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With “Tunity” the Cologne based duo CTO and Jabul has produced an album that skilfully transcends both genre and generational boundaries. The tracklist combines 80s disco with hip-hop and house and also picks up some elements from Jazz and Latin American percussion to create an album that, despite its diversity, reveals a coherent sound. What all songs have in common is that they are all suitable for the dance floor, because in spite of differences they all share a groove that runs through the entire project. But even though the intention to create a dance album is quite obvious, the Cologne residents do not lose sight of detailed production and meaningful lyrics, so that "Tunity" in face of its playful sound comes across as a well thought-out and unique album.

Testify

 

Testify is a fun and bouncy introduction to the album with vibrant dance elements filling the track with beautiful retro sounds

 

CTO Calling

 

CTO Calling addresses the uncertainty in the current state of the world while continuing the theme of dance and electronic sounds

Regardless

The pace of the album slows down with Regardless, introducing a slow tempo melodic breakdown throughout the track; later picking up a fast paced dance energy that makes you want to move your body

Need a Reaction

Need A Reaction immediately demands your attention in the introduction with a spacey and anticipatory build up. this track will fill your headphones front to back, left to right with angelic background vocals that cut off into the hook of the song. the spacey instrumentals and bouncy drums continue throughout the song making for a full and consistent listen

Mr. Big Shot

Mr.Big Shot smacks you in the face with loud, crisp, and sweet horns that pair perfectly with Cage’s soulful vocals. the fun dance energy continues in this track making you want to move as the music fills your room

Time is a Lie

Time is a Lie continues the theme of self awareness throughout the track. focusing on the present moment of time. enjoying the present, while not shying away from self reflection. the sounds of dance continue in this track, making for a fun but thought provoking experience

Das Motiv

Das Motiv’s paces the album, implementing a slow tempo lounge like listening experience. a perfect song to relax and take some time for.

Main Creator

Main Creator revisits the theme of self reflection and self awareness. similar to time is a lie, maintaining a thought provoking listening experience while providing a fun and energetic musical landscape

Above Water

Above Waterr is filled with keys throughout the song that compliment the harmonizing and continue the space-like instrumentals. a head bobbing track that continues the theme of dance and electronic sounds

I’ma Boss

I’ma Boss opens with bouncy and electronic drum sounds that have many house elements while not being overwhelming. a song that can be heard in a packed night club.

Hide Nothin´

Hide Nothin’ is the track to listen to if you’ve ever wanted to visit space without actually going. this track is a window into seeing the stars and planets up close. it is something from both the past and the future.

 

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New

 

Talk about the creative process that went into your new album 

Immediately after coming to Germany in Köln at the end of 2015 for my Masters in Jazz Improvisation at the Hochschule for Musik I was confronted with the cultural and musical differences even though I have been travelling to Europe and the US since 2009 for concerts. The approach to combination of notes is very different in Europe than in modal traditions like in India. I grew up listening to indian classical musicians like Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Bannerji, Zia Mohiuddin Dagar and along with my well-trained indian classical background suddenly found myself in a space where I knew very little. I started listening to a lot of different styles of European music from Gregorian Chants, Medieval music to classical music like Bach, Chopin to minimalistic and Avant Garde music from György Ligeti, Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich and others including Atonal and improvised. Along with that a lot of jazz and its sub genres by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus among others. At the same time participating in jam sessions gave me a feel of what was actually going on around me. Soon I realized that I was dealing with eras of information which may not be relevant in world music and what I wanted to do, yet have the knowledge of various trajectories in harmonic music till the present. That’s when I became conscious of developing my own style and story.

In my indian classical performances I have been able to move the audience emotionally, atleast having an understanding of mastery in practice. Whereas the western styles of music governed by complex harmony was too new for me. There were lots of previously created crossovers between Indian and western music but intuitively I had something different on mind than my predecessors. Often I was faced with the challenge of whether I would be able to bring a balance in my compositions to make it interesting not only to the listener but also interesting enough for my fellow musicians. I started looking at the Ragas from the western perspective trying to discover turnarounds and modulation in Ragas or how to use tension and release from harmonic stand point. This led me to figure out the harmonic structures in Indian modes and experimented with tonal shifts with complete change of Raga or even playing the same Raga changing the tonal center. Poly-rhythmic structures is another aspect in Indian classical that I consciously wanted to incorporate in my compositions. Desert Clouds, and Essence of Duality are two such compositions where one can hear the rhythm section playing a different rhythm.

