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Florian Ross Quintet: Home & Some Other Place

It is puzzling how the press release for Home & Some Other Place (Intuition) by the Florian Ross Quintet characterizes this music. Comparisons are made to “the spontaneous flair of classic Blue Note recordings.” Ross’ piano is described as “not some etherealized means of making beautiful sounds…but a percussive motor that produces pressure, friction and noise.” But “flair” and even “noise” are relative terms. For those raised on actual classic Blue Note recordings, Ross’ music will sound measured, polite, polished and soft-spoken-in a word, etherealized.

The personnel features four Germans (pianist/leader Ross, trumpeter Claus Stotter, tenor saxophonist Matthias Erlewein and bassist Dietmar Fuhr), plus French drummer Stephane Huchard. They are all fully competent interpreters of Ross’ meticulous compositions and arrangements, in which improvisation is respectful of predetermined design. Even the three short, completely improvised pieces sound decorous. This unfailingly pleasant jazz is for listeners who prefer an intellectual, platonic relationship to their music, as opposed to the more physical bond of “pressure friction.”

Originally Published