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Joo Kraus

Jazz, Pop
  • Joo Kraus
    Gesang, Trompete, Live-Elektronik
  • Ralf Schmid
    Keyboards
  • Veit Hübner
    Bass
  • Torsten Krill
    Schlagzeug
Booking territory: Europe

Imagine four top-class musicians seated around a large table, on which they have heaped together all the treasures of popular music of the last decades.

Their plan: to discover and rediscover select repackage and dust (on a musical level)

Their selection: George McCrae (Rock Your Baby), Toto (Africa), Sade (Smooth Operator), Ten CC (I’m Not In Love), Sting (Englishman in New York), Nena (Somehow, Somewhere, Sometime), Peter Gabriel (Sledgehammer), Glenn Miller (Moonlight Serenade), Paul Simon (Bridge Over Troubled Water), Simply Red (If You Do not Know Me By Now) ten greats of rock and pop history, which couldn’t be more different

Their implementation: no remix but so far unheard of jazzy, outrageously coloured
rearrangements at the interface between trancejazz, hip-beat and sophisticated Soul

Their request: a very unique musical way to pay their respects to the musical heroes of the last Decade… 

biography

After the disbandment of Tab Two, Joo Kraus soon establieshed his reputation as an exceptional trumpeter and composer. The list of those who adorn themselves with his solos and appreciate his compositions for their own projects proves the diversity of his musicality: Omar Sosa, BAP, Nana Mouskouri, Tina Turner, Xavier Naidoo, Laith Al Deen, Jazzkantine, DePhazz, Fury In The Slaughterhouse, Pee Wee Ellis, Mezzoforte, Klaus Doldinger and many more.

In the post-TabTwo Era the trumpeter moves in different stylistic terrains: sometimes lyrical, with a velvety tone, sometimes absolutely on the beat. Joo Kraus is underway live with his own projects and as a soloist with various artists.

His first album “Public Jazz Lounge” was released in 2003  through Skip Records. For “The Ride”, the second solo album, his band fromerly known as “Public Jazz Lounge” became “BASIC JAZZ LOUNGE”. The Basic Jazz Lounge announced a casual soul jazz with a good dose of groove that puts the body into motion!

Joo Kraus (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals) studied classical trumpet and soon became a wanderer between the different worlds of Jazz, Pop, Rock and Funk. He’s been on tour with Kraan, TaB Two, has played with Xavier Naidoo, De Phazz and Laith al Deen and  composed for De Phazz and Tina Turner. Apart from that, he won several Jazz-Awards through the years.

Tales In Tones Trio – when they reach for their instruments, they always just want one thing: to tell stories. About here and now, about far off places, tragic, mystic, wild and gentle, mostly with a happy ending – painting all shades life has to offer.

Tales In Tones Trio consists of:
Ralf Schmid (piano) – he studied Classical Music, Jazz and Film Music in Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg and New York, composed for stage and film and developed cross-stylistic concepts between classical and jazz traditions. Among others, he worked with Whitney Houston, Michael and Randy Brecker, Natalie Cole, Nina Hagen, Paul Kuhn, Ack van Rooyen, with big bands of the NDR, SWR, HR and RIAS and members of the philharmonic orchestras of Stuttgart and Budapest. Schmid is professor of Jazzpiano in Freiburg and founder and producer of the label ObliqSound based in New York.

Veit Hübner (bass) – he studied orchestral music and jazz in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe. Having found a home in both, classical music and jazz, he played with the philharmonic orchestra of Antwerpen, Berlin and Stuttgart as well as Charlie Mariano, Richie Beirach and Gregoire Maret. As a member of the music-and-comedy-ensemble “Tango Five” he’s been touring Europa, the States and South America since 1986.

