He is, of course, addressing his esteemed fans and listeners when the great gypsy swing guitarist Wawau Adler calls his new album “I Play With You.” But he could also be referring specifically to his instrument. He changes playfully between the Selmer No. 828, a classical guitar from the forties, over modern types to the electric guitar. Finally, the title could also refer to the repertoire that is played here: After Adler has interpreted in his earlier recordings mainly standards – his last album “Happy Birthday Django 110”, released two years ago, was, for example, explicitly dedicated to his and the great role model of all gypsy jazz guitarists Django Reinhardt – and interspersed in each case only a few original compositions, it is now for the first time exactly the opposite.
With his own songs you can now get to know the whole Wawau Adler on “I Play With You”. The one who never denies his Manouche roots, but who has derived his own style from them and has always applied it to all jazz like few of his generation. Biréli Lagrène was the first formative influence for Josef “Wawau” Adler, born in Karlsruhe in 1967, when he was twelve years old. The guitarist who is considered by many to be Django Reinhardt’s most legitimate successor precisely because he never simply copied the forefather of hot jazz and gypsy swing, but developed him further in his own way and transferred him to modern jazz styles. And Adler did and does the same.
Think big! Bigger, further, faster! We are no longer used to attaching importance to the small. We don’t have enough attention span for details in the ever more confusing mountains of images and sounds that pile up in front of us. Nuances are no longer perceived at all, they are not recognised behind the filters of the present or they are wiped away like an annoying little creature.
“Little People”, the new album by Berlin guitarist Robert Keßler, comes at the right time. Because it directs the senses, dulled by distractions, to the essential and seduces them to listen: For example, to the pleasantly warm sound of the wood of Keßler’s archtop Gibson ES-175 from 1963, or to the enormously concentrated interplay of Keßler, double bassist Andreas Henze and drummer Tobias Backhaus, which pays attention to each other’s most minimal musical gestures. And last but not least, on the compositions, which grow in their course and flourish to full splendour like seeds carefully made to sprout.
Critics have been raving about “ingeniously woven sound parcours” (In-Music), “subtle aural adventures” (Jazzthing) and “irresistible charm” (Süddeutsche Zeitung) for 14 years. Ever since Lottchen existed, the duo of singer Eva Buchmann and vibraphonist Sonja Huber. And perhaps this rare and intimate combination of vibraphone and vocals would have had an even greater impact had the two not taken a baby break twice. On the other hand, otherwise there would probably not be the unique project that the two have now completed: “Tales For My Mother”, the new Lottchen album after the award-winning “Lazy Afternoon”, “Travelling Birds” and “Quiet Storm”, is an ode to being a mother, inspired by their mothers as well as by their own role as mothers, by an unfulfilled desire to have children, but also by “Mother Earth” and the search for their own roots.