As it’s my debut crossover jazz album it took me around 2 and a half years to complete the compositions. After many try outs of my ideas and jam sessions with pianist Clemens Orth, who has also arranged most of the compositions in this album, I started getting better in formulating my ideas. However, as the Sitar’s sound and capabilities was nothing like any of the western instruments, I was still trying to find a convincing role for myself. In my search for other musicians playing traditional instruments who were working with a similar setup as mine, I came across Dhafer Youssef. I became a big admirer of his music while trying to imagine myself bringing the Sitar out of its traditional context.

Except your own composition ............. is a selection of songs that you interpret. How did you choose the songs for your new album?

I had been listening to a lot of different Jazz bands and musicians like Esbjorn Svensson Trio, Daffer Youssef, Lars Danielsson, Avishai Cohen among the contemporaries and Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Herbie Hancock among the modal jazz musicians. I started analyzing their compositions which helped me understand their individual style. I have been greatly inspired by their music however I consciously wanted to keep the compositions based on my own creative outflow without interpreting any of their compositions.

Stylistically you range somewhere between Jazz and Rock, combining

them with elements of Pop and World Music. How do you get along with the usual genre- classifications?

Usually I am conscious of the genres that I bring together in my compositions. As I have been working with different crossover projects combining Indian music with Flamenco, jazz, Scandinavian, Medieval music it’s important for me to understand and keep the stylistic differences alive. In this album I have taken strong influences from Indian classical modes and rhythms with Jazz compositional structures, harmonies and instrumentation. However, as creating crossover music is a big creative process and involves functioning in the grey area, it is possible to embrace more than the two genres in question.

The album ...... - Track by track

Light & Shade – A feeling of heaviness of scorching heat in a dry hot summer searching for shade hallucinating and walking towards a mirage. It’s the 1st composition that I created for this album. I used the 11/4 odd meter with different subdivisions in Raga Madhuwanti with a feeling of heaviness of heat in a dry hot summer searching for shade. It reminded me of the summer in Delhi at times walking towards a mirage.

Desert Clouds

After a scorching heat the next composition has a natural tendency for release through clouds and rain. Raga Miyan ki Malhar which is a rainy season raga is explored in this composition. There is a lot of polyrhythmic aspect in it.

Unknown Voyage

An unknown journey with no fixed destination letting life bring all surprises. Sometimes rough, other times calm but never the same. I used Raga Purvi to and experimented with changing few notes here and there.

Fragmented within – A non-settling feeling within with many fragmented pieces of self. Raga Kirwani, wanted to make a long odd break up composition

Offering – Repetitive phrases like a chant invoking a devotional feeling within with a blissful mood this composition is minimalistic and has polyrhythmic approach. I have mainly used Raga Yaman

Dreams from the past – Memories of someone and incidents floating in your dream leaving you with a mixed feeling. I used Raga Bhatiyar and worked with its harmonic progression.

Journey to Kedarnath – Used Raga Kedar as a baseline to start with. Also Kedarnath is a place of pilgrimage high up in the Himalayas where people go with a joyous feeling.

Essence of Duality – In this vast Universe everything starts with THE ONE and branches out into many. I have used Raga Chandrakauns with a five over four polyrhythmic pattern and shifted the tonal centre in B and in C section playing the same Raga.

Run away – It’s a fast pace composition based on Raga Bhairavi. It has two different tonal centers – D and G

Talk about the chemistry between you and the two other guys and A few words about the musicians who join you on the album

Clemens Orth is a dear friend has been involved with me musically before I started composing for this album. Each time I had rough ideas I came to try them out with him. He is a fantastic musician and has motivated me a lot through his inputs and suggestions. We have spent hours talking about music, philosophy and understand each other intuitively. I have known Christian Ramond, the Contra Bassist since 2013 when he came to India. We and we played together with Jarry Singla and other Indian colleagues. Since the beginning itself I like his sound and approach. I think his vast experience playing with different musicians and genres gives him an edge in going beyond jazz. Jens Düppe the Drummer and the backbone of the band is a highly trained and experienced drummer. He is really quick in interpreting the music. Finally, there is Tamara Lukasheva as guest vocalist in 3 songs. She has a beautiful voice and adds a unique color to the compositions.

The best part is that as they already know each other and have worked together, they have a great understanding between them. So it was easy for me to bring them together and make music. I am really thankful to all of them for believing in me and in my music.

You come from a family of musicians. Your father played the Sitar. How

did that influence you?

