It is thanks to the initiative of percussionist Martin Blume, that the US-American-German quartet SOUNDBRIDGES had been founded in 2021, in which he is joined by the saxophonist Ken Vandermark, trombonist Matthias Muche and synthesizer player Thomas Lehn. Its premiere concert took place on September 10th in Dortmund at the Visual Sound Outdoor Festival, followed by appearances at the Ruhr Jazz- and the Peitz-Festivals organized by the label jazzwerkstatt, which released the quartets first CD in September 2022.
SOUNDBRIDGES was recorded on September 24, 2021 as part of the ‘Ruhr Jazz Festival’ at the Bochum Art Museum. Sharing the stage that evening were four musicians whose paths have crossed several times over the decades: Ken Vandermark, Matthias Muche, Thomas Lehn and Martin Blume. And the fun they are having is audible. They go straight into full swing, as if they had a world to win: Shouts on the saxophone and trombone are amplified by driving rhythms and analog synthesizer sounds.
One free jazz attack follows the next. After four minutes things suddenly quiet down again – the calm after the storm. Signal tones ‘from outer space’, abruptly interrupted by loud noise and threatening feedbacks, meet tonal fissures and overtones accompanied by the discreet beating on drums, bells and various other objects. It continues like this for the next 50 minutes, constantly fluctuating between the calm and dynamic parts, without ever losing its footing. And then culminates in a loud explosion, which after 35 minutes functions like a sound bridge that keeps the music flowing. A sequel is strongly welcome! (Holger Pauler)