In Memoriam: Jeff Golub | Improvisations on Reality

I’m taking the liberty of reblogging Katherine Gilraine’s obituary on the sudden passing of guitar legend Jeff Golub:

“He’s family. All of us contemporary jazz folks are family. The photogs, radio people, artists – we are all a huge, close-knit family. Jeff is One Of Our Own. This is a loss that we will continue to feel on the Jazz cruises, at the festivals, at the events where he was a staple, when we go and see our mutual friends… This is a void that we will continue to feel when we hear Boom Boom on the radio or in shuffle mode on the music players. This is a pain that we will continue to feel for a while to come.”

In Memoriam: Jeff Golub | Improvisations on Reality.



Singer Joe Cocker dies aged 70 – video | Music | The Guardian

Unbelievable! So many iconic music artists taken from us last year and over the years. R.I.P., Mr. Joe Cocker.

Singer Joe Cocker dies aged 70 – video | Music | The Guardian.

A Superstar in the Making: Torsten Goods, Love Comes To Town – ACT Music – In the spirit of jazz

Love Comes To Town – CD – Torsten Goods at ACT Music – In the spirit of jazz.

I’m totally looking forward to seeing Torsten Goods perform at Bürgersaal Feldafing this coming Saturday! Much like above linked PR info and album liner notes already describe, Torsten Goods manages to blend all the iconic guitar talent that clearly informs and defines his style into the one homogenous phenomenon that he is: Passion meets a rich music foundation meets precise delivery and solid, thoroughly honed chops, which he presents with an innocent joyfulness reminiscent of children at play – it’s no surprise that press tout him as a performer with “talent galore”. But his talents don’t stop there, seeing as he wrote seven out of the total of 14 songs himself, which made the cut from no less than 40 original compositions, all of which he has written over the course of roughly two years that took him away from his current city Berlin to London in an endeavour to expose himself to a new environment and new inspiration to draw from.

Above introduction to Good’s latest work is a mindblowing read of a fast started career that kicked into higher gear from one year to the next. It is all the more remarkable in this context that Goods afforded himself a two-year hiatus prior to his current release in order to reexamine the trajectory his musical path followed and in order to possibly reassess where he was going. We feel delighted as well as relieved to hear him say about this CD that the Jazz club circuit is where his heart is and that Love Comes to Town is so far the most authentic and complete rendition of his artist personality. It gets almost scary to fathom the future material he might come up with after treating us to an effort that already sounds so mature, so well-balanced and at the same time relaxed that you can’t help but arrive at the feeling you’re listening to an all-time classic that’s been around forever, leaving its well deserved mark on music history as it weaves an effortless thread throughout the different musical eras and styles Goods boasts as his musical education. Well, as far as we’re concerned: Love Came to Town and firmly claimed its place in our collection of all time favorites!

For more information, follow above links and see his touring schedule.

(Images and linked copy courtesy of ACT Music, copyrights remain with their respective owners. Copy as published here © W. Nieke, 11/2013)

Michael Nitsch Band @ Bayerischer Hof Nightclub

Who would have thought that Bayerischer Hof Nightclub turns into a Lower Manhattan-type Jazz club on a random Tuesday night? But Michael Nitsch and his band of brilliant collaborators on the band stand made exactly that happen with natural ease and verve.

We had saved the date for weeks looking forward to Michael Nitsch presenting his recently released CD “Time“, which he masterminds as a leader while having the finest music talent of the “Northernmost Italian city” in the South of Germany collaborate on the album.

Opening the set with the first cut from the album, “Dawn“, the band set the tone right away for what was to become a state-of-the-art concert that confirms Bayerischer Hof Nightclub as one of the leading contemporary Jazz venues of the world. While Nitsch on lead guitar and Götz Grünberg on tenor saxophone wove a light-hearted mid-tempo theme, Patrick Scales on bass and Guido May on drums had a rock solid four-on-the-floor groove with a funky edge going from bar one, cleverly interspersed with off- and counterbeat accents, thus providing the rich rhythmic, dependable tapestry the soloists could break away from. And speaking of solos: While each of the collaborating performers proved their reputation as a-list talent being on promoters’, booking agents’ and studio owners’ speed dial, they even grew beyond their already impressive performances on the album, clearly enjoying themselves that night and bursting at the seams with energy and raw joy of performing!

Freedom“, the second tune on the album and on the setlist, opened on a sophisticated, funky slapped bass theme exquisitely delivered by Patrick Scales and joined in on by the band after four bars, going into a Fusion-informed main theme seasoned with some (Blues-) Rock guitar riffs that speak of the diverse music foundation Michael Nitsch is inspired by. With “Dawn” leaning towards mid- to uptempo, Freedom sported a more laid back, “pumping” beat that highlighted Scales’ and May’s “in the pocket” playing, impressively revealing their longstanding musical companionship as a highly sought after rhythm section.

