Monday, May 26, 2014

Vertigo Trombone Quartet - Developing Good Habits

Vertigo Trombone Quartet
Developing Good Habits

Nils Wogram - Trombone
Andreas Tschopp - Trombone
Bernhard Bamert - Trombone
Jan Schreiner – Bass Trombone

The Internet is a wonderful thing. Not a startling revelation, I know, but that’s how I came to hear a sample from Nils Wogram’s new group, an aggregation I could have easily overlooked. For despite the fact that Wogram is an excellent musician, whose 2012 album Complete Soul I’ve previously reviewed, a trombone quartet would normally have been low on my list of groupings to investigate.

That would have been my loss, for Developing Good Habits is an engaging, multi-textured record. It’s fascinating to hear how lines get introduced, extended, blended and developed between the four players. Some of the record brings to mind a swaggering Ellington brass section, and some of it a classical chamber quartet. The group doesn’t get into a lot of extended techniques, but they’re not missed, as the quartet generates a nice full, rounded sound with intricate arrangements that support solo passages. 

There’s a lot of life, joy and humanity in Nils Wogram’s music, and it’s present on Habits in abundance. The music is forward-thinking, but it doesn’t lose the connection to the emotional reasons why we listen to jazz. The Vertigo Trombone Quartet strikes a nice balance between accessibility and adventure.

Developing Good Habits is available as a CD or download from Nil’s NWog Records site.

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