Fri Feb. 2, 2024

Marriage Material 'Enchantment under the Sea' (D/A/FIN)

Felix Lehrmann: drums
Thomas Stieger: bass
Raphael Meinhart: vibraphone, synthesizer
Arto Mäkelä: guitar

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Intensely scorching, fueled by the slamming, power precision drumming of Felix Lehrmann, grounded by the unerring pulse of bassist Thomas Stieger and sparked by the pyrotechnic soloing of vibraphonist/synth player Raphael Meinhart and guitar shredder Arto Mäkelä, the music of Marriage Material draws on a world of influences and strikes with the impact of a sledgehammer. Call it fusion, world music, modern jazz, neoclassical or even progressive rock, but the founders of Marriage Material prefer to call it cinematic jazz. Indeed, the soundscapes they create conjure up an array of intriguing images while packing an imposing punch.

Formed by Lehrmann and Stieger, longtime colleagues from the Berlin studio session scene, they invited fellow Berliners and ubiquitous session players Meinhart and Mäkelä to join in on this hot cauldron of high-energy music. As Lehrmann explained, “Arto is originally from Tampere, Finland and moved to Germany to study with Werner Neumann in Leipzig in 2009. He has been a long-time colleague for both of us and we worked a lot together as sidemen and in studio settings, and we always felt a strong connection in our interplay, whatever style or groove we played.”

Lehrmann and Stieger also appear on Mäkelä’s upcoming trio album. Meinhart, originally from Graz, Austria, moved to Berlin to study with renowned vibraphonist-marimbost-composer and jazz educator David Friedman. “I got to know Raphael during my studies at the Jazz-Institute Berlin,” Stieger recalled, “and we played quite a lot together back then.