One of the most impressive groove-based jazz musicians on the German scene today, Matti Klein has performed at some of the most prestigious jazz venues across the globe – Ronnie Scott’s, the Blue Note in Tokyo as well as international festivals such as Jazz in Marciac and Pori Jazz.
On this debut album, the trio stretches across a wide stylistic arc encompassing Klein’s musical progression. When asked about the group, Klein said “In this trio, I can live out my love of instrumental groove jazz as well as create an exciting format for my compositions, with the Wurlitzer as the main instrument, creating a new basic sound, instead of a classic line-up with bass, the three of us, with the Rhodes Bass in my left hand, can play pretty fat grooves. The soul in the band name is very important to me, also as an emphasis that this is an absolute affair of the heart”. Since moving on from Mo’ Blow, Klein found his dream line-up with former bandmate André Seidel on drums and new face Lars Zander on saxophone and bass clarinet.
The opening track, Kill It With a Pill, is a steady groove filled with anticipated accents, expressive solos and tasteful harmonies. African Taxitrip dwells on Klein’s past Afrobeat history when he featured as part of Kabu Kabu. According to Klein this track is a tribute to South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand). Gringo Funk, a personal favourite of mine, utilises the bass clarinet in a new way by transmitting the sound through an effects pedal creating a unique sound very much in the funk idiom – a must listen.
Matt Klein has revitalised vintage instruments such as the Wurlitzer and Rhodes Bass, giving them a new platform to shine on. A refreshing approach to the use of the bass clarinet also drew my attention. Soul Trio is an authentic album drawing on vintage instruments with a 21st century attitude.
Kill It With a Pill; Fairly Odd Stories; Seraya Blues; African Taxitrip; Windy Move; Take Heart Catch Life; Little Thing; Gringo Funk; River Journey; Tastes Like Chocolate, Strawberry; Home Is (Where The Beat Is) (56.37)
Klein (Wurlitzer, Rhodes b); Lars Zander (bcl, s); André Seidel (d). Berlin, 2020.
Shuffle Shack Records