They dropped a bomp of an album…
2005 Ulrich Gumpert was awarded at the Berlin Jazz Festival with the German Jazz Award. No wonder: for 5 decades Uli Gumpert is present in the German jazz scene: the legendary Zentralquartett, the Gumpert Workshop Band and the Uli Gumpert Quartet are just a few examples.
Gumpert`s work is very diverse: as a gifted improviser he is one of the characteristic European piano voices, his recordings of the Piano Works of Eric Satie are regarded as startling and as a film composer he composed for example the music for the legendary Berlin Tatort serie.
Wickihalder and Gumpert met for the first time on stage in 2009: as a duo at the well known Zürich jazz club Moods, followed by another concert at the Unerhört! Festival 2011. It combines a lot: they both present mostly their own music, they are very active as composers and both are two extremely playful improvisers without stylistic bounderies.
With Gumpert and Wickihalder almost two soul mates meet on stage: You hear film and theatre music influenced compositions, suddenly collapsing in the depth of the Blues, falling into the chaos of free music and jumping out naturally to almost „easy listening“ show music.
Wickihalder – even two generations younger than Gumpert – has a preference for strong piano voices (in his European quartet he plays with Irène Schweizer). He is one of the most active and exciting Jazz musicians on the European scene, called as a „jack of all trades of the European jazz scene“ (DU / Unerhört!2009). His work extends as a saxophonist and composer of Solo, Duo, Quartet to his 14-piece Orchestra and he got in the past years at home and abroad a sounding name: The new Uli Gumpert Quartet stands on a well-oiled Rhythm Section. Jan Roder and Michael Griener play since 20 years together, they accompany Uli Gumpert since already 10 years in various constellations. They are absolutely a „rhythm section dream couple“ and understand each other blindly. They are indispensable from the contemporary European jazz scene.
Jan Roder ( born 1968), abandoned his studies at the conservatory Hannover, is living in Berlin since 1995, co-operation with Alexander v. Schlippenbach, Gunter Hampel, Aki Takase, Rudi Mahall and Axel Dörner, recorded the complete works of Thelonious Monk with Alexander v. Schlippenbach and the band „Die Enttäuschung“ (2003/2004)
Michael Griener (born 1968), autodidact, started his career as a freelancer in 1988, first with a close cooperation with Günter Christmann in Hannover. Since 1994 he calls Berlin his home and his playing with Evan Parker, Butch Morris, Tal Farlow, Benny Bailey, John Zorn and Herb Ellis proves him being one of the most wanted drummers of the jazz-scene there. He teaches jazzdrumming at the University of Music in Dresden since 2002. In 2006 he received the award as the „most creative soloist“ at the New German Jazz Award.