Alexandra Lehmler saxophones
Matthias Debus bass
Apollonio Maiello piano
Rodrigo Villalon drums
Frank Tortiller vibes
Patrice Heral drums
Matthias Debus bass
“ELASTIC LATIN RHYTHMS AND POWERFUL GROOVES OFTEN CONSTITUTE THE FOUNDATION FOR THE COMPOSITIONS, AND THE MUSIC CAN TURN EXPERIMENTAL. (…) JAZZ SHOWING GREAT MATURITY, AS COMMANDING AND CLEAR AS IT IS EXCITINGLY MODERN.”
Alexandra Lehmler likes to speak her mind and therefore it is not surprising that she named her penultimate album “No Blah Blah” and her next “Jazz, Baby”. And once again the saxophonist from Mannheim honours the album´s motto.
To her jazz is anything but an anemic concept but music that is extremely lively and her compositions are proof of it. The allure of jazz for the 34 year old consists in its almost indefinite possibilities of arranging sounds.
With her music Lehmler proves that jazz in the way she interpretes it cannot be pigeonholed and that it is what the artist wants to feel in it… Jazz is energy that pushes forward. It is meant for the audience and Alexandra Lehmlers during her concerts captures the audience with her magic just after a few moments.
Apart from band leader Lehmler who masters all sizes of saxophones this is also due to her perfectly balanced team: Appolonio Maiello (piano), Matthias Debus (bass) and Rodrigo Villalon (drums) she has not only highly skilled improvisers but also great teamplayers in her band. The band´s distinctive fluctuating and modern sound is proof that the four musicians have been playing together for some time now. Alexandra Lehmler is not content with performing classic jazz pieces for the umpteenth time but prefers to play her own compositions, another reason why her music reflects the zeitgeist of jazz.
Once again Lehmler and bass player Matthias Debus have created music exclusively for their band that is as varied as the band´s musical influences.They have composed an exciting and spirited blend of classic jazz, Balcanic influences and Latin American echoes. A little bit of World music is shining through as well and occasionally takes the lead. Sometimes the classic elements sparkle, sometimes earthly elements borrowed from rock take over.
It´s all “Jazz, Baby!” after all: zeitgeisty and unapologetic.
The saxophonist´s latest trick is the new quintet she leads which comprises three generations of German and French jazz musicians. This project came to life during a performance at Enjoy Jazz Festival 2014:Alexandra Lehmler was free to do as she liked and consequently invited German trumpet legend Herbert Joos, prize winning French vibraphonist Franck Tortiller and legendary French drummer Patrice Héral to perform with her and bass player Matthias Debus that evening.
This meeting turned out to be so inspiring to all involved and the concert was so successful that in April 2015 they recorded an album.
We are looking forward to lively jazz performed with high virtuosity by three generations of musicians from two countries with a great jazz tradition!
This warms the heart. Alexandra Lehmler (…) recorded eleven pieces for “No Blah Blah” in which she covers pretty much every type of rhythm and melody line found between Fusion, Ibero Jazz, Space Jazz, Latin America, South America, the Mediterranean, Garbarek’s Skandanavia, and the beats from Drum ‘n Bass. With others, this could become a collection of arbitrariness – but not with her. The elements meld to become a coherent fusion from the first to the final tone where – like dishes presented by gourmet chefs – the origins become entirely irrelevant. Lehmler herself plays clear melodies on the soprano, alto, and baritone saxophones not only as an effective front woman, but also wonderfully embedded in the ensemble, yet still defining its character. (…) The constant rhythm and color changes create a certain kind of gravitation and the sensation that something new and unexpected can enter into the unobtrusive, flowing world of sound at any moment. In short: Listening to this is fun.
Artistic authenticity as the potential path to success? At any rate, the eleven tracks on the album reveal playful humor and maturity as well as a broad stylistic spectrum in which the prominent colors are Latin and Modern Jazz, yet still with sufficient room given to Folk, Pop, and World Music.
-JAZZTHING, MARTIN LAURENTIUS, 92-2012-
Seldom has an album succeeded in capturing the investigative, surging curiosity of an artist in such a wonderful manner. One of the reasons is surely because these musicians have known each other for a long time, facilitating Alexandra Lehmler with the perfect amount of room for her musical curiosity. Here, providing room does not mean that mutual creative dialog is cast to the wayside. Rather, it is fostered by Alexandra Lehmler implementation of not just her alto saxophone, but also her soprano and baritone saxophones, as the foundation for extremely sleek interplay. (…) Alexandra Lehmler sounds free and buoyant throughout the entire album, communicating a sensation with each note she plays that she is doing exactly what she wants to be doing.
That’s another reason why this album is so marvelously persuasive.