Good News and Good Vibrations in Giessen, 13 July 2014


“Groovige Jazz-Arrangements ließen die kühle Umgebung schnell vergessen. Zahlreiche Zuhörer hatten sich zum letzten der „Botanischen Konzerte“ der Justus-Liebig-Universität in dieser Saison auf der Veranstaltungswiese zwischen regennassen Bäumen eingefunden. Gastgeber Prof. Ekkehard „Eggi“ Jost kündigte eine „hochkarätige kleine Band“ an, das Trio 105 aus Berlin, und wünschte „gute Vibrationen“.” Bitte lesen Sie den vollständigen Artikel hier.

In English:

“With the groovy jazz arrangements, the cool environment was quickly forgotten as many listeners gathered for the last of the “Botanical Concerts” at the Justus-Liebig-University on the event lawn between rain-soaked trees. Host Prof. Ekkehard “Eggi” Jost announced a “high-profile small band”: the 105 jazz trio from Berlin, and wished everyone “good vibrations”.

The 105 Jazz Trio includes pianist Uli Lenz, who was born in Frankfurt and already established as one of the best jazz musicians in Germany after traveling around the world, and has now been in the capital for years. In addition, Gerhard Kubach, “a true Berliner from Prenzlauer Berg”, holds an important role in a trio with his double bass, and not just in terms of rhythm. Finally, Zam Johnson shines on drums. Originally from L.A., he has been a resident for many years in Berlin, and can be found in various clubs and combos. Together, this year they released their latest CD, “Thinking about you”.

In addition to older standards like “Just in Time” presented in a whole new garb, the musicians introduced pieces from their trip to Libya in Africa. These included the wonderfully rhythmic “Dar es Salama” and “Amampondo” by Miriam Makeba, the latter proved to be in the free-jazz version of listenable African world music.


Three excellent musicians, and it’s hard to decide whether they were to be admired more in their solo play or in the common musical performance. Lenz, Kubach and Johnson form a trio that repeatedly drive listeners to new heights but also can “chill” in gentle harmonies.

As soloists they excel at their instruments. Uli Lenz shined on his piano with the greatest dexterity and joy of improvisation, and the multiple applause was more than deserved. Which sounds and rhythms a bass can produce, Kubach proved himself a virtuoso in the handling of his instrument. Plucking, sliding: anything was possible! Zam Johnson on the drums sometimes went at breakneck pace but always paused at the right time. Jazz fans were beside themselves, and even for the drummer and the bass player, there were always applause.

The musicians brought unmistakable and real fun with pianist Uli Lenz returneing a compliment to the host: “We are pleased and proud that the jazz legend has invited us. Ekki, we love you.” What a pleasing conclusion to the “Botanical concerts”, and too bad the season is now over.”


Photo: Hahn-Grimm at Gießener Anzieger

Translation and interpretation by Red Haircrow


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