Jazzfest Berlin Radio Edition
Gabriel Coburger’s Quintet Jean-Paul feat. Ken Norris
Pre-recorded in Hamburg (NDR Info)
This Hamburg combo led by Gabriel Coburger draws upon the imagination of Ken Norris, who operates his voice like a fifth instrumentalist.
Reedist Gabriel Coburger has been a vital presence in the jazz scene of his native Hamburg for decades – interrupted for several years spent in New York between 1997 and 2001 – including a fruitful membership in the NDR Big Band. He leads several groups, but the quintet Jean Paul stands apart thanks to his frontline partner, the US-American vocalist Ken Norris, a dyed-in-the-wool improviser with a silken baritone that recalls the elastic style of Kurt Elling. Norris often dispenses with conventional lyrics, instead operating like another instrumentalist, often crafting wordless solos, draping the fiery lines of Coburger with lush harmony and engaging in fine-tuned interplay with the leader. The music is steeped in modernistic post-bop, with the high-octane rhythm section of pianist Matthäus Winnitzki, bassist Sven Kerschek and drummer Konrad Ullrich providing a deeply supple and sympathetic foundation, supporting and prodding the frontline, whether on simmering balladry or jacked-up grooves.
This concert is part of the Jazzfest Berlin Radio Edition
Gabriel Coburger saxophone
Ken Norris vocals
Matthäus Winnitzki piano
Sven Kerschek bass
Konrad Ullrich drums