Further exploring Nitsch’s musical influences, “Uncle Jack” took us right into the era of outstanding Bluesrock “stringslingers” the likes of which Nitsch so authentically channels through his guitar playing, while leaving his own personal signature on each of these styles. The intro to this tune gave Tino Derado one of his many shining moments that night by having him open the song on eight bars of improvising on an alterated turnaround chord progression sitting on top of a swung rhythm with a shuffle feel to it. Again, Scales’ and May’s playing fit like hand-in-glove as you’d expect of a well-versed and thoroughly experienced rhythm section.

The band closed out the first set on the title track “Time“, a contemplative Jazz ballad demonstrating the breadth and depths of musical interpretation of each of the artists, particularly so with May’s delicate handling of the brushes as well as Grünberg’s precise command of the reed.

Having listened to the incredible drum solo Guido May delivered on “They Will Return“, which sees the bass line accompany May’s most sophisticated offbeats and polyrhythmic kick and snare drum hits all throughout, one might have wondered what rendition of this challenging part of the cut they might come up with in a live setting. It was refreshing to see them throw in well-calculated fermatas on the one to keep the time of the song, thus most cleverly also keeping the audience’s attention firmly focussed on the drummer.

In order to relax a bit from this high energy tune with plenty of masterful soloing going on, Overberg, a composition contributed by Götz Grünberg, took us to calmer waters of the Jazz ocean tempowise, featuring Grünberg with a superbly structured, tension building solo channelling an influence most sax players will inevitably have to mention as a formative one: John Coltrane. Dynamics, tone, most refined musical expression are the qualities that need to be attributed to all band members and which became obvious in the most extraordinary way again during Grünberg’s solo.

Followers of Michael Nitsch’s Facebook profile will have noticed a number of inspirational posts drawing on the history of Native Americans. One might infer that the title “Wounded Knee” was at least in part informed by this stretch of early U.S. history and it starts on a chord progression delivered with a wah-wah guitar, thus adding another flavor to the mix of styles and episodes of music history. It wasn’t hard to see the band’s leader thoroughly enjoy himself while blasting out a whaling guitar solo that effortlessly connected Fusion with straight Rock and all the way back again.

Mousie is the closing track on the album and it marked the end of the second set that night as well, reiterating a straight Bluesrock informed chord progression and the shuffle feel typical of that genre, which certainly is Michael Nitsch’s musical forte.

Undeterred by some audience leaving after the second set in order to get an early start during a typical work week, the band performed a scintillating third set well after midnight, playing original Nitsch compositions as well as tunes by his and his band members’ musical role models, the likes of whom span Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Robben Ford to name just a few.

What better way is there to turn an otherwise slow Tuesday night into a memorable evening than by treating oneself to a show packed to the brim with music talent, tasteful delivery and inclined listeners who really appreciate what they’re seeing and listening to? I can’t think of a better option. Kudos to the band, the venue and – the audience for keeping refined music a defining aspect of our culture.

©W. Nieke, Oct. 2013

Michael Nitsch Band – Time

home - Michael Nitsch - guitar - composing

Just downloaded the excellent album “Time” by Michael Nitsch Band, which you get to purchase from

Michael, who originally hails from Cologne, Germany, was introduced to Jazz and taught his first guitar chords by his father Wolfgang. Music luminaries like Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Jim Hall, Tal Farlow and Kenny Burrell found their way into Michael’s music ear as early as age 12. During his later teen years, he also caught the “Blues bug” through music icons like e.g. B.B. King, Albert King, Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix. But a pivotal moment was his listening to the 1988 Robben Ford CD release “Talk to Your Daugther”, when he discovered through Ford how to blend Jazz and Blues into one organic fusion of styles.

As Michael honed his skills by playing countless live and studio gigs, particularly after having moved to Munich in 1998, he found opportunities to reap the rewards of his efforts by founding the lounge pop band “Fat’s Jojo Magic” first and getting hired as lead guitarist with the “Donelly Blues Band”. However, he has come into his own with the Michael Nitsch Band, sporting the finest German music talent and with whom he continues to exhilirate musical audiences at renowned music clubs and festivals throughout the country.

Other than touring and playing extensively, Michael hands down his expertise to students of the guitar, who benefit not only from his live and studio experience, but his formal education at MGI Cologne as well. In order to learn about live appearances, please also notice the band’s Facebook page. And last, but not least, treat yourself to this fine piece of music by taking a sneak listen on his website and ideally proceding to the purchase link.