New Album: NILS WÜLKER & ARNE JANSEN „In Concert“ (out August 30 on Warner Music)

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Album Pre-Add, Vorbestellung und erste Single: https://inconcert.lnk.to/yayaya

Video: Nils Wülker & Arne Jansen „YaYaYa“ live at Prinzregententheater, Munich: https://youtu.be/UoShd7f84Z4

More expansion than sequel: After almost five years of working together as a duo, their celebrated program „Closer“ successfully brought Nils Wülker and Arne Jansen to the top of the charts and into some of the most beautiful concert halls at the beginning of 2023. With this new album, the two are logically igniting the next stage of their development. „In Concert“ is much more than just another live album – in terms of the precision of the moment and the breadth of its aural spaces. In thirteen exciting and all the while relaxed concert moments, this, Nils Wülker’s fourteenth, album turns the instrumental, expertly and electronically supported reduction to the interplay of trumpet and guitar into an all new, organically grown work of art.

„Compared to our studio album, there is a lot more interaction here,“ says Nils Wülker, who also mixed „In Concert“ in his own studio. „We are enjoying how we can explore our technical possibilities ever more, while being absolutely and completely free to do so by now – with each other and with the technology, that has become as second nature to us as playing our instruments.“ The opener „YaYaYa“, a congenial version of the ballad by Australian singer/songwriter RY X, already creates the exceptional, intimate atmosphere that runs through the entire sixty-nine minutes of the album. It speaks for the two musicians, for the music itself, but also for their audience that you can rather feel than hear the live atmosphere at the beginning. The listeners are euphoric, yet calm, almost reverent and concentrated, whether standing-room-only in the Fabrik in Hamburg or in the plush seats of Munich’s Prinzregententheater. The applause is often delayed until well into the final notes – only to erupt with even greater enthusiasm at just the right time.

Even during and around the live performances of “Closer”, which landed at #6 in the annual charts, #15 in the album charts and #1 in the jazz charts, audiences often talked of how refreshingly varied the duo’s program was. “In Concert” follows the dramaturgy of the live shows and so the voluptuous melodies of the opening songs are soon followed by the energetic “Deep Dive”, a lesson in the organic interweaving of looped rhythms and the joint and mutual build-up of the two musicians’ energies. The arcs of tension, developed and expanded in the process, are then constantly being reinforced and recreated – seemingly more effectively each time. Take, for example, the interlude from Trent Reznor’s “Hurt” into “Let’s Go Out Tonight” by The Blue Nile, which is freely improvised in the most emotional and melodic way. Here, too, the strengths of Wülker, the „great melodist“ (Die Zeit), are in evidence: the development of the motif and the melodic structure create wide open spaces in the solos and even more room for interaction.

The special quality in the interplay between Nils Wülker and Arne Jansen, which has matured over eight albums and even more years, is also evident in „Closer“ versions of three songs that were previously only available in larger instrumentation. „Wanderlust“, for example, which originally appeared on the studio album „On“ in 2017. The live version opens up completely new possibilities for the duo, culminating in a soulful question-and-answer of trumpet and guitar. „Highline“ stems from the 2020 band album „Go“. Originally a trumpet duo with Wülker’s American colleague Theo Croker, the song here turns into a funky showcase for the trumpeter and the guitarist, in which both can not only show what they can do, but above all how elegantly and closely they are able to weave their musical ideas together. To round things off, they play the floatingly glittering ballad “Rays Of Winter Sun,” which so far had only been released digitally as part of an EP late last year. A powerful, self-contained finale to this live album and yet another impressive statement of the combined development of this top-class duo.

  1. YaYaYa (Ry Mitchell Cuming)
  2. The Great He-Goat (Arne Jansen)
  3. Beyond the Bavarian Sky (Nils Wülker)
  4. Deep Dive (Nils Wülker)
  5. Nika’s Dream (Nils Wülker)
  6. Wanderlust (Nils Wülker)
  7. Intro (Arne Jansen)
  8. Hurt (Trent Reznor)
  9. Interlude (Nils Wülker)
  10. Let’s Go Out Tonight (Paul Gerard Buchanan)
  11. He Who Counts the Stars (Arne Jansen)
  12. Highline (Nils Wülker)
  13. Rays of Winter Sun (Nils Wülker)

Nils Wülker – trumpet & flugelhorn Arne Jansen – electric & acoustic guitars

Produced by Nils Wülker
Recorded live in concert during the „Closer“ tour in November 2023 and March 2024