Lukas Traxel - One-Eyed Daruma [White Vinyl]
Format: White Vinyl
Catalogue No.: WJLP45
Release Date: 10 Mar 2023
Genre: Avant Garde Jazz
01: First Timer (feat. Otis Sandsjö & Moritz Baumgärtner) - Lukas Traxel
02: The Call (feat. Otis Sandsjö & Moritz Baumgärtner) - Lukas Traxel
03: Die Wahrscheinlichkeit (feat. Otis Sandsjö & Moritz Baumgärtner) - Lukas Traxel
04: Empty Seat (feat. Otis Sandsjö & Moritz Baumgärtner) - Lukas Traxel
05: Origami (feat. Otis Sandsjö & Moritz Baumgärtner) - Lukas Traxel
06: Nasty People (feat. Otis Sandsjö & Moritz Baumgärtner) - Lukas Traxel
07: Transience (feat. Otis Sandsjö & Moritz Baumgärtner) - Lukas Traxel
08: One-Eyed Daruma (feat. Otis Sandsjö & Moritz Baumgärtner) - Lukas Traxel
Swiss artist Lukas Traxel releases his powerful debut album One-Eyed Daruma on We Jazz Records, March 10. The trio features Traxel on double bass, Otis Sandsjö on sax and Moritz Baumgärtner on drums. Compact, deep, and organic to the bone, Traxel & co's sound echoes the innovations of rhythmically driven avantgarde jazz while keeping things moving at all times. There's both drive and freedom to this sound.
ONe-Eyed Daruma features eight new compositions by Traxel, who crafted the outline for the album while dealing with the loss of his father. The group came together after an open invitation from the Zurich jazz club Moods to present a new group. The trio of Traxel, Sandsjö and Baumgärtner creates a full, symphonic, and powerful body of sound despite the instrumentation without a harmony instrument. The trio functions as a collective where the boundaries between composition, melody, and accompaniment are in flux, while keeping the common goal of creating new music together in sight at all times. Traxel reports that after playing bass in various groups with guitar and/or piano, he wanted to create a counterpoint of sorts with his new group and specifically go about it with a more sparse setup. As One-Eyed Drama proves, the idea behind the trio dynamic is a strong one and the unit makes use of their extra space in creating evocative, moody, swinging creative jazz with a distinguishable fingerprint of its own.
Lukas Traxel says:
"The process of composing this music while dealing with the loss of a loved one resulted in a writer's block at first. The notes would just not flow out of my pen until I noticed a mysterious-looking figure in the right upper corner of my piano. It was a daruma, an eyeless figure that in the Japanese tradition brings luck and prosperity. According to the myth, the first eye must be drawn onto the figure while expressing a wish. The second eye can be added only if the wish comes true. My daruma is meant to stay one-eyed as my wish, strongly connected and intertwined with my now gone father, is not meant to be fulfilled. The feeling of unfulfillment and imperfection of life serves as a common thread throughout this album, right down to its title. In a similar fashion, a composition remains incomplete until it is interpreted by musicians, and given form as music. That being said, for me playing together with this trio symbolises the upside: the sense of fulfillment in music and life.
Our musical influences include the American composer and singer Caroline Shaw, Swiss pianist Colin Vallon's trio, and composer/singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane. In addition, I have listened a lot to the trio albums of Jimmy Guiffre and Sonny Rollins. Besides that, my musical heroes like Charlie Haden, John Coltrane, and Keith Jarrett always flow into the music. Another very important influence in the music is the work of American visual artist Agnes Martin, in whose works the imperfection of a multiplicity of repetitions results in a lively big whole in the end. (See "Wild Flower")
Live, the trio takes a lot of freedom in interpreting this music, yet we have a deeper, almost pop-like attitude towards the live performance as an experience. For me it's always important to build a strong narrative with the band while on stage."
One-Eyed Daruma by Lukas Traxel is released on 10 March 2023 by We Jazz Records on LP/CD/digitally. The LP edition is shelved in an inside-out sleeve and pressed on white vinyl. The CD is housed in a cardboard digisleeve with UV lacquer finish.
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