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Markus Stockhausen Group

Jazz
  • MARKUS STOCKHAUSEN
    Flugelhorn, Tp
  • JEROEN VAN VLIET
    Piano, Keyboard
  • JÖRG BRINKMANN
    Cello
  • CHRISTIAN THOMÉ
    Drums
Booking-territory: worldwide

Four improvising musicians – they are among the best in their field. The winner of the 2021 German Jazz Award for Brass Instruments Markus Stockhausen presents a new lineup for his quartet with pianist Jeroen van Vliet.

Joy of playing and masterful skill – colorful compositions, inspired improvisations and intuitive playing blend into a harmonious whole, the instruments elicit undreamt-of sounds. All musicians also use electronic extensions of their instruments. They are virtuosos in the classical as well as in the jazz genre and demand a high standard of their sound culture, always in search of the ‘magic moment’ on stage. Through their intuitive interaction they bring inner worlds to sound with musical sensitivity. They throw themes to each other, sometimes complex, virtuoso tone or chord sequences, lively and jazzy, then again harmonic-melodic, calm and inward. A captivating musical experience.

review

about the new album “Celebration” (2024):

NDR Jazzalbum der Woche 15.04.2024 NDR Play Jazz!

“Life-affirming fusion music is the declared concept of this double album […] The musical-geographical diversity of origin of the contributors […] decisively characterizes the transcultural, predominantly heated sound.” Jazzpodium

“An album with atmospherically dense, melodically free, artistically coherent music” Jazzthing

“Two hours of opulent, boundary-pushing jazz rock […] The whole thing has the size and coherence of a well constructed orchestral suite – you just have to take your time for Stockhausen.” Kulturnews

“Markus Stockhausen presents an excellent album with “Celebration”: Six great guests and a perfectly attuned band make it possible. […] Together, the band and their guests have achieved a great success.” General Anzeiger Bonn

about the previous album “Tales” (2021):

“a sound experience of a special kind. […]But the album is also so full of surprises. “A Music Book of Tales” – a sounding music book with stories Stockhausen wanted to present. The trumpeter and composer with a certain self-confidence has absolutely succeeded in doing so.” – SWR2

“Frictions and tensions arise, but no self-assertion needs. The music is carried by a generous consensus and marked by a serene sense of time.” – Frankfurter Rundschau

“His tone, even on the flugelhorn, has something majestic, crystal clear, cathedral-filling. As an exposed interpreter of New Music, Markus Stockhausen is very familiar with the modern playing techniques of the avant-garde, as well as with performing as a soloist in front of orchestras. This adds up to his completely independent position within German jazz.” – Badische Zeitung

“In Stockhausen’s compositions like “Sunday Morning” and “Shades Of A Bliss” there are clearly structured sequences. His Band der vier Temperamente with cellist Jörg Brinkmann, pianist Jeroen van Vliet and drummer Chrtistian Thomé sets accents with architectural exactness.”– Jazzthing

“Stockhausen’s clear, dignified tone is a joy throughout; one simply enjoys following his lines. Not least because of Brinkmann’s cello and the lack of bass, the music exhibits a transparent lightness that is unparalleled. Jeroen van Vliet convinces with a subtle touch and a permanently perceptible sense for large musical arcs, and Christian Thomé’s playing is distinguished by a subtle power that is always oriented to the ensemble sound and never presses the music into a simple scheme.” – Jazzthetik

“Close togetherness; happiness, as the common space is filled to the ceiling with noble sound aesthetics like an Italian furniture store with designer sofas. […] Monumental reverberation canyons evoke infinity, the improvisations remain predominantly harmonic, somehow breathing into space.” – Jazzpodium

“The quartet delivers meditative soundscapes that seem to manage completely without structure. Melodious, exciting and relaxing at the same time.” – Kulturnews

“a balmy music that needs no effect-heavy gestures” – Badische Zeitung about the performance at the Basel Jazz Festival

“Pieces formulated in detail with crisp motifs” – Märkische Oderzeitung

“[Markus Stockhausen is] a gifted storyteller in jazz” ProgrammZeitung Basel

“What is amazing […] is how inconspicuous boundaries between composition and improvisation seem, because the understanding within the band is simply perfect.” – JAZZ’N’MORE

“Fluid spaces open up in which people improvise and fabricate to their heart’s content, and each musician finds and gets his or her own playground. That, conversely, the looseness of the sessions has an influence on the composer Stockhausen is obvious and can be heard wonderfully. The fascinating experiment is only possible with classical musicians.” – General Anzeiger Bonn

