Laia Genc & Roger Hanschel: “Change Follows Vision”
JazzHausMusik, Köln – JHM259 (2018)
Recording: Loft, Köln – Christian Heck (5-7 October 2017)
Edit: Meinil Studio, Köln – Roger Hanschel (November 2017)
Mix: Tonart Studio, Kerpen – Christian Heck (January 2018)
Mastering: CSMastering, Wien – Christoph Stickl (April 2018)
Duo Photo: Markus Braun
Grafic Design: Roger Hanschel, Laia Genc, faberludens
Cover Art: Köln bazlı bir sokak sanatçısı
Laia Genc (piano)
Roger Hanschel (saxophone)
1. Charlie’s Reverberations
4. Change Follows Vision
6. Begebenheiten I
8. Personal Dharma
My previous reviews focused on local musicians and bands and albums released by recording labels that I follow closely. However, I also wish to touch upon albums released by lesser known labels that I have been following and the different perspectives on jazz from other countries. This is a piano-saxophone duo project from “JazzHaus Musik – Köln”, a company based in the big city of Cologne that has been present in the German jazz scene: “Change Follows Vision” lead by pianist Laia Genc and alto saxophonist Roger Hanschel. I remember Laia Genc’s 2016 concert at Zorlu PSM during XJAZZ Festival, supported by BAU Istanbul Berlin Art Bridge & NRW Kunststiftung with vocalist Başak Yavuz, and Genc has also worked with Korhan Erel, one of the leading names in Turkey when it comes to free improvization. Her collaboration with Roger Hanschel, who has played with NDR Big Band and Norwegian Wind Ensemble as a guest soloist and has received the WDR Music Award in 2018, is an unusual piano-saxophone duo whose likes I am unfamiliar with. “Change Follows Vision” is a diligent and intense example to great communication that is hard to achieve when composition and improvization are concerned with formations like trios/quartets/quintets in mind.
I think “Nazmiye” is the most romantic piece of the album with great mastery over the instruments and I believe “Interlude” requires staccato mastery with the difficulty of its performance. The effect of the duo on their audience in the titular “Change Follows Vision” makes one want to listen the album over and over again to re-experience this incredible experience. Laia’s composition “Lifeaholic” is a dynamic piece which showcases the virtuosity of the musicians and “Begebenheiten I” brings forward chaos, fear, emotional trauma even though it mainly focuses on the premise of hope. “Personal Dharma” brings the tension level up a notch and it conveys a feeling of stress that can easily be felt. These pieces are the highlights of this 70 minute-long, special album. The duo fill the free spaces they leave for each other successfully without overshadowing each other.
“Change Follows Vision” is released by JazzHausMusik – Köln, a company that is confident, grounded and always has its doors open for courageous examples of jazz. The album reminds us how accessible high quality music can be.