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Henning Sieverts - Hidden C

Henning Sieverts - Hidden C


Henning Sieverts: bass, cello / Maria Pia de Vito: vocals / Matthias Nadolny: tenor saxophone / Peter O'Mara: acoustic & electric guitars / Glauco Venier: piano / John Hollenbeck: drums, percussion, toys


  • Edition: CD
  • Year: 2004
  • Order No.: INT 33802
€14.99  *
Incl. VAT and excl. shipping Weight: 0.1 kg

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Description
The degree to which music is hard or soft is certainly no measure by which to judge or categorize music.

If playing hard is a sign of quality in Rock, then one must take the term “soft” with a grain of salt in Jazz. Exceptions confirm the rule, especially when soft is not synonymous with insipid, but, on the contrary, for deep, contemplative, introspective and clear. It has been a long time since there has been such a soft, and yet beautiful and unfathomable album as the Munich-based bass player and cellist Henning Sieverts’ “Hidden C”. One is reminded of Jimmy Giuffre’s early albums or of Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan in the 1960s. And yet Henning Sieverts’ music is much more complex. The 16 tracks melt in your ear like honey without leaving a sticky aftertaste. Sieverts’ formula at first sounds beguilingly simple. “The common arc of all of the pieces are the beautiful melodies. I work with soft colors, allow each piece to develop it’s own character, while still creating a meaningful context from beginning to end.”

From the very first tone, one feels as if one is being drawn through a gallery of impressionistic pictures by an invisible magic hand. But instead of photographically fixating each individual picture a fundamental feeling comprising all of the pictures is created. “Hidden C” works like a suite in the classical sense of the word. Rigor and softness define each other and, going beyond a surprising inner balance, result in a shifting, transcendental floating feeling that often lets one forget that one has slid from one piece into the next. “The pieces should have an inner logic without sounding logical. That may sound like a contradiction, but reason does not exclude beauty. Beauty comes mostly when there is a small kink in the logic. One of my musical idols is Bach. His music is beautiful and logical. I am trying to approach this ideal.”

What Sieverts means by logic and rigor is best perceived in the six miniatures, which run like a thread throughout the title “Hidden C”. They vary the same twelve-tone sequence under various aspects, but in their rigor allow only a bit of room for improvisational divergence. Sieverts’ own playing reveals both rigor and discipline. But the Munich-based composed places little value on virtuoso works of art. “Making a bass or cello record is just not my thing. I’m much more concerned with the composition. The are my works, and I have carefully selected the musicians, who can make it sound good. Amazingly, these musicians have never played together in this combination. I knew all of them from various situations and knew it would work, but when we got together for the first time and played the music, it was an immediate joy. Matthias Nadolny’s soft saxophone sound fascinates me.”

Peter O’Mara is a powerful and yet very lyrical musician with an incredible spectrum of colors on the electric and acoustic guitars. Glauco Venier also has a large palette of colors, from energetic to very tender. Peter and Glauco are also not only brilliant soloists, but are also masterful accompanists. John Hollenbeck can do simply everything on the drums: powerful grooves, feather-light swing and impressionistic dabs of color. Last but not least, I am especially pleased to have been able to get the fantastic singer, Maria Pia de Vito, one of the few Jazz singers who can really improvise (especially on ‘Le Chien Du Tambour’). I especially like the smooth, but touching interpretation of “Little Seahorse”. Some of the compositions were written especially for these musicians.”

Sieverts, a sensitive sound painter, knows just how hard he has to play a note to achieve the desired color. He allows each tone enough time to blossom, never playing too many notes, and thereby forming his own playing impressively effectively. Whether playing cello or bass, his playful motives open up landscapes. His almost tender handling of his instruments gives the listener a feeling of lightness and freedom. “I am originally a cellist and am happy to have both tonal colors available. I can play higher using the cello. The cello is tuned to fifths and the bass to fourths. That way, I can play different things on the different instruments. I think it is a great advantage being able to cover a much wider spectrum in this way. But it is not the case that I would play bass or cello based on the character of the piece.”

A good example of this is his approach to the piece, “Caffe Della Pace”. Sieverts begins “with a drawn-out, romantic high melody, which better presents the character of the cello. Then I switches to bass function, which the cello can not produce.”

