Offshore: Cote De Cologne (2013)
The respective artists formed this quintet during their studies at Cologne Music College and snagged some awards, performing at European festivals and band contests. And it's easy to discern why. Indeed, the quintet's impassioned collectivism shines throughout the program, amplified by thought-provoking compositions and the underlying motif, noted by the band moniker, referencing the mighty seas. Hence, the musicians' toggle a seafaring aura by incorporating brisk winds, rolling waves and a few stormy passages.
It's a modern mainstream jazz presentation steeped in cool and coy theme-building as they intentionally steer the ship off course on occasion. On "White Wall," the quintet spawns an upbeat jazz-waltz groove led by Christoph Mockel's harmonious melody-making, executed on soprano sax. It's a radio-friendly piece, but not overly saccharine, especially when pianist Constantin Kramer develops building-blocks and re-harmonizes the primary hook, followed by vibraphonist Dierk Peters' mid-tempo swing vamp during the bridge. Moving forward, the band closes out via the saxophonist's pensive lines and pack a mild punch amid airy choruses and a beaming guise that reinforces the multicolored program. And it's all effectuated by musicians who express musical maturity beyond their years.
Track Listing: Track #1; Track #2; Track #3.
Personnel: Christoph Mockel: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Dierk Peters: vibraphone; Constantin Krahmer: piano; Oliver Lutz: bass; Rafael Calman: drums.
Record Label: Challenge Records