Sonny Rollins is one of the most important saxophonists of jazz and has created a milestone with his album 'The Bridge'. In addition to the fresh arrangements of old jazz standards as well as original pieces, this recording is of course particularly impressive for the brilliance of the improvisations.
With the international quartet consisting of Ben Kraef, Larry Porter, Arne Huber and Paolo Orlandi, this album is not only interpreted by some of the most interesting and virtuosic jazz musicians, but also gets a new look by replacing Jim Hall's guitar with a piano.
BEN KRAEF The sound of "Saxophone Colossus" Sonny Rollins really did it for him. When Berlin tenor saxophonist Ben Kraef blows his horn, his tone sounds pretty similar. Although in his ballads a pinch of Dexter Gordon's airy playing also becomes audible. But who stylistically moves between mainstream jazz and hardbop and spent some time in New York playing with colleagues there, went through a pretty solid training school.
So it's no wonder that Kraef's playing technique as well as his musical-compositional approach reminds one of typical East Coast jazz. Technically brilliant and yet not without character, but edgy and never banal.
BELA MEINBERG is a German pianist who lives in Berlin and Hamburg. He has been able to work with numerous jazz greats, including: Billy Hart, Seamus Blake, Doug Weiss, Matt Penman, Chris Cheek and Mike Moreno. His playing is characterized by a strong imprint from the tradition, "always swinging and with a good sense of humor", but equally by free improvisation and influences from modern jazz or impressionism.Béla was a scholarship recipient of the Oscar and Vera Ritter Foundation and winner of the first Steinway Promotional Prize for Jazz Piano Solo. In 2017, he won third place at the Yamaha Jazz Piano Competition in Nuremberg.
LARS GÜHLKE started with the guitar and then studied double bass in Amsterdam and Hilversum. Since 1996 he has been a permanent member of the Ed Kröger Quartet with guest soloist Romy Camerun. After a stay in New York City and numerous concerts in Germany and abroad, he has lived in Berlin since 2000 and works as a freelance musician. He has appeared several times on television and radio.
TOBIAS BACKHAUS is without doubt one of the most in-demand German jazz drummers. He studied under the guidance of master drummers John Riley, Joey Baron, Keith Copeland and John Hollenbeck and holds a Bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from the University of the Arts in Berlin. In the German capital, he quickly made a name for himself as a versatile and exciting musical accompanist and has been a vital part of the contemporary European jazz scene for well over the past decade.Tobias regularly works with internationally renowned jazz artists such as Till Brönner, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Tony Lakatos, Torsten de Winkel, Carlos Bica, Gwilym Simcock, Jiggs Whigham, Rick Margitza, Peter Weniger, Frank Chastenier and Ack van Rooyen as well as large ensembles such as the Dresden Symphonic Orchestra, NDR Big Band, Berlin Jazz Orchestra, European Movement Jazz Orchestra and many others.