lauer large


» Lauer is a sensitive composer who extends his radius concentrically. His second album “Less Beat More” is a leap into life in all its intensity. Lauer has definitely succeeded in combining his highbrow standards of musical thinking with his urban zest for life. The powerful Spree Blues of the trombonist and his men is as angular & unwieldy as Berlin itself. Yet it is full of cheerful memories that are heaved bravely into the chaos of the present time. In reality this courageous translation of Ellington´s inheritance into the Berlin setting earns the rating ‘extra large’. «

(Wolf Kampmann, Jazzthing Nov/Dec 2011

» This is the contemporary German answer to the Dutch ‘Instant Composers Pool’, the ‘Italian Instable Orchestra’ or the ‘Copenhagen Art Ensemble’. All connect the same spirit: the pleasure of discovery and an instinctive feeling for producing a fruitful combination of free improvisation and planned orchestral structures. (…)

This is music for the whole body. And the soloists of the orchestra are brilliant. (…)

With the ‘Konstanz Suite’ Lauer Large has produced in the best meaning of the word a complex and extraordinary CD-opus, a wild nature reserve of dizzying music. «

(Christian Munch-Hansen, Jazz-Special 02/03 2010, DK)
→ Original Version in Danish

At the end of the concert when the 16 musicians had woven their bows into a suggestively springy sound pattern, you were properly drawn and sucked into the hermit's hut in the Bayerischer Wald, where the trombonist Johannes Lauer, 27, had composed this suite.
At the beginning of the 30th year of the “Art of Jazz” series in the Tafel Hall the audience stamped their feet in applause for this new sounding work of art, even if this prominent big band hardly feels responsible for absent-minded foot tapping, rather for twitching brain cells.
Extraordinary, this project. «

(daer, Abendzeitung, 27.01.10)

» Lauer's Suite is autonomous, and that's just because he is conscious of the tradition of orchestra jazz from the classic big band to the global unity orchestra and uses this as a catalyst for the conversion of his own musical language. Furthermore he is a polyglot storyteller who knows as much about the acceptable pattern of composed music as about tonal und metrically independent improvised music. (..) Here the transformation from existing becomes a basis for timeless improvisational music. «

(Martin Laurentius, Jazzthing April/May)

» This 28-year-old Johannes Lauer (…) is an extraordinary talent – as a soloist on the piano but especially on the trombone, as a composer crossing borders between jazz, modern classic and ‘musica nova’. A third talent is his sensitivity in uniting other musicians into ensembles with quite a unique sound.
Suddenly there is no longer a band leader but groups of two or three playing enthusiastically. Then there are completely contrary poetical passages with soft areas of disciplined musical unity. Every instrument is played with radical decisiveness but at the same time the overall sound of the ensemble is just as distinctive in each title. Not a general uniform sound. Brilliant! «

(Wolfram Frommlet, Schwäbische Zeitung, 25.01.10)

» "Haute couture of acoustics"

Lauer, born in 1982, does not only seek the violent eruption but loves as much the risky sound experiment of chamber musical dialogues.
Whether small, medium or large: the complex acoustic pictures seem capable of adopting any size in a versatile way. Even those acquainted with the patterns of contemporary big band jazz, will not cease to wonder how unorthodox, brilliant and rich in unusual applications the musical ‘haute couture’ is tailored and modelled here. «

(Peter Löw, Nürnberger Zeitung, 27.01.10)

» With “Lauer Large” the trombonist has succeeded in bringing together musicians who are so devoted to their playing and who have made the compositions so much their own that they can anticipate and simultaneously shape the music's development, with closed eyes listening to themselves and to the others for every musical turn, every movement, its dynamism, without being conducted by their leader. This was yet another reason for the audience's fascination of Johannes Lauer's music. «

(Beate Sampson, BR-Klassik, 10.3.2010)

» A big band with the ideal of a combo. Here decidedly acoustic jazz from today is being played. Tonal is not from the devil, just as little as vigorous rhythm. Clear structures are always apparent despite excessive freedom. These are performed quite discretely and due to their casual lightness remind us of the sound magician Gil Evans.
Lauer composes music which relies on such a great reservoir of voices but which can do entirely without the hefty flexing of muscles from the forceful wind instruments. It is his secret that he knows how to employ the tone colour of each individual musician. «

(Thomas Fitterling, Rondo, May 2010)

» The deep recognition and thinking of musical statements are typical of the trombonist, composer and bandleader. (…) No battle is being waged between American and European jazz. Here both traditions merge into one but have nevertheless their own independent standing. «

(Alfred Krondraf, Concerto 2/2010, A)

» Although I know of less than half of these musicians previously, I was most impressed nonetheless, as Jazzwerkstatt continues to support an emerging German underground of strong musicians, both known & little-known. "Klumpatsch" begins with an inspired duo of tenor sax (Weidner) and acoustic bass (Sieverts), while the rest of the horns slowing enter, sizzling and simmering. Two trumpeters (Peter Evans & Matthias Schriefl) kick off "Karies/Baktus" with some strong interplay and intense soloing, before the rest of the large ensemble enters tightly playing those crazy charts with Tyshawn's dynamic drums kicking up a storm. I dig Lauer's writing for the horns since he blends the harmonies superbly around whoever is soloing with just the right balance. Pianist Colin Vallon play a feisty solo on "Tekno" interacting intensely with Tyshawn while the rest of the horns swirl around them. It often sounds as if Johannes is directing since the interaction and charts are so tight. This is yet another winner from the ever-growing catalogue of gems from the fine folks at Jazzwerkstatt. «

(Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, NYC)

» "The return of the big bands"

(…) to the sound experiments of Lauer Large, a band led by the Berlin trombonist Johannes Lauer, which designs its sound landscapes in the spirit of the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock. The big band is a field of unlimited possibilities. «

(Stefan Hentz, der Freitag, 8.4.2010)

» The trombone player and composer Johannes Lauer produces here in a tender sound direction and thought-provoking developing times the encounters with his brilliant players from East and West. It's reminiscent of Gil Evans' colourful magic; in the freer passages now and again the articulations of the riskier handling of instruments explode. «

(Ulrich Olshausen, FAZ, 24.04.10)

Exerpt from the liner notes to "Lauer Large - Konstanz Suite" (Wolf Kampmann):

» Lauer Large is not the sum total of its individual members’ talents; it is a homogenous entity. In terms of line-up it is a big band, yet Lauer shatters all expectations regarding what is probably the most conventional jazz combo. Seldom has a large jazz group seemed so intimate, so much the product of an almost symbiotic conspiracy among its members. Lauer is a psychologist of sound who plays not only with his fellow musicians’ voices, but also with their energy as people. When bass and sax dreamily swirl around each other in the opening number, encircled at a distance by the rest of the band, they open up areas of warmth and anticipatory energy that demand to be conquered anew with each piece to come. The pressure to justify oneself that is so widespread in the jazz world seems completely foreign to Lauer. He provokes the listener’s ear, wresting it from the lethargy induced by satiated expectations and returning it to its primordial soul, freed from all prejudice. Provocation is a means of purification with which to sharpen the senses rather than a revolutionary end in itself. «