My father Sri Panchanan Sardar who is a Sitarist and a Bangla folk singer impacted me a lot in getting into compositions. I grew up watching him compose for Ballets, Choreographies apart from giving Indian classical performances. He introduced me to sitar at the age of five. During my growing up and training years I’ve hardly heard any music apart from Indian classical. We had only one cassette of western classical Tchekowsky’s Swan Lake which from time to time I would listen to as a backdoor to western music. Jazz was alien music to me until I discovered it on Radio in my 9th class

Please talk about the other music projects that you do beside your

One of the memorable performances I did was together with Bruno Merse and Hamburg Junge Symfoniker performing Ravi Shankar’s Concerto for Sitar number 1 at Kampanagel in 2017. I loved it because of the magnanimity of the sound and use of various instruments. I’ve also worked in a project called Anders Hören by Marina Abramovic and Alte Oper Frankfurt where I played Indian Classical Solo for a Housefull audience in an unconventional setup where the audience could sit on the floor or even lay. Just before coming to Germany I composed for a Dance Choreography called Crossing Oceans for Odissi Danseuse Daksha Masruhwala featuring 3 folk tales from Greek, Japanese and Australian mythology. There are also two interesting world music projects I am involved in one is with Marcus Stockhausen called Eternal Voyage and Apart from that I have curated Migrantis Aves, an intercultural music project performing mostly traditional and folk music compositions from Iraq, India, Greece and Medieval music from Europe. And last but not least, I am a part of the JUNE Ensemble playing original compositions as well covers like Lviv and Taksim by Night by Lars Danielsson, Beethoven’s Für Elise.

 What can you already tell us about your upcoming musical that you're

currently working on?

Together with Nina and Mattias Perez from Sweden and percussionist Suchet Malhotra we are working on producing a crossover music album Northlight involving Indian and Scandinavian music influences. The Album is also due for release this year. And I have been working on two compositions for Migrants Music Manifesto a large ensemble involving musicians from different countries and cultures living in Europe which will be perform this year on the 19th of September at Alte Feuerwache Köln.

I am also part of the group Beyond the Roots which is currently running a world music concert series presenting different groups from around Germany and neighboring countries.

 

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New

The News You Probably Don´t Know
all compositions by Nils Tegen
recorded by Nils Tegen at NTStudio2
mixed by Markus Braun and Nils Tegen at Tonstudio der Welt
keyboards, drums, paper trumpet and programming by Nils Tegen
cover art by Nils Tegen
quotation in track 12 by Hubert Reeves


When I look back, I sort of started this album back in 2007 when I was making my first attempts at playing all the parts of a band myself. I only had 2 microphones and my first laptop, and no good virtual instrument sounds. Since then I have developed a personal playing technique that allows me to sound like a band with myself. I have been looking for a very personal touch of combining electronic sounds and acoustic jazz for a long time, which does not immediately sound like purely experimental music pop music or any other genre and is nevertheless exciting, diverse and a kind of fusion of all my musical influences which come from all over the place. At the time, I imagined publishing an album like this, but I hadn't yet found the language I needed to do it. As a stopover on this exciting but also very exhausting journey (and on the way there have been very, very, very many recordings of this kind over the years) this album is a tiny excerpt from my work which really satisfies me (and hopefully you).
....to be continued .....
Nils Tegen, June 2021


Thx to : my mom and my dad, Steffi, Roman, Joscha, Reza, Clemens, Markus, for being an active or passive part of my music and this album.

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New

"Ole Oak Tree" features 5 compositions that were written for a Jazz Fusion line up. 

The recordings were made back in 2009. 

 

Jonas Burgwinkel - drums

Sebastian Nickoll - percussion

Reiner Wind - bass

Denis Gäbel - tenor sax

Clemens Orth - keys, comp

 

