Listening to...

Summertime…in Vein

It’s a sure sign of the changing seasons when the strains of Summertime sound a little more melancholy than usual and you wistfully think of days past. AND if the strains are from the new interpretation of Porgy and Bess by Swiss jazz trio, Vein, you are in for a truly languid afternoon.

VEIN trio are twin brothers Michael Arbenz (piano), Florian Arbenz (drums) and Thomas Lahms (bass).  The cd of Gershwin’s famous opera puts an original spin on some of the tunes. I got plenty o’ nuttin’ strides nicely on the fast piano bass-lines. I loves you Porgy is lush and delicate as it’s supposed to. Summertime gets two treatments, on the first the evergreen melody is contrasted by the hard bop bass line and afro-cuban drum beat. The second one, even more surprising brings the melody, played on tuned gongs, to the percussive fiesta. It ain’t necessarily so is played with uttermost bravado, melody presented on the prepared piano, driven by the energetic swing. Less known tunes like Crab Man or Here Come De Honey Man showcase the dark yet elegant bass sound. Lonesome Here All By Myself delves into more deconstructive, open  forms.
VEIN trio is not shy to refer hard-bop, swing, stride or even boogie woogie. Though it’s not a post-modern, quasi intellectual play. Their language is modern, yet honours the tradition, their energy and honesty makes their music vivid and vital. Needless to say such music comes highly recommended, to any appreciator of modern jazz. And this cd will see us nicely through the next month or two as we slide into Autumn.
Our recent guest and Jazz-club superstar Reto from Moods im Schiffbau said in best in 2008:
“Wer Jazz liebt, wird kaum erwarten, dass sich ein Jazztrio ganz von der Tradition löst. So prägend der genetische Bezug bei Vein aber auch ist, so einzigartig und vielfältig ist der Spielraum für Neues. Das Fundament prägt nicht, es inspiriert. Dem Puls der drei Musiker spürt man deutlich an, dass auch andere Musikrichtungen – von klassisch bis elektronisch – in ihren Adern fliessen. Dieses Gemisch strömt frei durch alle drei Klangkörper, ohne den Bezug zum Ursprung zu verlieren. Das Konzept des Trios, verschiedene  Einflüsse miteinander zu verweben und der Jazztradition gegenüber zu stellen, geht voll auf.”