“A real group […], not a collection of four egos. Never one is a mere accessory for the others; even the slowest floating sounds of the flugelhorn fit to super fast drum beats. […] Stockhausen and his comrades-in-arms accomplish a triple greatness with their work. They lift classical music into the modern age. They free jazz from spasmodic acrobatics. And, perhaps most importantly, they have de-headlined New Music, endowing it with human scale and soulful center.” – General Anzeiger Bonn

“very organic music” – Lausitzer Rundschau

“They tell or create the emotional and mental spaces, thanks to which stories can be formed in the first place. Markus Stockhausen’s music is a great enabler. It is fluid, but at no time vague. It leads one to make a promise to oneself in listening, which the music then miraculously fulfills.” – Tonart

“Markus Stockhausen and his three ensemble partners create beautiful, unagitated and yet exciting sound worlds carried by melodies and long arcs. […] His […] sounds enhance the warm, peaceful atmosphere of the twenty-five musical tales.” – Rondo

“a lavish and noble 3 CD set” – inMusic

“In Markus Stockhausen’s current band, four temperaments join together to form a common, exceedingly differentiated group sound. […] ‘Tales’ contains a multitude of goosebump moments and musical themes that stay in the ear. The music has a great depth and at the same time a lightness, it is refreshingly inventive and free.” – wegotmusic.com

“‘Tales’ impressively shows how stories can be told with the help of music alone. And that joy of playing and technical finesse are not mutually exclusive. […] Electronics and acoustic instruments harmonize perfectly, and the quartet responds perfectly to each other at all times.” – er-em-online

“The current triple album “Tales” is a wonderful demonstration of the musician and composer’s narrative skills. […] Stunningly multi-layered with an enormously soul-healing effect.” – jazzandrock.com

 

press

Markus Stockhausen Group “Tales” (o-tonemusic 2021)

What difference does it make for music whether it is composed or improvised? What difference does it make for a narrative whether it is performed orally or recorded in writing? Markus Stockhausen’s quartet album “Tales” suggests such questions and provides more than one answer.

Music exists virtually on recordings, in scores, in repertoires and traditions. But it is only real when it is heard and experienced together with listeners.

The album “Tales” consists of three CDs. The first is dedicated to composed pieces, the other two contain improvisations by the quartet.

In Markus Stockhausen’s current quartet, four temperaments come together and form a common, extremely differentiated group sound. There is always the clear, perfectly articulated tone that has always been Markus Stockhausen’s trademark. There is Jörg Brinkmann on cello, singing, with great soloistic melodic arcs, delicate and elegant, even when rhythmically grounded, as would otherwise be the task of a double bass. Jeroen van Vliet on piano is a wonderful ensemble musician with a profound harmonic presence, finding and asserting his spaces without being orchestral; in improvised pieces he can be heard again and again on the synthesizer: restrained, never hankering for effects, with great melos and intense economy of sound, never with amorphous filler. Finally, Christian Thomé on drums combines filigree, sonorous playing with the casually exercised ability to play rhythm without marking it.

The nine composed pieces on the first CD are of sovereign clarity, almost classically constructed and played. The notated passages go far beyond what is called “thematic material” in jazz. They act as binding frameworks of tonal resources, formal structures, sound strategies and moods. They define the musicians’ space of movement without these definitions being perceived as a restriction. They thus give the music a deep calm and the listener a basic confidence in what is to be expected.

The two improvised CDs show that the consensus in the quartet reaches far even without compositional guidelines. It is elastic and allows for broader tonal and playful freedoms. Basically, even for the electronic sounds of the synthesizer, one listens to each other in the joint musical work, takes up suggestions, enriches them and pushes them further. That one takes time and gives time.

The tension that arises is never one to tear. It is borne by a generous consensus. A consensus that is not put to the test, but is carefully and always explored anew.

Each of the 25 pieces of this great album forms its own narrative, with its own course, its own form, its own vocabulary, its own content. What they all have in common is that they take responsibility for the time they shape. The offerings are not necessarily translatable into language, but sometimes one can find suitable words. The titles of the pieces make such attempts. They also make clear that the music has a connection to what is happening in the world outside of itself. The palpable lightness in the opening piece, “Sunday Morning,” speaks for itself and needs no further translation. The final track, however, contains something of a confession. It applies beyond the horizon of this album to Markus Stockhausen’s music, perhaps as the fundamental narrative of all music: “Peace Is Possible”, peace is possible.

“I hope you have time. But you don’t have to hear everything right away. On the one hand, the compositions with clearly structured sequences, actually enough music for a beautiful CD, and then the wide field of free improvisations, which open up undreamed-of spaces for us. There we give you an insight into our “musical workshop”. The result is a variety of moods, atmospheres, musical dreams, fantasies, glimpses of light and abysses, glimmers of hope, moments of joy, abundance, pleasure, but also of searching, of melancholy, longing – and peace.” Markus Stockhausen

technical rider

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