Eve Risser / Ambrose Akinmusire / hr-Bigband feat. Joachim Kühn & Michel Portal

Apart from the German premieres of “Après un rêve” by the imaginative pianist Eve Risser and Ambrose Akinmusire’s “Origami Harvest”, the hr-Bigband featuring Joachim Kühn and Michel Portal will also be presented on Saturday night with their homage “Melodic Ornette”.

Eve Risser, Ambrose Akinmusire, hr-Bigband

Eve Risser, Ambrose Akinmusire, hr-Bigband

© Jeff Humbert, Christie Hemm Klok, Dirk Ostermeier

Past Dates

Livestream on  ARTE Concert from 18:00 to 21:00

Eve Risser: Après un rêve

German premiere

French pianist Eve Risser tirelessly seeks to find new possibilities for her instrument within improvised music, whether providing dynamic ballast during her five-year stint in the Paris-based Orchestre National de Jazz or playing razor-edged fourhanded duets with Slovenian pianist Kaja Draksler. Regardless of context, in nearly all of her playing Risser nonchalantly displays a refined ability at prepared piano, with a carefully assembled toolkit that enables her to transform the instrument into a symphony of its own – particularly percussive sounds, resonant drones, and all manner of buzzing tones – while operating with a rigorous compositional logic. She performs a new work for prepared piano in collaboration with sound designer Adrian Bourget that builds upon her 2015 solo album “Des Pas Sur La Neige” transforming the extended language of her instrument, couched in a thoroughly absorbing narrative flow marked by drama, mystery, and the ineffable.

Eve Risser on  ARTE

Ambrose Akinmusire: Origami Harvest

German premiere

Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire has firmly established himself as one the most thoughtful, exploratory figures on today’s international jazz scene, imbuing his sensually electric music with fiery political undertones. “Origami Harvest” stands as his most ambitious and focussed endeavour, combining an abiding love for hip-hop with a stunning facility in composing chamber music. His agile rhythm section – pianist Sam Harris and drummer Justin Brown – carves out sleek grooves fuelled by a heavy boom-bap sensibility that melds beautifully with the trumpeter’s assuredly elegant, emotionally fraught writing for Mivos Quartet, one of the leading contemporary ensembles in the US. The sometimes whimsical but seriously biting commentary of Das Racist rapper Kool A.D. fits beautifully into the mix, with poignant ongoing commentary and extended solos from the leader, but the most powerful vocals come from Akinmusire himself on “Free, White and 21”, the latest in a series of charged elegies for unarmed “black” Americans killed by police. The ensemble is joined here by rapper Koyaki, a veteran MC from Washington D.C. with deep roots in the city’s go-go scene (go-go as in the African-American musical style combining elements of funk and R&B).

Ambrose Akinmusire Origami Harvest on  YouTube

hr-Bigband feat. Joachim Kühn & Michel Portal: Melodic Ornette

German premiere

Walter Norris played piano on the 1958 album “Something Else!!!!”, the earth-shifting debut by free jazz progenitor Ornette Coleman, and it would be decades until he recorded with a keyboardist again. Perhaps no pianist had such an affinity for the saxophonist as Germany’s iconic Joachim Kühn, who played 16 duo concerts with Coleman between 1995 and 2000, one of which was documented by the stunning 1997 album “Colors: Live From Leipzig”. The saxophonist has long exerted a massive influence on Kühn, pushing him toward free jazz in the 1960s. This year the pianist turned 75 and released the stunning solo recording “Melodic Ornette Coleman”, a lyrically tender tribute to his old hero, including a dozen of the 170 tunes that Coleman wrote for the duo, but have never been previously recorded. With the help of Jim McNeely, Kühn has orchestrated some of the pieces for the Frankfurt Radio Big Band (hr-Bigband). The performance will feature a stellar rhythm section with drummer Joey Baron and bassist François Moutin along with the fantastic French bass clarinettist Michel Portal, all adherents of Coleman’s unique vision.

Joachim Kühn Melodic Ornette Coleman on  YouTube

Eve Risser (FR) German premiere
Après un rêve

Eve Risser prepared upright piano, composition
Adrian Bourget sound design

Ambrose Akinmusire (USA) German premiere
Origami Harvest

Ambrose Akinmusire trumpet
Koyaki voice
Sam Harris piano
Justin Brown drums

Mivos String Quartet
Maya Bennardo violin
Olivia de Prato violin
Victor Lowrie viola
Tyler Borden cello


hr-Bigband feat. Joachim Kühn & Michel Portal (D)
Melodic Ornette

Joachim Kühn piano
Michel Portal clarinet, bass clarinet
François Moutin bass
Joey Baron drums
Jim McNeely conductor
Jim McNeely & Joachim Kühn arrangements

Frank Wellert trumpet
Thomas Vogel trumpet
Martin Auer trumpet
Axel Schlosser trumpet
Günter Bollmann trombone
Janning Trumann trombone
Christian Jaksjö trombone
Manfred Honetschläger trombone
Heinz-Dieter Sauerborn sax
Oliver Leicht sax
Tony Lakatos sax
Steffen Weber sax
Rainer Heute sax
Jean Paul Höchstädter drums
Andreas Kurz bass

Recording of the Live Stream on Arte Concert

Saturday, 2 November, 18:00–21:00
Eve Risser / Ambrose Akinmusire / hr-Bigband feat. Joachim Kühn & Michel Portal

Available until 10 November 2019