Nils Wogram's Nostalgia - Daddy's Bones
by Billy Strayhorn
CD - Sheet Music

Item Number: 20945952
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SKU: M7.INT-33792

Composed by Billy Strayhorn, Florian Ross, and Nils Wogram. CD. Duration 57'. Intuition #INT 33792. Published by Intuition (M7.INT-33792).

UPC: 750447337923.

Sometimes what is simple is so obvious that nobody notices it. Nobody except Nils Wogram. As incredible as it may seem, if you search the historic Jazz catalogues for a recording with the formation trombone - Hammond organ - drums, you will certainly have a hard time finding it. Wogram has now bridged this hiatus with his new group, Nostalgia. On their debut album, 'Daddy's Bones' he transports himself into a state of weightlessness between tradition and awakening. He lets himself fall deep into history in order to build broad improvisational bridges into the future. One has seldom heard the Cologne-born trombonist, who in the meantime resides in Zurich, Switzerland, so unburdened and vital. 'It was my intention from the very beginning of this band and these recordings to deal with the traditions of the 40s and 50s as unconstrained as possible, without drifting into the retro corner' explains Wogram. 'I don't want to sound like J. J. Johnson. It is, nonetheless, an important part of me. My compositions and bands in the past were also like that, but nowhere near as concrete as in the context of this trio. I wanted to let this side of my identity finally flow into the music with full power.' The songs on 'Daddy's Bones' are more traditional in structure as anything Wogram has done in the past. Wogram employs simple forms and harmonies, from which solo improvisations arise. This album directly expresses what he wants to say. Themes and improvisations, soli and collective sound creations follow a scheme on which the listener can let himself float without having to have a foundation in the history of Jazz. Wogram indulges in Bebop and Hardbop without panting for the original. It is important to him that they are original pieces. 'That gives you more freedom and a deeper association to that which you playing. One isn't tempted to exactly copy one's examples. Thanks to my parents, I have heard Jazz ever since I was eight years old. These records have been with me my entire life. I practiced some of the Standards until I decided to write my own pieces without thinking about formal questions. The something very personal comes out of it, which transcends plagiarism by far. If I were to do just a retro project, then one must ask the question, if it doesn't make more sense to listen to the originals by Charlie Parker or J. J. Johnson. I play my own originals. I called the band Nostalgia, because for me the music does have a nostalgic ring to it. But not in the sense that everything was better back then. We take the essence of the 50s and play with it.' Nils Wogram is one of Europe's most innovative young trombonists. In the past, he approached avant-garde with the group Underkarl, with Root 70 he mixed clever contemporary music with demanding classical Jazz. Even if he calls his new band Nostalgia, he does not sink into melancholy about not being able to bring back the past. Nostalgia is something beautiful, something luxurious for me. It starts with the sound. I love the sound of recordings from the 50s. Slowly but surely, this aesthetic can be heard again. Many musicians are working with softer sound without the nitpicking separation of individual tones. We worked with a lot of older equipment to get these sounds. We recorded analogue and quantitized as late as possible. We serve the melodies, indulge, staying simple and pure.' Wogram's sound soup is by no means antiseptic. His two cohorts, organist Florian Ross and drummer Dejan Terzic, often play an important role in the often unpenetrating mass of warm sounds. The make-up of the band was determined before Wogram began composing. It is always important that I know who I am writing for. In this case it was very important, that the band could relate to the music. These are people who have listened to Jazz their entire life, and not musicians who actually want to be Rock musicians or who have decided to switch over to Jazz. I know Florian Ross since my days in Cologne. Actually, he is a pianist who has always been interested in the Hammond organ. He even had a trio with organ, guitar and drums. As soon as I decided to do something with a Hammond organ, I knew that my buddy, Florian, was the right man. I had already played numerous small gigs and jam sessions with Dejan Terzic. I was always impressed by his sound. He places a lot of value on the tuning of his drums and has great beats. With this kind of record, it is imperative that all of the musicians have the same beat.' Wogram is pioneering new territory with Nostalgia. Not only for himself, but for all of Jazz. With a combination of instruments that has seldom been seen, he follows a piece of imaginary Jazz history of the 40s and 50s. Moreover, he sets a counterpoint to the many guitar-organ-drums trios that have popped up in the last few years. 'I started out by looking for records with horns, Hammond organ and drums and found nothing. In more recent times, I stumbled across Sam Yahel and Joshua Redman. There is a reason for that: in traditional Jazz you don't play the bass with your foot, but with you left hand. There is more attack. When the organist has a solo, he cannot simultaneously play lines and melodies. In classical Hammond trios this position is usually taken by the guitar. I, however, composed the music so that this causes no problem.' Those who know Wogram may be surprised by this admission. It is only natural for the trombonist, because he has always plays Standards at jam sessions. This just has not been evident on his earlier recordings. Wogram just plays, not using effects, but not feeling confined by this. He does not have to redefine either his trombone playing nor his musical understanding as a whole. 'The point of departure is always the composition, which we work on as a trio. First, I explain to the others where I want to go with the piece, but then all three take up the creative role. Magic happens when it begins to fly.'.

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