After two acclaimed trio albums (“The End Of A Summer”, 2008, and “Imprint”, 2011) pianist Julia Hülsmann proposes a different project for her third ECM release, motivated initially by a performance by Berlin-based, English trumpet player Tom Arthurs: “It was a concert with his own compositions, with a string quartet, bass, drums and with himself on trumpet. I found the music so beautiful that I asked him on the spot to collaborate...” Arthurs, who has worked with musicians including John Surman, Iain Ballamy, Thomas Strønen and Kenny Wheeler, and who cites influences ranging from György Ligeti to filmmakers Andrei Tarkovsky and Jean-Luc Godard, gladly accepted. After first rehearsals had established musical compatibility, Hülsmann called upon the services of her trusted rhythm section of Marc Muellbauer (double bass) and Heinrich Köbberling (drums): “Especially in this new context it is immensely helpful that we have known each other musically for so long and so well.” Thus the Julia Hülsmann Trio became the Julia Hülsmann Quartet – with a prominent role for Tom Arthurs as strong new frontline voice. The new constellation has also changed the nature of the musical relations amongst the long-serving members of the group. Heinrich Köbberling recalls the first concert of the new line-up at Berlin’s Pianosalon Christophori: “Many of the things I normally played in the trio with Julia and Marc didn’t work in this context. The whole sound of the band had changed and I needed a couple of tunes to get used to the new impulses. But then everything seemed to fall into place, and you could feel how Tom adds hundreds of new colours to our band sound.” These additional colours have also inspired Julia Hülsmann as player, writer and arranger. “With an extra melody player I can devise my accompaniment differently on the piano. I can make my chords more wide, use different registers without getting in my own way. And also doubling up melody voices as in the title track ‘In Full View’ is very delightful. In the past we hardly could do any unison parts – but I find it really thrilling when instruments blend. There are some spots on the new CD when you first hear a sound before you can tell how it is orchestrated.” The new group understanding has also had a stimulating effect on the composing activities within the quartet, with all members bringing compositions to the table. There was a wealth of material to work with. The programme is rounded off by the additions of “The Water” from Canadian singer-songwriter Feist (“I like these simple, clear melodies, with a totally unique charm”, says Hülsmann), “Richtung Osten”, penned by Heinrich Köbberling’s wife Fumi Udo, and Manuel de Falla’s “Nana” from the “Siete Canciones Populares Españolas” cycle of folk song arrangements. The release of “In Full View” is supported with an extensive tour, starting in Germany in April.
Julia Hülsmann (born in 1968 in Bonn) began playing piano at the age of 11. She formed her first band at the age of 16. In 1991 she moved to Berlin, and played in the Bundesjugendjazzorchestra under the direction of Peter Herbolzheimer. Recordings under her name have included collaborations with Roger Cicero, Rebekka Bakken, and Anna Lauvergnac.
Trumpeter, flugelhornist and composer Tom Arthurs (born 1980) studied with Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano and Jim Black at Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada). His work situates itself between large scale commissions for orchestra and beyond, chamber jazz, and highly experimental improvised music. He has performed with (amongst others) John Surman, John Taylor, Tom Rainey, Drew Gress, Ingrid Laubrock, Jack DeJohnette, Iain Ballamy, Thomas Strønen, Nicolas Masson, Kenny Wheeler and electronic music manipulators Icarus. Recent recordings include albums by Eric Schaefer, Miles Perkin Quartet, H3B and with Richard Fairhurst.
Bassist Marc Muellbauer (born in London in 1968) also leads his own nine-piece band, Kaleidoscope. He has a wide musical background ranging from contemporary classical to tango, as well as jazz with diverse formations. Currently he is also a member of the Lisbeth Quartett. Muellbauer teaches double-bass at the Jazzinstitut Berlin. Drummer Heinrich Köbberling (born in Bad Arolsen/Hessen in 1967) has worked with Aki Takase, Ernie Watts, Anat Fort, Richie Beirach and many others: he has played on around 50 jazz albums. A 1997 leader date, “Pisces” included Marc Johnson and Ben Monder as sidemen. Köbberling teaches drums at the FMB Conservatory in Leipzig.
“In Full View” was recorded in Olso’s Rainbow Studio in June 2012, and produced by Manfred Eicher.