Cyprus Mail

Jazzing up the open-air

On Saturday the Pharos Arts Foundation, in collaboration with the Goethe Institut Zypern and the Institut Francais Chypre and supported by the Deutsch-französischer Kulturfonds/ Fonds Cultural Franco-Allemand, will be presenting the Erdmann-Rohrer Quartet at the open-air venue of the Pharos Arts Foundation, The Olive Grove, in Delikipos.

The quartet is comprised of saxophonist Daniel Erdmann, cellist Vincent Courtois, guitarist Frank Möbus and drummer Samuel Rohrer. All four are considered to be among the most renowned jazz performers of our time.

For most of its history, jazz was a soloist’s music: one melody instrument improvising accompanied by a rhythm section. The composition’s theme was generally just a departure point for the soloists’ excursions. What counted most was the solo – that was where musicians could show off their virtuosity and display individuality and imagination, as well as a deeper understanding of the harmonic subtleties of jazz.

Erdmann and Rohrer stir fresh air into jazz music-making. Their jazz essentially questions the soloistic principle: in their music no soloist takes the focus, everything is focused on composition and form, expressed through the sound of the Quartet. In terms of their concept, this ensemble is closer to a classical string quartet than a hard bop combo. In fact, solos survive in this music, even in their collective and free form, but they fulfil a different function: the improvisations serve the composition and they are embedded into the arrangements. Not an end in themselves, they are a means to an end, always referring to the atmosphere, construction and tonality of the piece.

On Saturday Erdmann will be playing his tenor saxophone with his singular artistic identity. A graduate of the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’ in Berlin, Erdmann shuttles between Paris and Berlin, having performed all over the world (including all major festivals in Berlin, Paris, New York, Lisbon, Rotterdam) and with appearances on numerous CD recordings. Under his own name he has released CDs on Enja Records, ACT, INTAKT. He is a cofounder and member of DAS KAPITAL.

French-born cellist and composer Courtois is as agile in changing from bow to pizzicato as he is in swapping bass line for melody. He began playing the cello at the age of six, and attended classical studies at the Conservatory in Aubervilliers and Paris before discovering jazz and improvisation. His first CD was released in 1990 and since then he has recorded more than ten CDs.

Mobus creates an array of musical effects with his guitar, generating spherical tones or howling in rock style. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he has appeared in numerous jazz festivals in Europe, Asia and the US. He is the leader and producer of the group Der Rote Bereich.

Co-leader of the quartet, Rohrer contributes several highly inventive compositions to the band repertoire. He treats his drums as far more than a rhythm instrument. This melodic drum playing exploits the range of dynamic possibilities, blends in elastically and is always exactly to the point.

The drummer studied at the Hochschule der Künste (formerly Swiss Jazz School) in Berne, recorded several albums for ECM, Intakt, HatHut and other labels and created his own label Arjunamusic Records in 2012. He has been touring all over the world, appearing in all major festivals, including, Montreal International Jazz Festival, NorthSea Festival Rotterdam and CTM Festival Berlin.

Erdmann-Rohrer Quartet
The Pharos Foundation presents a performance by the jazz artists. June 6. The Olive Grove, Delikipos, Larnaca. 8.30pm. €15/10. Tel: 22-663871

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