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Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio

Blog
Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio

23.09.2017

Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio, which will be performing live at this year’s Akbank Jazz Festival in November, offers a today’s jazz experience not to be missed. 

Text by Haluk Damar

Illustration by Saydan Akşit

Jazz music fans develop certain discovery tools over the years for new, upcoming, exciting names and such tools have certain indicators. One of the most influential indicators of the scene is the prestigious Berklee College of Music, which produced world renown, important jazz figures over the years. Wolfgang Muthspiel is a well-established jazz musician in our day, but his fans that have been following him since his Berklee years agree that his music career has been interesting from the very beginning.

Aside from performances with giants like Gary Peacock and Paul Motian as well as making music with Dhafer Youssef, Youssou N’Dour and Peter Erskin, who became legends in the smoky, foggy jazz bars; one of Wolfgang Muthspiel’s most exciting projects is his trio named after himself.

The new Wolfgang Muthspiel trio consists of Lee Grenadier, who has been praised with the High Note labeled Costumes Are Mandatory album that he recorded with Lee Konitz and Etham Iverson, on the bass and Jeff Ballard from Chick Corea New Trio on the drums. This new reincarnation of the trio is already creating excitement and curiosity in the jazz scene.

The trio is not the only thing that Wolfgang Muthspiel is focusing on right now. He is also enjoying the great success of the Rising Grace album he recorded with ‘golden child’ nicknamed Ambrose Akinmusire and Brian Blade who we have recently got the chance to watch on stage together with Chick Corea.

The album, which was released from one of the most important jazz label’s of Europe, ECM, is known not only as one of the most special recordings of last year, but also with the diversity of the audience it managed to attract. Praised as ‘oblique music that grows on you’ by the British newspaper The Guardian, Rising Grace is also attributed as the musical project that Wolfgang Muthspiel proved himself as a leader. Sailing in smoother waters with his previous ECM labeled albums Travel Guide and Driftwood, Muthspiel succeeded as the leader of a collective musical creation in Rising Grace. As a musician emphasizing the musical flow over individualistic production in collective projects, Muthspiel managed to create an album, which is considered as one of the most important jazz albums of the last decade, without highlighted solos despite working with a group of musicians with unlimited world-class solo potential.

With Rising Grace, Muthspiel strongly argues that what is important is the individuality that can co-exist with collectivity instead of musical show-offs in personal moments. That is the reason why Wolfgang Muthspiel’s studio records hold a collective aggressiveness instead of individual competition.

Naturally, such a theoretical musician aims for perfection in his live performances as well. The most special concert experiences for a jazz music fan are the performances that are full of unexpected surprises. Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio exists right in this realm. Nobody, including Muthspiel, knows who is going to take the lead in the performances, the audience never witnesses a cliché moment, and the main goal is to create a show with collective musical integrity. It is those rare qualities that make the new Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio a jazz experience not to be missed.

 

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