Nine Firmaments Arne Jansen Trio (feat. Robert Lucaciu & Eric Schaefer)
- 1Here We Go04:37
- 2Deep Wood05:48
- 3Ahead of Us (Down the Hillside)03:46
- 4The Three of Us04:09
- 5Its Always Night01:17
- 6Klingsors Last Summer06:30
- 7Neither Powder nor Plaster02:47
- 8Between Two Moons04:38
- 9Lees Summit02:06
- 10He Who Counts the Stars05:23
Info for Nine Firmaments
As a guitarist, Arne Jansen has never thought in genre categories. The ECHO prizewinner has already played a special role, particularly in Germany, with his first two trio albums. Melodic compositions, transparent arrangements and a warm guitar sound have been his trademark to this day. On his new album Nine Firmaments there are many “songs without words” and some of them, quickly and without any detours, make their way into our consciousness where they seem to have always felt at home. Jansen prefers clear lines and avoids unnecessary exhibitionism. Today, more than ever, he is motivated by his selective choice of the means he uses to develop intense atmospheres and stronger statements. This does not rule out that at times his fingers dance over the strings with their very own aesthetic approach.
After all, as a teenager Arne Jansen once picked up a guitar for the first time because of Jimi Hendrix and the Dire Straits. The great storytellers of pop, such as Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell also belonged to his early sources of inspiration just like the Beatles and Pink Floyd, who he discovered in his parents’ record collection. At the age of 17 he discovered the music of Pat Metheny and John Scofield, which opened up new horizons for him. Today, almost two dozen years later, Jansen of course cites other sources of inspiration for his songs. “In the summer of 2012 I went on a trip with my wife to southeastern and southern Europe. We followed in the footsteps of Janacek and Rilke and in Lugano I was reminded of Hesse’s novel Klingsor’s Last Summer”, Jansen relates. “One chapter takes place in the mountain village Carona and naturally we also had to visit this place. When I got back to Germany, the bass player Marc Muelbauer called me and asked whether I wanted to join his dectet for a few concerts. One of them was taking place as a one-off event in Carona, so I ended up visiting Carona for a second time in 2013. That was sort of a sign”. The atmosphere of Mediterranean summer nights show up in some of the song titles and gives the music a certain lightness and serenity.
Strong impulses also came from the visual artist Timo Nasseri who is one of Jansen’s longstanding friends. Nasseri’s works can be seen on the cover and in the album’s booklet, yet not only here. “One of his latest exhibitions was called Nine Firmaments“, Jansen says, “I like the definition of firmaments as a connecting layer between the earthly world and higher powers, especially since this can also be said about music. Apart from that, according to mythology the nine firmaments are home to the angel choirs”. For the picture on the front cover of the album, Nasseri calculated what the constellation of the stars over Alexandria would have been on the day of the death of the historic visionary, philosopher and astronomer, Hypatia.
Of course, none of the angel choirs made their way into Jansen’s musical world. Instead a new bass player arrived: namely Robert Lucaciu from Leipzig. He has a reputation also for his interest in new music soundscapes and – apart from dry grooves and pointed, plucked notes – he masters all facets of bowing. The latter can be unmistakably heard in two pieces, It’s Always Night and Between Two Moons. On the other hand we have a familiar face on drums, namely Eric Schaefer. Jansen and he have been the best of friends since 1997. The two of them are connected by an intuitive understanding when playing together which has its roots in their common interests apart from music. Both Jansen and Schaefer have intensely engaged themselves with Buddhism and meditation over the years. “Directly after recording the album, Eric told me, almost in surprise, that he had never played so straight”, Jansen recalls laughing. As the bandleader, he may be responsible for all the compositions but he always allows room for ideas from Schaefer and Lucaciu. He consistently refers to the music on Nine Firmaments as a band process. The aforementioned Between Two Moons is a good example of this. “I actually only brought a sketch with me to the studio, which we improvised on. Even the first take of the session made its way onto the record.” The dramatic composition with swelling sounds, ringing cymbals, stroked bass motifs and the drumbeats that start up half way through the piece, these all create an individual atmosphere. The last title on the album He Who Counts The Stars stands out with a similar special arrangement, with a chamber music quality, thanks to Stephan Braun’s cello.
Since its debut, the Arne Jansen Trio has received a positive response from many directions. The scale of the press coverage alone is enormous. In 2014 Jansen was awarded an ECHO Jazz for his album The Sleep of Reason-Ode to Goya (ACT). In November of the same year the band toured extensively through India. They gave guest performances at the large Jazz Utsav Festival in New Delhi. Other festival invitations came from Riga and the Crimea (before its annexation by Russia), in 2015 Jansen & Co. played as a part of the 25th Jazzbaltica. Beyond that, the trio has toured in the Central Asia, Scandinavia and of course many European countries. Several weeks ago Jansen was nominated for the German Music Author’s Prize donated by the GEMA, which is particularly remarkable since there are, apart from two new music composers, also the likes of Wolfgang Niedecken and Max Herre in the jury.
Arne Jansen, guitar
Robert Lucaciu, double bass
Eric Schaefer, drums
Stephan Braun, cello
Recorded by Axel Reinemer at Jazzanova Recording Studio, Berlin
No albums found.
1996-2001 studies of Jazz guitar at the University of Arts, Berlin, with professors Jeanfrancois Prins, David Friedman, Sigi Busch and Peter Weniger
Studies with Pat Metheny, Mick Goodrick, John Abercrombie, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Philip Catherine
From 1998-2000 Member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Germany, conducted by Peter Herbolzheimer
Concert tours with numerous ensembles through the USA, Japan, Argentina, Scandinavia, Turkey, Russia, the Ukrain and south-east Europe
Continuous work with: Arne Jansen Trio, Katja Riemann, Jazzanova Live, Nils Wülker Group, Gitte Haenning, Firomanum
Fellow artists and ensembles include Naked Raven, Paul Van Dyk, Jocelyn B. Smith, Tim Fischer, DanGer – Danish-German Jazzsextett, Fitzwilliam String Quartet, Film Orchestra Babelsberg
Prize-winner at the Berlin Senate’s Studio-Competition 2007 with the “Arne Jansen Trio”
Concerts with the “Arne Jansen Trio” at the Jazzfest Berlin 2008, Enjoy Jazz 2008, Jazz Baltica 2009, Jazzahead-German Jazz Meeting 2010
Collaborative work as guitarist with Michael Thalheimer & Bert Wrede for the production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” at the German Theatre Berlin, 2008
Invited as music staff tutor for the German nationally organised workshops “Youth Jazzes” 2001, 2003 and 2007, “Creativity Sessions” in Hammelburg as well as “Jazzcamp” in Denmark.
This album contains no booklet.