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Michael Griener - drums
Jan Roder - bass
Christof Thewes - trombone

free jazz from berlin

A typical degrading judgment made about contemporary jazz music is that it stems from the thought processes of discontented academics.  SQUAKK can challenge at least one aspect of this prejudice completely. All of the three musicians, each an outstanding representative of his instrument, dropped out of secondary school, independently of one another, shortly before taking the final examinations. Although Jan Roder began a formal study of jazz, he did not hold out until the end. Christof Thewes and Michael Griener did not study jazz at all; and now as a punishment both have to teach jazz at German music conservatories.
Although they have known one another a long time, the three have not existed as a trio until now. Griener and Roder have played together for over sixteen years, among others in various formations surrounding Ulrich Gumpert. Griener and Thewes belong to the trio LACY POOL, which together with the pianist Uwe Oberg is dedicated to the compositions of Steve Lacy, Thewes and Roder play regularly with Alexander von Schlippenbach, the former in the Globe Unity Orchestra, the latter with DIE ENTTÄUSCHUNG in the project MONKS CASINO in which the complete works of Thelonius Monk are performed.
The three of them are SQUAKK in every way.
Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky in his liner notes for the CD:

The 50-minute set of 17 exceedingly diverse pieces is a lively “par excellence demonstration” of the still very verbally acedemic crippled limping answer to the essential question: “WHAT REALLY IS JAZZ?”
The music of this CD is one possible “ear-catching answer”, in the infinity of varied, individual paths to or into this exciting music: vitality, spontaneity, intelligence, plus swing, drive, and groove, poured into the most different forms of obstinately creative improvisations and compositions. At times convoluted, meaning not easy, the material is presented with a playful lightness, revealing a high level of instrumental mastery. The breathless listening ‘Liner notes scribbler’ in his auditory corner would like to transform himself into a clandestine accomplice….pardon, is any further commentary or observation necessary?! For example, an air of group effort in the band, the appropriate balance of composition, improvisation, and solo activism, etc, etc, etc-
I recommend listeners to listen many times over, because the hearer, as well as the more intimate sympathizer, will hear this CD by each listening in a different way, each time discovering a new discovery. For example this: ”That’s it, what it is = JAZZ”, and “These wonderful guys have played all of this just for me; how do they know me so well?”

P.S. You can find further genre specific information in the booklet, or directly in the music of this CD.