May 27, 2024

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CD review: Reza Askari – Roar 2022: Video, CD cover

Reza Askari is a German double bass player and composer of Modern Creative. Askari received piano lessons at the age of eight and switched to electric bass at the age of 12. From 2006 to 2012, Askari first studied electric bass with Marius Goldhammer at the Cologne University of Music and Dance, switched to double bass in 2008 and studied with Dieter Manderscheid and Sebastian Gramss. Between 2012 and 2014 he studied in the Master of Improvising Arts course at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen with Robert Landfermann.

From 2004 to 2010, Askari was a member of the Hessian State Youth Jazz Orchestra conducted by Wolfgang Diefenbach. From 2009 to 2010 he also played in Peter Herbolzheimer’s European Masterclass Big Band, conducted by Herbolzheimer and John Ruocco. Between 2009 and 2011 he was a member of the concert cast of the Federal Jazz Orchestra (BuJazzO).

Askari has worked at club and festival concerts with musicians such as Marc Ducret, Jiggs Whigham, Lee Konitz, Hayden Chisholm, Herb Geller, Frank Gratkowski, Benny Golson, Jeff Hamilton, Philip Catherine, Frank Haunschild, Thomas Rückert, Nicolas Simion, Ramesh Shotham, Zoltán Lantos, Florian Ross, Sebastian Sternal, Frederik Köster, Jonas Burgwinkel, Marshall Gilkes, Jens Düppe, Niels Klein, Nils Tegen, Heiner Wiberny, Pablo Held or Ryan Carniaux together. He also gave concerts with Maryam Akhondy (Paaz Live at WDR; Laika Records 2016). In 2012 he founded his own formation ROAR with Stefan Karl Schmid and Fabian Arends.

Tours have taken Askari to Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, India, South Korea, China, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Italy, Portugal, England, United States of America and Canada.

With Stefan Karl Schmid on saxophone and clarinet and Fabian Arends on drums, Reza Askari has created a well-rounded trio. The guitarist Sebastian Müller is also part of the ensemble as a guest. The debut album Askaris was presented with “Roar”. The album opens with “Dynamic Peace”, a composition by the trio’s saxophonist. You can also hear titles like “Keil” and “April” penned by bandleader Reza Askari as well as collaborations like “F.R.Y”, “Two Plasmas” and “Vincent Crimson”. The piece “M”, composed by the bandleader and bassist, closes the album.

Roaring, roaring, roaring, roaring – that’s the translation of the album title “Roar”. The cover shows a hairy hand with an arm attached. It seems as if the hand is crippled and bleeding, so you can’t avoid it. thinking of a horror movie being promoted. But wrong, it’s simply about the debut release of bassist Reza Askari, who lives in Cologne!!

Soft saxophone lines ensnare the listener’s ears in “Dynamic Peace”, accompanied by muffled bass hits. So this has nothing of the roar and roar as the album title suggests. The melody appears like a light summer wind. One could well imagine a long walk on the sandy beach. Some paper kites dance above the heads of the sandpipers. Sand whirls up, you can listen to the drummer playing and the up and down of the saxophone. As the piece progresses, bassist Reza Askari is lively and playful in his solo, to which the saxophone sets its selective accents. Might “Borderline Killer” be seen as fitting the album title? The piece begins full of drama, as if the musicians wanted to capture hectic actions. Or is the “Borderline Killer” already on the run? Further passages in which the bass is deleted sound mysterious and gloomy. Sticks sweep over metal sheets. The playing of the saxophone picks up speed more and more. Unrest is spreading. Is the murderer planning another bloody deed for which we are being prepared with musical dramaturgy?

Stefan Karl Schmid seems to have put the saxophone aside for “April”. The velvety sound of the clarinet catches your ear, carried and also a little melancholy. In between, however, there is also happiness, as if the extensive chirping of birds in the first spring should be captured. The bass is very strong with its roaring depth. With “Drums” one should hear the drummer Fabian Arends in an exposed way, right? But the acoustic color is determined by the saxophone, which does not appear in a blatant manner, but rather gentle. A fine cloud of sound hovers over the click-click of the percussion and the full dumdum of the bass, thanks to the saxophonist. In fact, one can certainly think of the train of clouds when listening to this song.

“Lady Bone” begins with a solo by the saxophonist. Who do you mean by that? The presented tempo is brisk, in which the bass and drums join in. One has the impression of to and fro, of here and there. At times one is reminded of a train ride on an old, jerky railbus. The bass catches the rattling over the thresholds, the saxophone the wind. The journey keeps going, it seems, even when Reza Askari begins the solo. The album closes with an “M”. Electronic effects that include gurgling and crackling as well as crunching and creaking can be heard at the beginning. In addition, we hear a very lyrically carried playing of bass and clarinet, both of which almost display a classical attitude. In this piece, too, Reza Askari presents his solo skills. You have to think of thick drops of water falling down. Finally, a fine clarinet sound emerges from the background. cymbals whirl.

1. Guts
2. Square Hanker
3. Wheelchair Weed
4. Maining, Pt. I
5. Nessogenic Psymass
6. Maining, Pt. II
7. Glues
8. Doolz
10. Ballad For V

Reza Askari, double bass
Stefan Karl Schmid, saxophones, clarinet
Fabian Arends, drums

Sebastian Müller, guitar

New CD – 2022 – Buy from here

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