Joachim Schoenecker: A master guitar-player of the modern age of classical jazz! With a style that is sure and expressive, technically brilliant and acoustically multicoloured, Joachim Schoenecker celebrates his musical visions with a smooth unobtrusiveness that is always on the same wavelength as his high-calibre band members. In the USA, the spiritual home of jazz, Schoenecker’s energy-charged music with its emotional, melodic ballads and virtuoso, sometimes breathtakingly fast-paced, tunes has long been considered the insider’s favourite on what is a very tough and demanding jazz scene.
That Joachim Schoenecker is a first-rate guitarist is clearly evident on his latest album, NOCTURNES: sensitive and technically perfect, this collection of tunes simply shines with the brilliance of his playing. However, his guitar by no means dominates the limelight, he also allows his equally talented colleagues – Chander Sardjoe on drums and Dietmar Fuhr on bass – the freedom and space to bloom in their own right.
One particularly innovative feature of NOCTURNES is, however, the dreamlike combination of this highly talented jazz trio with a classical string quartet (here: the Minguet Quartet). Rarely have jazz and classical instruments united so harmoniously to form one complete acoustic image. The very first piece “City Lights” creates a highly atmospheric closeness that is then characteristic of the entire album. The overall result is a musical delicacy, which impresses mainly through its astounding effortlessness and the dreamlike interaction between the different musicians.
Airy acoustic moments, intimate and gentle dialogues, dynamism and a wealth of variety characterise Schoenecker’s music. Attentive and introspective in the ballads, energy-packed and hands-on in the faster numbers – NOCTURNES will most certainly cause a stir in the jazz world and beyond, and not only in the States. With the 10 songs on NOCTURNES, Schoenecker pays tribute to the “power of the night”, to the beauty and mystery of the “dark hours”.
This wonderful atmosphere is impressively enhanced by the enormously intricate string arrangements of Florian Ross, which together with the dextrous skill of the trio make NOCTURNES so unique. The listener can almost taste the electric atmosphere of the recording studio – not least because of the high-quality recording and mastering technology that makes this hybrid SACD into the most extraordinary sound experience around.
Born in 1966 and living in Cologne, Joachim Schoenecker is already – according to music magazine Jazz Podium – one of only a handful of people who have succeeded, with his début CD, in “rising, in just one step, to the level of master guitarist of the modern age of classical jazz”. Since the release of his second CD, “In the Moment”, with an all-star American line-up comprising Chris Potter, Adam Nussbaum and John Goldsby, he has been fêted by the specialist press as one of the most outstanding European jazz guitarists on the scene. Schoenecker’s own compositions have all the makings of classics. And – as evidenced by NOCTURNES – even pieces from the pens of luminaries such as Bill Evans or even Billy Joel become one with the musical vision of this recording artist and his companions.
Numerous appearances in German and European jazz clubs and festivals, as well as a raft of guest appearances in various line-ups with internationally renowned musicians are further proof of Joachim Schoenecker’s high-quality talent. Since 1999, he has also been teaching jazz guitar and ensemble playing at the University of Music and Theatre in Leipzig. With outstanding ease and clarity, Joachim Schoenecker masters even the most difficult passages and fast-paced runs. But his virtuosity, though much lauded by the specialist press, is only one element of his playing. Schoenecker’s remarkable feel for melodic development, harmony and dramaturgical form, his amazingly original instrumental voice and the clear, sometimes melancholy, structures of his compositions will most certainly win over even those listeners who are not aficionados of jazz.
„Nocturnes – a unbelievable beautifull album. ...“
- Jazzthing magazin
„ A master guitar-player?”, “sensitive and technically perfect?” ...after listening to the album, you must admit: it’s all true...“
– Akustik Gitarre