Jochen Rueckert

Jazzline Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


Jazz drummer Jochen Rueckert flaunts his mastery around his drums like former WWF champion Steve Austin likes to use his middle finger. Rueckert's skill is obvious and demands listeners to get closer to the stereo to hear the accuracy with which he executes rimshots and syncopated cymbal rhythms.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Rueckert seems to acknowledge his drumming, while impressive, would not hold a listener's interest. He has assembled bassists Matt Penman and Johannes Weiden Muller, guitarists Kurt Rosenwinkle and Ben Monder, and saxophone players Chris Potter and Hayden Chisholm to create smokin' versions of some jazz standards. Each track, except two, are safely above the six minute tick, which allows all the musicians the room to stretch.

Rueckert takes his solo during Kerner & Lewis' "Just Friends," capitalizing on his small bass drum-tom-floor tom-snare setup to coax multiple sounds. His rimshots are on the mark and his snare sound is warm. His set, throughout the disc, should be noted for its full ambient sound. During his solo, you can hear the character of his toms with slight echoes after he has struck them. His cymbal work is tasteful and interesting.

Although it's not meant to be part of the album, at 11:24 in track 8, the musicians start jamming a couple of Nirvana songs. It is interesting to hear the "serious" musician stretch out in what sounds like a fun jam. Rueckert sounds out of place, though, as a rock drummer. His fills sound less than comfortable and the overall timekeeping is sloppy.

But it was meant to be fun, as Introduction is, on two levels: to hear vintage tracks by the likes of Bruebeck and Coltrane swung into the '90s by a new hot jazz drummer; and as a reminder that artists like Rueckert keep the jazz genre interesting and, importantly, alive!

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Jazzline Records, and is used for informational purposes only.