If you're looking for a handsome garment that hasn't been outworn, try this one on for size.
Two things stand out immediately about German keyboardist and composer Florian Ross’s first release for his own Toy Piano label.
First, it’s the compositions, closely written and harmonically nuanced, but spacious, upbeat and smile-inducing, reminiscent of the optimistic, wide-open plains strand in American jazz associated with composers such as Pat Metheny, Joel Harrison and Ben Allison.
The second is the instrumentation: country music more or less owns the pedal steel guitar, but polyglot guitarist Markus Segschneider imports the instrument’s characteristic twang into Ross’s tunes, mixing it with the leader’s synth-drenched chords, making a sound that is fresh yet timeless, strange yet somehow familiar, like the theme tune to a 1970s cop show you never saw.
It's a mature release, and yet another that exposes Ross as a composer to keep an eye on.
In his judicious piano style but also in his obvious skills as a composer and arranger, which steer the music away from the mire of homogeneous Eurobop and into the realms of inventive and original small-group jazz.
This is simply great jazz in the truest sense - challenging, inventive, grounded in tradition but always reaching for new horizons. Ross has created great music in a number of settings, including grass ensemble, string orchestra and quintet, and now proves his true command of one of the purest forms of jazz expression. What's next, Florian Ross? I can't wait.
Zurück beim JazzFest, fanden Überraschungen nicht auf der Hauptbühne im Haus der Berliner Festspiele statt, sondern in Clubs. Das Oktett "Florian Ross 8Ball" bot eine extrem farbenfrohe Feier des Jetzt in Form eines entfesselten Saxofonsatzes. Wer an diesem Abend im Quasimodo dabei war, konnte erleben, wie Ross sich als einer der originellsten Arrangeure des deutschen Jazz profilierte.
An abundance of composed contrapuntal lines, with traditional big band space for the soloist, underscored by warm harmonies and serious swing; they are not simply keeping the candle burning for important composers they are flamethrowers.
Ross komponiert mit jener Leichtigkeit, die allen traditionellen Ballast austariert.
Le jazz contemporain ne manque pas de pianistes remarquables. On pense à Brad Mehldau, à Fred Hersch, à Jason Moran. Il semble bien qu`on devra bientot ajouter à cette liste le nom de Florian Ross
The results range from late and post Romantic classical tradition to Free Jazz. On the whole, the Suite is interesting listening in the same way that Mahler’s song cycles are. There is a lesson and the music must be consumed and digested before consideration.