The musicians who play on “Hidden C” hail from the USA, Australia, Italy and Germany. Nevertheless, they speak one language, transforming “Hidden C” into a key masterpiece.
Details
Content text: HiddenC I
Das helle Hören
Little Seahorse
Hidden C II
Night Train
Hidden C III
Le Chien du tambour -Light Orange
Hidden C IV
Forward
Gorizia
Wheel Air
Hidden C V
Caffè della Pace
Azzurro Vecchio
Hidden C VI
Performance duration: 59'3"
Publisher: Intuition
UPC: 750447338029
The degree to which music is hard or soft is certainly no measure by which to judge or categorize music.

If playing hard is a sign of quality in Rock, then one must take the term “soft” with a grain of salt in Jazz. Exceptions confirm the rule, especially when soft is not synonymous with insipid, but, on the contrary, for deep, contemplative, introspective and clear. It has been a long time since there has been such a soft, and yet beautiful and unfathomable album as the Munich-based bass player and cellist Henning Sieverts’ “Hidden C”. One is reminded of Jimmy Giuffre’s early albums or of Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan in the 1960s. And yet Henning Sieverts’ music is much more complex. The 16 tracks melt in your ear like honey without leaving a sticky aftertaste. Sieverts’ formula at first sounds beguilingly simple. “The common arc of all of the pieces are the beautiful melodies. I work with soft colors, allow each piece to develop it’s own character, while still creating a meaningful context from beginning to end.”

From the very first tone, one feels as if one is being drawn through a gallery of impressionistic pictures by an invisible magic hand. But instead of photographically fixating each individual picture a fundamental feeling comprising all of the pictures is created. “Hidden C” works like a suite in the classical sense of the word. Rigor and softness define each other and, going beyond a surprising inner balance, result in a shifting, transcendental floating feeling that often lets one forget that one has slid from one piece into the next. “The pieces should have an inner logic without sounding logical. That may sound like a contradiction, but reason does not exclude beauty. Beauty comes mostly when there is a small kink in the logic. One of my musical idols is Bach. His music is beautiful and logical. I am trying to approach this ideal.”

What Sieverts means by logic and rigor is best perceived in the six miniatures, which run like a thread throughout the title “Hidden C”. They vary the same twelve-tone sequence under various aspects, but in their rigor allow only a bit of room for improvisational divergence. Sieverts’ own playing reveals both rigor and discipline. But the Munich-based composed places little value on virtuoso works of art. “Making a bass or cello record is just not my thing. I’m much more concerned with the composition. The are my works, and I have carefully selected the musicians, who can make it sound good. Amazingly, these musicians have never played together in this combination. I knew all of them from various situations and knew it would work, but when we got together for the first time and played the music, it was an immediate joy. Matthias Nadolny’s soft saxophone sound fascinates me.”

Peter O’Mara is a powerful and yet very lyrical musician with an incredible spectrum of colors on the electric and acoustic guitars. Glauco Venier also has a large palette of colors, from energetic to very tender. Peter and Glauco are also not only brilliant soloists, but are also masterful accompanists. John Hollenbeck can do simply everything on the drums: powerful grooves, feather-light swing and impressionistic dabs of color. Last but not least, I am especially pleased to have been able to get the fantastic singer, Maria Pia de Vito, one of the few Jazz singers who can really improvise (especially on ‘Le Chien Du Tambour’). I especially like the smooth, but touching interpretation of “Little Seahorse”. Some of the compositions were written especially for these musicians.”

Sieverts, a sensitive sound painter, knows just how hard he has to play a note to achieve the desired color. He allows each tone enough time to blossom, never playing too many notes, and thereby forming his own playing impressively effectively. Whether playing cello or bass, his playful motives open up landscapes. His almost tender handling of his instruments gives the listener a feeling of lightness and freedom. “I am originally a cellist and am happy to have both tonal colors available. I can play higher using the cello. The cello is tuned to fifths and the bass to fourths. That way, I can play different things on the different instruments. I think it is a great advantage being able to cover a much wider spectrum in this way. But it is not the case that I would play bass or cello based on the character of the piece.”

A good example of this is his approach to the piece, “Caffe Della Pace”. Sieverts begins “with a drawn-out, romantic high melody, which better presents the character of the cello. Then I switches to bass function, which the cello can not produce.”

The musicians who play on “Hidden C” hail from the USA, Australia, Italy and Germany. Nevertheless, they speak one language, transforming “Hidden C” into a key masterpiece.
Content text: HiddenC I
Das helle Hören
Little Seahorse
Hidden C II
Night Train
Hidden C III
Le Chien du tambour -Light Orange
Hidden C IV
Forward
Gorizia
Wheel Air
Hidden C V
Caffè della Pace
Azzurro Vecchio
Hidden C VI
Performance duration: 59'3"
Publisher: Intuition
UPC: 750447338029