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Matthew Ruddick

Author of Funny Valentine, an acclaimed new biography of the jazz trumpet player and singer, Chet Baker.
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Tuesday, 09 August 2016 02:21

Hans Koller - Retrospection

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Pianist and composer Hans Koller's triple CD, Retrospection, is a bold and ambitious release.

It is not every day we are offered a three-album release, so when Stoney Lane Records, the innovative Birmingham-based label, issued Hans Koller’s triple CD, Retrospection, it was a mighty treat! The albums are also available on limited edition 180 gram vinyl.  

Retrospection is an incredible work of art. This is not simply for the great line up of international musicians, but also the sheer ambition. There are stupendous renditions like Ah-leu-cha (Charlie Parker) on album one, Der Tag Mit Seinem Lichte (J.S. Bach), but also interpretations to shake your inner core like Half Of Life pt. 1 & 2,  based on a poem by the great German writer Hölderlin. The two pieces are constructed in such a way that it is difficult to get away; they entrap one and leave one pondering, because such is the power of poetry. 

Koller’s late father was a jazz-loving man and Half Of Life is more than just a potent piece of music; It is a heart-warming and soul-enriching composition. One can clearly hear the passionate words (notes) by Hans for his late father in all this.  

Stoney Lane never ceases to amaze me. It has offered us artists like Mike Fletcher, TG Collective and Mark Pringle and now Hans Koller.  Also listen out for one of my favourite musicians, Percy Pursglove, on trumpet on album one and two!

There is no stopping Stoney Lane, which has my total admiration and interest. How refreshing to see!    

Retrospection is a must have!


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