Bar code: 8427328436106
"Drummer Peter Kronreif has played jazz, hip-hop and R&B around New York since 2010. For Aeronautics, his second album with his band Wayfarers, the Austrian rhythm keeper indicates jazz as his main love with a melodic, grooving, hard bop set.
Like many drumming bandleaders, Kronreif doesn’t showcase his percussive skills so much as his compositions, keeping the rhythms driving but non-flashy. The instrumental spotlights shine more brightly on saxophonists Andrew Gould (alto) and Lucas Pino (tenor), who carry the heaviest load as far as riffs and tunes go, and lead the way in chewy solo satisfaction. Pianist Addison Frei and bassist Martin Nevin get their chances to shine as well, however – Frei in particular makes an impressive showing, not only with a few dazzling breaks, but most importantly with his lushly harmonic, foundation-setting chordal work. Guitarists Matthias Loescher and Alex Wintz join the fun on the dynamic“Obeisance” and the tension-filled “Nodoc” respectively.
For some seriously strong group interplay on good tunes, check the brash “The Undefeated,” the moody “Verdura” (the only song on which Frei plays electric piano), the bristling “Trees,” and the swingingly groovy title track. Between Kronreif’s writing and his band’s performance, Aeronautics is a great showcase for some strong jazz talent that’s relatively unknown – for now."
Michael Toland (February 8, 2021)
"The tangible rhythmic work of Austrian-born, Brooklyn-based drummer/composer Peter Kronreif has been enriching projects by the German pianist Florian Hoefner and the American saxophonist Remy LeBoeuf. Aeronautics marks his return as a leader, comprising nine original compositions where we find him at the helm of his renewed group The Wayfarers. The ensemble features musicians with whom he has developed a special kinship throughout the years, including saxophonists Lucas Pino and Andrew Gould (the only member that transitioned from the 2010 debut Gloaming), pianist Addison Frei and bassist Martin Nevin.
The opening piece, “Obviously Obvious” is pleasantly laid down with warm melody, an inquisitive tempo and adroit soloing that derives from the productive vocabularies of Pino, whose tenor navigates tight curves and acute angles, and Nevin, whose beautiful touch puts up a light and thoughtful statement.
The initial idea for the title track, “Aeronautics”, was developed in various airports, and the group only takes off the ground after bass and drums entwine in a sturdy foundation. On top of it, it’s Frei’s glowing pianism that stands out. The combination of rock music and contemporary jazz sets a rich background for Pino, who makes some spine-chilling notes soar high before reuniting in unison with his fellow reedman for a subsequent polyrhythmic section.
The band concentrates efforts in certain details that tie everything together, and that comes to our view on pieces like “The Undefeated”, an energetic look at Hemingway’s short story of the same name, here told with firm melodic imprints; “Verdura”, a breathable sonic bubble featuring electric piano and giving off a tranquil aura dedicated to everything green on our planet; and “Trees”, which, following the latter piece in the message, thrives with exuberant exchanges between the saxophonists.
Guest guitarists Matthias Loescher and Alex Wintz are featured on one track each. The former provides textural pigmentation to “Obeisance”, a swinging post-bop number whose extraordinary grace and plush lyricism are inspired by Kronreif’s major influences, John Coltrane and Brian Blade. In turn, Wintz boasts his immense sound and resilient drive on “Nodoc”, shaping up a rhythmic figure in five that helps better define the backbone.
Leading and composing with charisma, Kronreif should keep on doing his own thing."
Filipe Freitas (February 1, 2021)
"Listening to Peter Kronreif’s Wayfarers new album Aeronautics, due out on 5th February 2021 on the Fresh Sound New Talent label, set me thinking about the various categories we use to define and classify jazz and related musics. Aeronautics is an enjoyable album that features a quintet led by the Austrian drummer Peter Kronkief with a double saxophone front line (alto and tenor), piano and double bass. Kronreif is now based in New York, and the album features his regular quintet there, plus guest spots for two guitarists. All the musicians on the album are new names for me.
The album is definitely a jazz album, and in a blindfold test listeners would almost certainly classify the music as being firmly based in the traditions of modern jazz. But is it modern jazz or contemporary jazz? I see modern jazz as referring to the developments in the music from the mid 1940s, that is bop, hard bop and to so-called cool jazz emerging largely on the West Coast of the USA whereas contemporary jazz refers more or less anything that followed from the end of the 1950s and into the 1960s, that is modal jazz and the free jazz of Ornette Coleman, late Coltrane and Albert Ayler plus all the various developments outside the USA.
As free playing has developed and moved away from the harmony and rhythms of jazz, many free players have preferred to refer to their music as improvised music, emphasising that it is quite distinct from jazz. While I accept that improvised music often inhabits a different sound world and approach from free jazz, I also notice that many players and bands move between passages that might be defined as free jazz into other passages that we would probably define as improvised music. Another aspect of this is that many bands today also move between a structured approach and a free approach. Tim Berne’s music for his Caos Totale and Snakeoil groups is an excellent example of music that is based on written material, but moves in and out of that material into free improvisation. In the UK music by Kit Downes and Tom Challenger provides another example.
There is an increasing tendency to refer to all this music that moves between structure and freedom as creative music. I like this term; it has positive connotations, captures the innovation of much of today’s music that draws on other genres of music, for example contemporary classical or various forms of black music, hip hop, grime and Afrobeat.
Nonetheless, it strikes me that there is a problem with the use of the general term creative music for a number of specific styles of music. This is apparent when I listen to and think about the Aeronautics album. It is a good and listenable album, which has excellent written material and solos. It is fresh, has a good rhythmic feel and introduces some variety in the format thereby avoiding the formulaic approach of head + solos + head out. In all this it is creative, but it is not innovative and would probably not be classified as an example of creative music. It is a jazz album faithful to the traditions of jazz, but creative within those traditions.
Perhaps I’ll stick to Duke Ellington’s definition: there are simply two kinds of music, the good and the other kind."
Tony Dudley-Evans (December 21, 2020)
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