Torsten Krill (drums) – he studied in Frankfurt and Stuttgart. Being highly stylistically versatile he has played with notable musicians such as Herb Ellis, Pee Wee Ellis, Richie Beirach, Joy Denalane, Ron Spielman, Cécile Verny, Bobby Shew, Jiggs Whigham und John Ruocco…

review

New Single “We Are Doing Well”:

“(…) an encouraging song in difficult times” SWR2

 

JooJazz:

“All songs are bolts of inspiration from the native Ulmer, crazy ideas that come to you when you turn your head by 360 degrees. A thoroughly sensual pleasure.” Jazzthing

“In all his projects, Joo Kraus has shown himself to be a border crosser, curiously pairing different styles with jazz, which has not changed on his latest album “JooJazz”. With jazz as the foundation, he incorporates HipHop, TripHop, Pop, Rock, Soul, Electro and Latin into the 13 new tracks. Jazzpodium, cover story with interview

“The record “JooJazz” is a bubbling with ideas, glowing in many colors, a crazy musical adventure.” Badische Neueste Nachrichten

“It is an example of powerful, even soulful interaction, led by Kraus on the trumpet. He has as a lot of fun doing it as do his musicians, who without exception radiate the greatest joy of playing and not rarely smile. Giessener Allgemeine

“With Simon and Garfunkle’s “Sound of Silence” and Sade’s “Smooth Operator” the place was bubbling over so much that some listeners couldn’t keep their seats and danced enthusiastically. Standing ovations and cheering encores topped off an impressive jazz evening.” Stader Tageblatt

“Jam-packed house with the trumpeter Joo Kraus in quartet formation, which makes the enthusiastic audience understand that jazz music had its beginning in the movement of legs and hips. Revered swing and marching band tradition meet the current sound of the street in this music. And yes, jazz can and should still be a lot of fun.” Schorndorfer Nachrichten

Older publications:

“Even jazz grouches will love Painting Pop ( Edel ) by Joo Kraus & Tales in lones Trio.” Freundin

“In the past, jazz musicians often improvised over musical melodies, but today they paint over pop hits. Trumpeter Kraus is especially good at it.” Kulturspiegel

“It’s astounding and fascinating at the same time.” Jazzthetik

“Kraus and Co. magnificently combine the threads of pop and jazz, apart from that, Hübner’s piano runs nestle up to the filigree rhythms of the duo Hübner/Krill – and above all, Kraus’s at times elegant and melcholy, at times accentuated and sharpened trumpet tone shines through. (…) The sound? Clean, dry-bass firm, noble. (…) Despite mobile equipment everything still seems wonderfully lively and crisp. Audio

“This is what 21st century jazz has to sound like: fresh and new.” Augsburger Allgemeine


Pop gets along well with jazz – read more on Augsburger-Allgemeine: http://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/augsburg/Pop-vertraegt-sich-gut-mit-Jazz-id32034512.html “Trumpeter Joo Kraus and his trio transform pop songs into sparkling jazz pearls” […] lively, funny, crisp, up to date – and always surprising. Strong, great cinema for the ears. […].addiction factor:high.”  (Allgäuer Zeitung) “These pop numbers are deconstructed, taken apart and put back together again as contemporary jazz. The potential of a composition is mercilessly worked out. And that holds surprises: Even rather flat titles like George McCrae’s disco hit “Rock Your Baby” or Nena’s “Somehow, somewhere, sometime” develop unexpected depths.” Südwest Presse

“Consume while dancing or sitting with open ears. Music guaranteed without expiration date” Hörgenuss-Tipp

“Joo Kraus and the Tales in Tones Trio have set a musical monument to the great Michael Jackson in the Kino am Kocher. The Ulm-born Kraus once again impressively proved his exceptional position in the German and international jazz scene. Schwäbische Zeitung

“His performance has a simultaneously warm, cordial, charming quality. He’s the one who really grasps the opportunities of a club concert and makes the most of them.” Donaukurier

“The ensemble was a lot of fun. An outstanding concert, after which the applause just doesn’t stop. Of course.” Giessener Anzeiger

[…] we feast on Joo Kraus’ cool trumpet sound, which always owes its respect to the melody […] and we think: Oops, this is pure jazz, with all the pop presence! Rems-Murr Rundschau

press

Current albums: “JooJazz” and “Until Now…”

Olive: “I have something new for you to try.”
Popeye: “That sounds great, I will get ready for it and you can give me your joojazz to try out. ”

Now what are we supposed to picture when hearing “JooJazz”? If you go to Urbandictionary.com, the word, which originally appeared in a dialogue between muscle man Popeye and his lover Olive in the US cartoon series “Popeye The Sailor Man”, stands for something new, unknown and indefinable. This definition can easily be transferred to the album of the same name by Joo Kraus, as it is full of new sounds and previously unheard-of stylistic connections that are difficult to categorize. People who pigeon-whole and categotize have always had a hard time with the German trumpet player, singer and composer and this time their luck isn’t any better, because Kraus still won’t let himself be pinned down to one style.

