The great writer Gertrude Stein once said: “Jazz is tenderness and powerful violence.” A definition that has shaped the pianist Cornelius Claudio Kreusch already at the beginning of his career – and which now again perfectly applies to his new album “Eye of the Storm”. Whereby improvisation as the primal ground of these strong forms of expression is absolutely part of it.
And yet “Eye of the Storm” is now something completely different, something new. Not only because, in contrast to the often well-prepared confrontation with freedom in the past, it really was a spontaneous leap into the deep end. But above all because “for the first time I had the feeling of being an adult as an artist,” as Kreusch tells us. “Until now, the great predecessors and role models were always a source of inspiration. This time I was completely with myself from the first note.
A maturity and independence that you can hear on the album. Everything is an expression of the dazzling personality of Cornelius Claudio Kreusch, who is as extroverted and spiritual as he is grounded and consistent. As wild as it can get with the musical storm of thoughts, an almost classical undertone, immersed in inner listening, is dominant. And as much as every note, every chord, every change, every touch is unmistakably Kreusch, at the same time he succeeds in giving each improvisation part its own note.
Jazz pianist Cornelius Claudio Kreusch had a “vision” early on with one of his albums. With his “Black Mud Sound” he created a world music emulsion earlier than most, landed a funky “Scoop” soon after and also turned to the Afro-Caribbean sound cosmos with “Féfé” and “Sun Music”. With “Life Is Beautiful”, he even ventured into pop, and with “Two Worlds One” and “Gestalt!“, he also combined classical music and free improvisation into an overarching concept. Most recently, he let himself be carried musically by Thomas Mann’s novel of the same name, but also by his own relevant experiences, in large-scale improvisations on the “Magic Mountain“. But the process behind all these so different projects now gives his new album its title: “Transformer.”
“The artist, in his best moments, is an engineer of transformation. He brings the idea into the world as a creative construct. The jazz pianist is an improviser and thus the transformer of the moment. Familiar or new melodies are scooped into a new in the moment.” This is how Kreusch describes the basic idea that guided him in this album. It is also a concentration, born of this time of forced pause, on the core of his artistic self-image: on the solo pianist Cornelius Claudio Kreusch.
For the pianist, who was first trained by his mother, concert pianist and music educator Dorothée Kreusch-Jacob, and then at the legendary Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Manhattan School of Music, is one of the most creative jazzmen on the planet, thanks to his extroverted nature, always bursting with energetic ideas.
You should be able to trust the opinion of a man, who has not only shaped the world of Jazz on and off the stage but who has also, as a producer, propelled Michael Jackson “The King of Pop“ to fame. Quincy Jones says about Laura, “This young woman doesn‘t need to worry about her career, she is amazing and I am sure we will be hearing more from her in the future.“ When they met for the first time at the Stuttgart Jazz Open in 2017, what appeared to be a prophecy about the 21 year old singer Laura Kipp, has today been confirmed. She has launched her debut album “Quiet Land“ under the Label LAURA. This debut album is a showcase introducing us to her talents. Despite there being many excellent Jazz musicians out there today, who span a wide range of music genre and styles, it is rare and surprising to find such a charismatic and understated maturity beneath such refreshing youthfulness. She also expresses the freedom and complexity of Jazz together with the instant emotional power of Pop, Soul and Chanson.
The opposing elements that she draws on really create a certain tension while also blending them beautifully. As a hardened Jazz Critic who has heard and seen hundreds of singers over the years, it unfortunately becomes harder and harder to impress . However, Laura Kipp doesn‘t fail to impress from the outset. Despite her age she is so mature, well travelled and charismatic and this comes across in her voice. Her far reaching travels from her homeland in Swabia Germany to Paris, from New York to Los Angeles are also reflected in her broad range of styles, from brilliant songwriter ballads to punchy jazz vocalese, from soulful blues to string saturated glamorous Hollywood sounds . She has already internalised that unique power of jazz which she combines with her own individual expression together with collaborative creativity. She builds on this with an inner confidence in her wonderful voice, her songwriting as well as the combined skills of her band members, the arrangements of both her mentor and bassist Jens Loh along with the expertise of Cornelius Claudio Kreusch as the producer and distributer. The result is irresistible and rare in the German Jazz scene. Young jazz musicians can become obsessed with experimental style jazz but Laura has gone beyond this with what can only be described in the best sense of the term “old fashioned“ with a modern twist. It is simply pure musical pleasure for those who love a bit of sophistication.
The verdict of a man who not only helped shape the history of jazz on and off the stage, but also made Michael Jackson the “King of Pop” as a producer, should be trusted: “This young woman doesn’t need to worry about her career. She is outstanding, and you will all hear from her in the future” – says Quincy Jones about Laura. What was still a prophecy for the then 21-year-old singer Laura Kipp in 2017, when the two met at the Stuttgart Jazz Open, is now confirmed. She presents her debut album “Quiet Land” under the signum LAURA with a combination of attributes: Youthful freshness meets amazing maturity, charisma meets understatement, the freedom and intellectuality of jazz meets the immediate emotional power of pop, soul and chanson.