Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Geisterfaust

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

The four Germans in self-described “horror jazz” outfit Bohren & Der Club of Gore aren’t so much jazz musicians influenced by rock as they are “drunken metalheads” who’ve opted for In a Silent Way-type instrumentation. Bohren keyboardist-bassist Morten Gass says that 2004’s glacially paced Black Earth is a “doom record.” Yet that album sounds like cocktail bop in comparison to new follow-up Geisterfaust, the culmination of Bohren’s trend away from blues-based gestures.

On the quartet’s latest, its fifth full-length, Bohren saxophonist Christoph Closer leaves his horn in the case for all but the final song, “Kleiner Finger,” opting to focus on electric piano and vibraphone. Closer’s tenor sax may be the band’s strongest idiomatic signifier, but it was also the music’s most obvious source of melody. And without it Bohren’s languid, improvisation-free tunes are reduced to a series of pulses-each one given ample space to resonate and breathe before the next one is played.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.