Admittedly, jazz was and is the fixed star in his musical universe, but the planets soul, funk, pop and Latin orbit in its gravitational field, circled by the moons hip hop and trip hop, regularly visited by meteorite showers full of electronic splashes.
But let’s leave the cosmic metaphor and turn specifically to individual pieces of “JooJazz”. In the rocking “Almost Porn”, the sung pop-jazz ear worm “If You Wanna Get Down”, the southern hot Latin number “The Working Week”, the violently swinging “1815” and the dreamy ballad “In My Dream” Kraus once again crosses all stylistic boundaries. Born in Ulm, Germany, Kraus is not puristic, he perceives everything that happens around him musically and gets inspired by the most diverse things. The result is a style-open jazz with its very own colouring. What could be more obvious than to coin a label for it: “JooJazz”.

The latest album contains exclusively original compositions, which go back to lightning strikes of inspiration by Joo Kraus. As soon as the music adventurer gets anything interesting into his head that has the potential for further development and elaboration, he puts it into his “idea box” (original sound by Joo Kraus) for later. He and his band first recorded a selection of these sound sketches, catchy melody motifs and gripping grooves in basic tracks. On the basis of these raw versions, a lot was tried out, the experimental climate of an idea laboratory was present. “We really sounded everything out,” the bandleader remembers the days in the recording room. “What does this one sound like, what does that corner in the studio sound like? Do I scream into the microphone, breathe?” During production, great importance was attached to preserving the authentic feeling and character of the original inspiration. With keyboarder Ralf Schmid, bassist Veit Hübner and drummer Torsten Krill, Joo Kraus had gathered just the right people around him for this. After twelve years together, he gets on with them almost blindly. The four of them played a lot of concerts during this time and have now recorded their third album in quartet formation. Not only on stage but also backstage they form a sworn team. The professional colleagues have long since become close friends, and this familiarity can be felt in every note on “JooJazz”. The same goes for the fun the musicians had while working in the studio. Just listen to the cheerfully jumping “Hitback!”, the partly whistled (!) fun piece “This Is How We Do It” or the joyful finale in the title-giving “JooJazz”!

Heady jazz for academics has never been his thing, sensual pleasure has always been in the foreground for Joo Kraus. This applies to his years as a member of Kraan and the internationally successful duo project Tab Two with Hellmut Hattler at his side as well as to his solo recordings. “Public Jazz Lounge” (created in 2003 in collaboration with the SWR Big Band and nominated for a Grammy in the same year), “Basic Jazz Lounge – The Ride” (2006), the Afro-Cuban Jazz of “Sueño” (realized in 2007 in the legendary Egrem-Studios in Havana with local greats like Luis Frank), the Michael Jackson homage “Songs from Neverland” (2010) and the “Painting Pop” (2011), which was awarded an ECHO Jazz prize, speak volumes in this respect.
For many years now, Joo Kraus has deserverdly been one of the best jazz trumpeters in our latitudes. As a band member, soloist, well booked session pro (BAP, DePhazz, Jazzkantine, Soulounge) and sideman of well-known artists (Pee Wee Ellis, Johannes Enders, Peter Fessler, Omar Sosa, Paula Morelenbaum) he has proved himself equally convincing. With his sometimes butter-soft, sometimes staccato trumpet tone he has been able to win many friends at home and abroad.
To celebrate the 50th birthday of the well-travelled Swabian, a double CD will be released in autumn – in addition to “JooJazz” – which illustrates his eventful career with selected highlights from his career with selected highlights. Joo Kraus himself is responsible for the compilation of the retrospective called “Until Now…”. In view of this career overview in the form of an “Artist’s Choice”, he may be surprised how quickly time has passed. It is quite possible that the jubilarian rubs his eyes in disbelief on his special birthday on November 22 and, just like Reinhard Mey asks in the same situation: “50! Already?”

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