Luise Volkmann

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The music {releases} a dance-like way of thinking, addresses physicality and the flow of thoughts at the same moment. A debut that is challenging and most exciting in its best sense.

Harry Schmidt, Jazzthetik, about “RGB” by Autochrom

Été Large

Luise Volkmann   compositions, altosax

Casey Moir  voice

Laurin Oppermann  voice

Vincent  Bababoutilabo  flute

Gabriel Boyault  tenorsax

Jedrzej Lagodzinski  baritonesax

Erik Kimestad Pedersen  trumpet

Janning Trumann  trombone

Johanna Stein  cello

Athina Kontou  bass

Yannick Lestra  piano

Paul Jarret  guitar

Max Santner  drums

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Été Large

Thank God, the days when small formations inevitably had to be combos and big ensembles in jazz necessarily were big bands are long gone. Just like the days when jazz musicians had to chose between playing free or traditional jazz. Nowadays, the range of combinations and creative levels in jazz is much broader. The CD “Eudaimonia” by Luise Volkmann, released on nwog records 2017, describes this blissful playground of unlimited expressive possibilities in a very entertaining way.

The term eudaimonia dates back to ancient Greece and roughly describes a balanced state of mind derived from a virtuous conduct of life. “Eudaimonia” is a collection of portraits of people who have found solutions for their own life and have thus inspired Luise Volkmann. At the end of an all but straightforward process stands music that is not commonplace but which captures the daily life in an unpretentious way.  Or – to say it with the words of the saxophonist – “human music”. Her compositions are of great complexity and even greater variety of forms but still, their narrative structure is easy to understand, varied and entertaining.

This unusual and exciting debut album was voted one of the best albums of 2017 by the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT.

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Unbridled power and passion, playful fervour, a boundless joy of fantasizing, indomitable cohesive forces and absolute fearlessness – in November 2020 the second album by Luise Volkmann’s band Été Large was released on nwog records.

She had the idea in mind for a long time as a continuation of the portrait concept of the previous record. This time she took inspiration and energy from her connection with her parents, especially her father, and created a tribute to the 68 generation.

The attitude of the so-called ’68 generation and the rock music of the 1970s are an important starting point for Luise Volkmann, but precisely not the modelling clay from which her own songs are created. Her fascination ranges from the protest music of the Woodstock era to the destructive elementary power of punk. Whoever wants to place her songs between Frank Zappa, punk and Carla Bley is certainly not wrong, although this does not necessarily correspond to the intentions of the Cologne-based artist. She still finds this special mixture of youthful recklessness, spontaneous activism and the existential pressure behind each statement touching today, but at the same time she is aware that she is not a child of that era. She finds her own formulas to reach that seemingly buried intensity in the here and now, with which music could change the world back then.

Although all members of her band are proven cracks on their instruments, each and every one of them knows how to put their vanities aside to serve the group as a whole. It’s all about the bundled fervor of the entire formation. 

On “When The Birds Upraise The Choir”, Luise Volkmann breaks with all expectations. Certainly, historical or current references to other large formations can be made, but strictly speaking, this album is without precedent. Not only does it define its own genre beyond the triangle of free jazz, progressive rock and avant-garde chamber music, but it also puts the artist’s responsibility towards society back at the centre. 

We adults have largely lost this feeling of ruthless productivity of the creative moment, but when you listen to Luise Volkmann’s new album, this effect is there from the very start. There is a huge pool of dirty water, and the bandleader jumps right into it with her entire pack, so that it splashes in all directions. 

A strong statement, fascinatingly detailed and refreshingly modern.

Sven Thielmann, Hifi & Records

The musical polystyle reflects a retrospective longing for something whole, for a productive, stimulating chaos and contains a vehement energy that has captured every moment of this music.

Frankfurter Rundschau 01/21

You can hear this freedom on the album. “When the birds upraise their choir” (…) is the sound of a time in upheaval and awakening.

Frankfurter Rundschau 01/21

What Volkmann (…) has recorded with the help of her twelve-person formation Été Large, adds up to one of the most poetic even most exciting debut albums in a long time.

Jazzthetik

Right from the start it is clear that in this trio the obvious ideas are never overused, but are always surprisingly and very confidently turned in new and different ways.

LVZ

In exploratory jazz a trinity of courage, the joy of discovery and a talent for storytelling. Exciting.

Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung

Full of emotions and rhythmic sophistication.

Hifi & Records

When listening, you feel taken on a walk through wonderful worlds.

Jazzpodium