “CANADA” den ECHO JAZZ in der Kategorie Instrumentalist des Jahres national – Blechblasinstrumente/Brass!

Unter eigenem Namen veröffentlichte Frederik Köster bisher sieben Alben, spielte mit seinem Bands auf namenhaften Jazz Festivals wie dem Jazz Baltica, Moers Festival, Euro Jazz Festival in Mexico City oder dem North Sea Jazz Festvial in Rotterdam und tourte u.a. mit Unterstüzung des Goethe Institutes durch Mexiko, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Portugal, Malaysia, Belgien, Holland und Indien.

Frederiks aktuelles Projekt heißt Die Verwandlung. Mit dabei sind Sebastian Sternal (Klavier), Joscha Oetz. (Kontrbass) und Jonas Burgwinkel (Schlagzeug).

2009 gründete Frederik Köster zusammen mit Tobias Hoffmann, Niels Klein, Pablo Held, Jonas Burgwinkel, Robert Landfermann und Tobias Christl das Jazzkollektiv KLAENG.

This album contains no booklet.

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