Mulo Francel tenor sax, c-melody sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet
Andreas Hinterseher accordion, bandoneon, trumpet
D.D. Lowka bass, percussion
Chris Gall piano
Philipp Schiepek guitar
Tim Collins vibraphone
Rolf Ackermann flugelhorn
music & spirit for the cold season
The new album of the world music ensemble Quadro Nuevo is dedicated to the wintry mood. The musicians, who have already released three Christmas albums in their long band history since 1996, do not see December as another work of this genre, but they do interpret melodies of religious or spiritual origin on it.
“Figures like Jesus, Mary and Joseph were formative for our occidental mindset. Regardless of whether one is a believer, whether one understands them as historical persons or as myths, their story can give us orientation.
In the course of life, we can move away from them, lose track of them, reinterpret them again and again, and approach them again. Especially in the darkest time of the year we reflect particularly intensively.
Even Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples do not always agree on the right path. They discuss, argue, deny and betray each other.
And in the end, Jesus cries out on the cross, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”
The invocation of a higher power, from which one expects help in the cold and in existential need, finds new expression in Quadro Nuevo in two versions of the ancient Kyrie Eleison, while retaining the original sacred character. Paul Gerhardt, under the impression of the 30 Years War, asks with his Befiehl du deine Wege for a positive feedback from above, which Quadro Nuevo now transfers into a heartfelt 5/4 time signature.
The war in Ukraine prompted the musicians to write songs expressing the longing for peace, such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Von guten Mächten wunderbar geborgen or Song for Peace, composed by Mulo Francel’s son.
Stylistically, the album feeds on shimmering jazz harmonies, from odd, meditative or funky rhythms to klezmer-inspired improvisations
“Obviously deeply rooted in the glorious insidiousness of alpine music, these soulful virtuosos have opened their hands and ears wide to the sounds of other cultures” wrote DIE ZEIT about their album Weihnacht in December 2008.
In particular, the ensemble has repeatedly explored the Oriental cultural area, the regional origins of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, in its concerts and travels. The instrumental artists toured Israel, Jordan and Antioch, climbed the Moses mountain in Sinai and approached Buddhism on a musical level as film dubbing artists.
In Egypt, they collaborated several times with the Sufi band Cairo Steps, whose pianist Rami Attallah arranged the Coptic melody Oheboka Rabi Yasou for the new album.
The album reflects the current band line-up: woodwind player Mulo Francel, bassist D.D. Lowka and accordionist Andreas Hinterseher form the nucleus of the ensemble. After the tragic death of guitarist and co-founder Robert Wolf due to a traffic accident and the departure of harpist Evelyn Huber in favor of her solo projects, the following now play alternately in the complementary position: longtime Quadro Nuevo live pianist Chris Gall, young guitarist Phi-lipp Schiepek and New York-born vibraphonist Tim Collins.
For the Kyrie Eleison versions Rolf Ackermann contributes sacred flugelhorn lines.