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Julia Hülsmann Quartet|The Next Door

The Next Door

Julia Hülsmann Quartet

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Though the Julia Hülsmann Quartet won a Deutscher Jazzpreis for 2019's Not Far from Here, it was only her second outing with that lineup. Most of her recording career has been spent leading a trio with drummer Heinrich Köbberling and bassist Marc Muellbauer. She discovered a more balanced musicality with greater potential for dialogic intimacy when gig partner and tenor saxophonist Uli Kempendorff joined the ensemble. The expanded configuration offered a textured airiness and more possibilities for group subtly, in addition to greater harmonic and rhythmic potential, and they worked together live as often as possible. Even during the pandemic, when most live activity was shut down, the quartet participated in alternative performance projects and played socially distanced live streaming concerts. They spent months vigorously rehearsing new material. The fruits of that period are readily evident on The Next Door. Hülsmann wrote five of the set's 12 tunes and spread the composition credits around. Each of her bandmates contributes. Also like Not Far from Here, she includes a cover, this one of Prince and Wendy & Lisa's "Sometimes It Snows in April." Opener "Empty Hands" commences with an optimistic 14-beat piano ostinato. Muellbauer and Köbberling follow, and Kempendorff's entrance begins an expansion of the melody. He and Hülsmann exchange lines and then solos that co-exist somewhere between focused conversation and breathable drift. Her subsequent "Made of Wood" is a glorious exercise in post-bop swing with remarkably syncopated harmonics. Muellbauer's "Polychrome" begins with an intricate lyric statement played in unison by bassist, pianist, and saxophonist. Hülsmann contributes an elliptical solo, but Kempendorff joins in, adding bluesy asides resulting in a multivalent dialogue; the rhythm section fills and accents while anchoring them. The drummer's "Lightcap" owes a great debt to the Ornette Coleman Quartet, despite the use of a piano. Following its nearly hummable head, his time-shifting style urges on his bandmates with an impressionistic backwards approach to the method trademarked by Paul Motian. The Prince cover is at once reverent and resonant. Hülsmann carries the melody, framing it in sparse yet luscious chords as Köbberling paces along using brushes. Kempendorff follows the pianist, delivering a sparse yet emotionally bright solo before Hülsmann employs the changes in an airy solo that alternately touches on gospel and nursery rhymes. Kempendorff's only contribution is "Open Up," a jaunty post-bop number with interlocking improvisations atop imaginative, syncopated breaks from Köbberling, and canny interaction between saxophonist and pianist. The drummer's elliptical "Post Post Post" displays a mysterious softness in tone even as it weaves in harmonic development through the pianist's intuitive comps and Muellbauer's exceptional bass solo. He composed the set closer, "Valdemossa," a progressive, nearly avant take on bossa nova with slippery piano harmonics, a lush, haunted melody, and inventive, tempered soloing from Kempendorff. The Next Door finds the Hülsmann quartet intuitively and purposefully exploring music that moves forward some from Not Far from Here while retaining an intimately familiar sound and conversational approach.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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The Next Door

Julia Hülsmann Quartet

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1
Empty Hands
00:05:55

Heinrich Köbberling, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Muellbauer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julia Hülsmann, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Hülsmann Quartet, MainArtist - Uli Kempendorff, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Herr, Producer

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

2
Made Of Wood
00:06:12

Heinrich Köbberling, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Muellbauer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julia Hülsmann, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Hülsmann Quartet, MainArtist - Uli Kempendorff, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Herr, Producer

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

3
Polychrome
00:04:07

Heinrich Köbberling, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Muellbauer, Composer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julia Hülsmann, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Hülsmann Quartet, MainArtist - Uli Kempendorff, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Herr, Producer

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

4
Wasp At The Window
00:08:05

Heinrich Köbberling, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Muellbauer, Composer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julia Hülsmann, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Hülsmann Quartet, MainArtist - Uli Kempendorff, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Herr, Producer

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

5
Jetzt Noch Nicht
00:01:46

Heinrich Köbberling, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Muellbauer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julia Hülsmann, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Hülsmann Quartet, MainArtist - Uli Kempendorff, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Herr, Producer

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

6
Lightcap
00:03:59

Heinrich Köbberling, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Muellbauer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julia Hülsmann, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Hülsmann Quartet, MainArtist - Uli Kempendorff, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Herr, Producer

