Young German Jazz is growing up. And Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr are a prime example. Lou Reed's famous album title "Growing Up In Public" has become second nature for them. The two brothers recorded their debut album "Remember Chet" (2006) at the tender ages of 17 and 20 respectively. It is an homage to Julian's early role model – the trumpeter Chet Baker – and was received with great enthusiasm and accolades. Newspaper "Die Zeit" found the brothers' music to be "surprisingly out of the ordinary". The "Süddeutsche Zeitung" wrote of Julian Wasserfuhr's "magical tone". But it was first and foremost the broad audience that embraced these siblings from the sleepy little town of Hückeswagen.
For the second album "Upgraded in Gothenburg", producer Nils Landgren got the crème de la crème of the Scandinavian jazz scene involved, including Lars Danielsson, Magnus Lindgren and Ida Sand. "Gravity", album number three, was produced by percussion maestro Wolfgang Haffner, who also played the drums on the album and lent it his own aura of succinct jazz that aims straight for the soul. On allaboutjazz.com, British jazz critic Bruce Lindsay described the album as "a stylish recording of atmospheric, laidback jazz". Both productions were highly successful and together with the brothers' extensive touring, they helped grow a thriving fan base.
With their fourth album "Running", the Brothers Wasserfuhr are now definitely standing on their own four feet. It has turned out to be their most personal album, they themselves were responsible for most of the compositions, recording and production. That they decided to take that risk bears witness to the astounding maturity that these two musicians have already acquired despite their young ages.
On "Running", Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr call on the young musicians of the Cologne scene, who they also play their live gigs with. Bassist Benjamin Garcia Alonso and drummer Oliver Rehmann were important factors in making "Running", an album on which all pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fit. Strings here and there, father Gerald Wasserfuhr on the clarinet and the young vocalist David Rynkowski complete the line-up.
Among the many compositions that shape the album, there are a few that really stick out. The opener "Bachelor" injects a compelling power into the atmosphere of the album. "Stoned Remote" is an opulent ballad with judiciously deployed strings. The driving "7 Gegner" (7 opponents) astonishes and the carelessly bouncing "Rocholz-Korosak" is just pure fun. And then there are songs like "Joy and Sorrow", which has a touching existential simplicity, and the ever-flowing "Uncertainty" with its sunny theme.
The Israeli pianist and composer Itai Sobol wrote the English lyrics for the songs "Go On" and "See You Again", which David Rynkowski sings with consummate stylish assuredness. On "See You Again" the drums and bass take a break and the Wasserfuhr brothers can be heard alone in an intimate duet.
And the Wasserfuhrs allowed themselves to add two instrumental cover versions as well. Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr take "Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who, and turn it into an enchanted ballad. Then they strip the Beatles number "Nowhere Man" of its superimposed cheerfulness and reduce it down to its essence.
Throughout the entire album, the silky sound of Julian Wasserfuhr's trumpet gives the listener the feeling of being right at home. But one shouldn't underestimate the contribution of his brother Roman, who has long outgrown the role of the unerring inspiration. He gives the music something to hold on to, a foundation, while at the same time allowing it to fly. And so it is that Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr's desire to have their music meet with open arms and ears once again takes shape.