On his latest ToneWork Records release „Contemporary Jazz“, the successful film composer Gerhard Daum demonstrates prolific instrumentalism, playing guitars, trumpet and flugelhorn. The compositions on this acoustic album are diverse and modern, with influences of blues, bossa nova, smooth jazz and funk.
They are based on song structures, offering space for short, elegant and tasteful improvisations.
Gerhard’s sound on the trumpet is expressive, warm and precise, with poignant phrasing without vibrato.
He is accompanied by the prominent Macedonian double bass player Martin Gjakonovski, who lives and works in Cologne.
Listen to CONTEMPORARY JAZZ
Apricity – featured album track on youtube:
Review by Kathy Parsons
Contemporary Jazz is a fascinating collection of seventeen original pieces by German composer and musician Gerhard Daum. A very successful composer of soundtrack music for films and television in both the US and Europe, Daum’s music is expressive and often very visual. On this album, Daum performs on trumpet, flugelhorn, and acoustic and electric guitars (not all at the same time!), and is accompanied by prominent Macedonian double-bass player, Martin Gjakonovski, who lives and works in Cologne (Germany). Most of the tracks on this album are between 2 1/2 and 4 minutes long and cover a wide variety of jazz styles, moods, and emotions. I have been a big fan of Gerhard’s music since I reviewed his 2017 Rural Renewal, one of my Favorites for that year, and his albums never disappoint. The ones I’ve reviewed are all so different from each other but have the same high quality of excellence and musicianship.
Contemporary Jazz begins with “Apricity,” the first single released from the album. A trio for trumpet, electric guitar (both by Daum) and bass, the mood is light yet pensive. The video for the track has a winter theme and is beautifully filmed. “Best Pals” is one of my favorites, telling a vivid story with trumpet, acoustic guitar and bass (instead of words). Warm and relaxed yet happily adventuresome, I really love this one! “Mind Your Steps” features electric guitar, muted trumpet and bass, and is somewhat darker than the first two tracks – very film noir-ish! “Sky Gazer” is another favorite with its spare, elegant trumpet lead, catchy bass-line, and the sparkling quality of the electric guitar. “Coiled Energy” picks up the tempo a bit with rhythmic electric guitars and muted trumpet. Blues and rock influences give it a cool, sophisticated vibe that has compelled me to hit the “repeat” button more than once! “High and Low” and “Whirl of Pleasure” are quite different from each other, but both tracks feature Daum playing classical guitar. The bluesy, atmospheric feeling of “Quality Time” is relaxed and spontaneous – for trumpet, electric guitar and bass. “Mirror Moon” is another favorite. Trumpet, bass and electric guitar move slowly through this beautiful, atmospheric piece, telling their dark and mysterious story. “Western Sunset,” a fascinating mix of country and folk elements, even has a touch of the blues. Muted trumpet, acoustic guitars and bass paint a vivid picture of open spaces and perhaps a bit of lonely desolation – very colorful and moody! I really like this one, too! As if this album wasn’t already diverse, “Cinema Novo” enchants with an easy bossa nova groove for trumpet, guitars and bass – tropical musical sunshine! The album closes with my favorite track, “Don Juan,” a soulful slow ballad for trumpet and electric bass that really draws you in. Let me hit that “repeat” button again!
Contemporary Jazz is a great album from the first note to the last! It is available from Amazon and Apple Music/iTunes as well as many streaming sites including Spotify. Very highly recommended!