recorded @ salon de jazz, cologne 

produced, mixed and mastered by Clemens Orth

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Pronounced Jah-Boo marks the first official cohesive project of the Oldenburg native Jabul, who intends to set off his artistic carreer with a 6 track EP that combines danceable, soul & jazz influenced hip hop tunes with thought provoking lyricism, tackling both personal as well as universal topics. The piano backed spoken word piece “I Am” serves as the intro track and has Jabul reflecting on topics like impermanence and the power of perception. The Track ends with the powerful declaration “I Am Love” and thus sets the tone for both the project and presumably his career as well. The EP then transitions into the first proper song, the smooth “Alright” which’s romantically charged lyrics boil down to finding common ground in a relationship and ultimately catching a vibe, which is easily accomplished through the instrumentals rich Bassline and it’s mellow chords, appearing throughout the verses. The follow up “Keep Doing It” talks all about persistence in chasing your goals and it’s driving Bassline and hypnotic synths are the perfect fit for the songs theme. Jabul channels his Brazilian roots for “Interludio”, a Bossa nova infused instrumental with an irresistible groove to it, that will brighten the mood. “Chit Chat Chit”, the projects single is next on the track list and within the context of the EP it is clear to see why it was chosen as it’s sole teaser track. It’s jazzy instrumental, combined with the MC’s hard hitting lyrics showcase his style as a musician and let’s the listener know that Jabul is tired of meaningless conversations and gossiping, thus setting the standard for “Pronounced Jabul” a couple months before its release. The EP ends with a highlight and presumably it’s strongest track “La La La”, which features Cage Gärtner on backing vocals. The mixture of voices and sounds makes for a soulful and captivating closer, reminiscent possibly of something off of tyler, the creator’s flower boy.

“Put that thing into flight mode” are the closing words on the project with which he speaks to the listener as well as himself. Flight Mode may be taken literally, or refers to going offline, as in not being on the phone and living in the present moment, but may also be symbolizing an above the clouds state of mind, to which “Pronounced Jah-Boo” provides the perfect soundtrack.

produced, mixed and mastered by CTO

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New

"Organic Soul Jazz" sprang out of a spontaneous recording session @ Salon De Jazz in 2019.

Each of us brought some of his favourite tunes and we just started playing!

It features Bruno Müller on guitar, Dominik Raab on drums and Clemens Orth on organ.

The musical proceedings are all about Swing and Groove" - enjoy!

 

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New

"The Gilder Suite" musically reflects the impressions and emotions of a day at the sailing airfield from the arrival till the end of the day.
80% of the music is freely improvised - another 20% are based on tunes and some spontaneous harmonic progressions.

Robert Landfermann - bass
Leif Berger - drums
Clemens Orth - Piano, Rhodes, efx

recorded at Salon De Jazz, February 14th and 15th 2020!

mixed and mastered by Clemens Orth

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Lately we love to play more Jazz/Fusion influenced music. I heard sing me to sleep on the radio and turned it into a Rock/Fusion thang. Sparkles in the Sky just sprang out of my mind in 10 Minutes - Nothing more to say :)
 
Hardy Fischötter - drums
Oliver Lutz -bass
Philipp Brämswig - guitar
CTO - keys, voice
 
recorded july 2018 @ salon de jazz, cologne
produced, mixed & mastered by CTO
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About 10 years ago i got the idea to arrange Christmas songs for jazz piano trio. Melodies that over the years created a deep emotional impact on me not necessarily as a listener unable to escape the musical environment during christmas time but as an active musician playing church organ throughout my teenage years. In fact playing church organ was my first encounter with improvised music doing preludes for chorals.

Later i performed the ever growing number of arrangements with my trio once a year in eary december at „salon de jazz“ - and those concerts already have become a tradition. This year the time has come to put them on CD!

Many thanks to Fabian, Stefan, Bodek, Birgit and my alter egos Chrstoph, Tobias, Max and Theo for supporting this heart project and let the music come to life!

Enjoy listening to my interpretations of 7 old european chorals and 2 newer american christmas songs.

And if you should read this and December 24th is close: Merry Christmas!

recorded August 26th and 27th @ Salon De Jazz, Cologne

produced, mixed and mastered by Clemens Orth

 

Cover Design by Jumana Hamandouche

 

Fabian Arends – drums

Stefan Schönegg – bass

Clemens Orth – piano

 

choir on „Tochter Zion“:

 

Birgit Abendroth – soprano

Christoph Falsetto – alt

Tobias Hochlaut – tenor

Max Sonor – bariton

Theo Brummel – bass

 

additional percussion: Bodek Janke

 

  1. In Dulci Jubilo (Traditional)

  2. Tochter Zion, freue dich! (Georg Friedrich Händel)

  3. Hark the herald angels sing (Felix.Mendelssohn Bartholdy)

  4. Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Traditional)

  5. Les Anges dans nos campagnes (Traditional)

  6. Have yourself a merry little christmas (Martin Hugh)

  7. Adeste Fideles (John Francis Wade)

  8. Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht (Franz Xaver Gruber)

  9. Santa Claus is coming to town (John Frederick Coots)

 

Total: 45,40


 

 

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