FLORIAN HOEFNER GROUP, SONGS WITHOUT WORDS


Currently based in New York, the German pianist Florian Hoefner launches his stateside debut, “Songs Without Words,” (OA2 Records) a sturdy, involving recording of original tunes that showcases Hoefner’s lyrical style and impressive band mates. Mike Ruby on tenor and soprano saxophones, bassist Sam Anning and Peter Kronreif on drums (each of them are deserving wider recognition as their reps rise) have a tight sound as if they’ve performed as a unit for many years. The pianist’s cohesive tunes emphasize their elegant strengths on a welcome set of tunes that puts committed interplay ahead of a star turn. The fullness of Hoefner’s compositions can be traced to the cool austerity of European jazz paired with the adventurous nature of the Brad Mehldau/Joshua Redman collaborations. The shifting rhythm of “Uncertain Times” and pop-like bounce that underscores “Behind The Sun” further highlight the group’s sense of musical brotherhood. There’s a hint of Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father” on “Songs From the Past,” where Hoefner’s emphatic melodic motif conjures Silver’s licks and pronounced swing, with saxophonist Ruby a particular asset. This is a strong, promising quartet headed by a pianist you’ll want to hear more from. (8 tracks; 55:58 minutes) www.oa2records.com

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JAZZ IN SPACE: FLORIAN HOEFNER GROUP, SONGS WITHOUT WORDS

Friday, June 1, 2012

FLORIAN HOEFNER GROUP, SONGS WITHOUT WORDS


Currently based in New York, the German pianist Florian Hoefner launches his stateside debut, “Songs Without Words,” (OA2 Records) a sturdy, involving recording of original tunes that showcases Hoefner’s lyrical style and impressive band mates. Mike Ruby on tenor and soprano saxophones, bassist Sam Anning and Peter Kronreif on drums (each of them are deserving wider recognition as their reps rise) have a tight sound as if they’ve performed as a unit for many years. The pianist’s cohesive tunes emphasize their elegant strengths on a welcome set of tunes that puts committed interplay ahead of a star turn. The fullness of Hoefner’s compositions can be traced to the cool austerity of European jazz paired with the adventurous nature of the Brad Mehldau/Joshua Redman collaborations. The shifting rhythm of “Uncertain Times” and pop-like bounce that underscores “Behind The Sun” further highlight the group’s sense of musical brotherhood. There’s a hint of Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father” on “Songs From the Past,” where Hoefner’s emphatic melodic motif conjures Silver’s licks and pronounced swing, with saxophonist Ruby a particular asset. This is a strong, promising quartet headed by a pianist you’ll want to hear more from. (8 tracks; 55:58 minutes) www.oa2records.com

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