Matthias Schwengler: Soulcrane & Strings

German trumpeter renders his already atmospheric music even more so with the addition of a mid-low register string section


Matthias Schwengler formed Soulcrane in 2015 with the intention of concentrating exclusively on the group’s own highly stylised and atmospheric material.

A thoroughly well-rounded musician, he is a graduate of several European music conservatories. When he is not leading his own ensemble he has been found in the trumpet sections of the celebrated WDR Big Band and the Concertgebouw Jazz Orchestra. He is an innovative soloist with a mellow, almost flugelhorn-like sound especially in his distinctive lower register.

For this recording he decided to include a small string section of two violas and three cellos which are all voiced in their lower and middle registers. This creates an altogether darker hue than a normal string quartet with violins would produce.

The repertoire seamlessly shifts from lyrical ballads such as Pirin’s Pearls, Maex and Barley Wine to the more harmonically challenging From West Coast To East Coast, Mariya And Her Stout and Chania.

Soulcrane benefits from another impressive soloist, Matthew Halpin – an Irishman who graduated from Berklee College Of Music in 2013. He gets a satisfyingly warm sound on tenor which is only to be expected from someone who has studied with Joe Lovano.

From West Coast To East Coast; Pirin’s Pearls; Mariya And Her Stout; Chip & Dale; Maex; Chania; Barley Wine; Consolation One; Two Bodhi Tree Leaves (56.03)
Schwengler (t); Matthew Halpin (ts); Philipp Bramswig (elg); Reza Askari (b); Pauline Buss, Radek Stawarz (vla); Marie-Louise Wundling, Nathan Bontrager, David Schutte (clo). Osnabrück, Germany, March 2022.
Mons Records