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

7
Sometimes It Snows In April
00:03:59

Prince Rogers Nelson, Composer - Lisa Coleman, Composer - Wendy Melvoin, Composer - Heinrich Köbberling, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Muellbauer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julia Hülsmann, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Hülsmann Quartet, MainArtist - Uli Kempendorff, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Herr, Producer

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

8
Open Up
00:04:32

Heinrich Köbberling, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Muellbauer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julia Hülsmann, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Hülsmann Quartet, MainArtist - Uli Kempendorff, Composer, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Herr, Producer

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

9
Jetzt Noch Nicht (Var.)
00:04:16

Heinrich Köbberling, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Muellbauer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julia Hülsmann, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Hülsmann Quartet, MainArtist - Uli Kempendorff, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Herr, Producer

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

10
Post Post Post
00:05:43

Heinrich Köbberling, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Muellbauer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julia Hülsmann, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Hülsmann Quartet, MainArtist - Uli Kempendorff, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Herr, Producer

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

11
Fluid
00:06:22

Heinrich Köbberling, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Muellbauer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julia Hülsmann, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Hülsmann Quartet, MainArtist - Uli Kempendorff, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Herr, Producer

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

12
Valdemossa
00:04:33

Heinrich Köbberling, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Muellbauer, Composer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julia Hülsmann, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Hülsmann Quartet, MainArtist - Uli Kempendorff, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Herr, Producer

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

Album Description

Though the Julia Hülsmann Quartet won a Deutscher Jazzpreis for 2019's Not Far from Here, it was only her second outing with that lineup. Most of her recording career has been spent leading a trio with drummer Heinrich Köbberling and bassist Marc Muellbauer. She discovered a more balanced musicality with greater potential for dialogic intimacy when gig partner and tenor saxophonist Uli Kempendorff joined the ensemble. The expanded configuration offered a textured airiness and more possibilities for group subtly, in addition to greater harmonic and rhythmic potential, and they worked together live as often as possible. Even during the pandemic, when most live activity was shut down, the quartet participated in alternative performance projects and played socially distanced live streaming concerts. They spent months vigorously rehearsing new material. The fruits of that period are readily evident on The Next Door. Hülsmann wrote five of the set's 12 tunes and spread the composition credits around. Each of her bandmates contributes. Also like Not Far from Here, she includes a cover, this one of Prince and Wendy & Lisa's "Sometimes It Snows in April." Opener "Empty Hands" commences with an optimistic 14-beat piano ostinato. Muellbauer and Köbberling follow, and Kempendorff's entrance begins an expansion of the melody. He and Hülsmann exchange lines and then solos that co-exist somewhere between focused conversation and breathable drift. Her subsequent "Made of Wood" is a glorious exercise in post-bop swing with remarkably syncopated harmonics. Muellbauer's "Polychrome" begins with an intricate lyric statement played in unison by bassist, pianist, and saxophonist. Hülsmann contributes an elliptical solo, but Kempendorff joins in, adding bluesy asides resulting in a multivalent dialogue; the rhythm section fills and accents while anchoring them. The drummer's "Lightcap" owes a great debt to the Ornette Coleman Quartet, despite the use of a piano. Following its nearly hummable head, his time-shifting style urges on his bandmates with an impressionistic backwards approach to the method trademarked by Paul Motian. The Prince cover is at once reverent and resonant. Hülsmann carries the melody, framing it in sparse yet luscious chords as Köbberling paces along using brushes. Kempendorff follows the pianist, delivering a sparse yet emotionally bright solo before Hülsmann employs the changes in an airy solo that alternately touches on gospel and nursery rhymes. Kempendorff's only contribution is "Open Up," a jaunty post-bop number with interlocking improvisations atop imaginative, syncopated breaks from Köbberling, and canny interaction between saxophonist and pianist. The drummer's elliptical "Post Post Post" displays a mysterious softness in tone even as it weaves in harmonic development through the pianist's intuitive comps and Muellbauer's exceptional bass solo. He composed the set closer, "Valdemossa," a progressive, nearly avant take on bossa nova with slippery piano harmonics, a lush, haunted melody, and inventive, tempered soloing from Kempendorff. The Next Door finds the Hülsmann quartet intuitively and purposefully exploring music that moves forward some from Not Far from Here while retaining an intimately familiar sound and conversational approach.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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