“Finally! You’ll be tempted to gaze up to heaven and let out a cry of relief. Germany has not seen the likes of a jazz guitar player such as Arne Jansen from Berlin for decades. Perhaps never.“ Jazzthetik, Wolf Kampmann
CD-Release May 2013
Arne Jansen “The Sleep of Reason – Ode to Goya”:
“Arne Jansen has long been one of the german jazz scenes hot tips, but with his new album he outstrips even himself. Jansen transforms himself from guitarist to storyteller. One can close one’s eyes, enter completely and utterly into Jansen’s intense sound-painting, and abandon oneself to the music. Terrific!” Eclipsed
“Arne Jansen creates a warm, storytelling jazz sound, which the ear and imagination gladly follow.” Jazzthing
“U2 and Francisco de Goya find themselves merging together in one song – and it works!” Jazzthing
“Arne Jansen has achieved a striking, evocative, and intense musical work, which will resound for a long time to come.” Jazzpodium
“Album Of The Week” Radio-Station NDR INFO „Play Jazz“
“Jansen’s music has a totally individual quality. After only a short while, his music exerts an intense magnetic power upon the listener, which it is almost impossible to extract oneself from.” About Jazz
“The compilation of inner tones and colours spans across the 150 years and connects the two artists Goya and Jansen.” Concerto
“One of the best jazz guitarists.” Fono Forum
“Between Grunge and Goya – an album which goes beyond the boundaries of genre.” Kulturnews
“Under his hands the electric guitar can break loose like a thunderstorm.” Stereo
Press Quotes Nils Wülker and Arne Jansen Duo
Virtuosity & Balladic
Nils Wülker and Arne Jansen enthusiastically received as a duo rather than a large ensemble
Friday night, sold out. A mere two men playing on two times three valves and two times six strings respectively. But on the floor before them, numerous buttons, pedals and cables. Nils Wülker and Arne Jansen, who both performed here last year in larger constellations, are now performing on their own. So what’s missing? Nothing, absolutely nothing. The duo is simply perfect.
However, this shouldn’t imply that they are taking it easy, because their music is progressively infectious. The trumpet player, here a celebrated star, demonstrates in the off that there is more room than for one matador on this instrument and that a jazz musician doesn’t have to ingratiate himself to a pop audience. He sometimes likes to switch to the flugelhorn and dares to play stretched-out melodies as well as briefly exhaled individual or double notes. All the while, he is insanely virtuoso, yet captivating with a ballad-like calmness.
In the same tradition, his partner on the acoustic and electric guitar plays the role of either the plucking accompanist or the highly present rhythm group. His playing also often amplifies, distorts, enchants and plucks, sending astounding results into space. As if they were telling each other stories, tossing and catching inspirations and cues back and forth. For a moment they seem to be entirely sunk in deep melancholy, only to then breathlessly pick up, having fun at getting going again.
For the most part, the works the trumpet player and guitarist start up – no, fire up! – are their own, including older pieces originally created for larger ensembles (however there was no instrumental variety missing at the Dresden concert) and include some “construction sites” that are in the midst of being tested and that are already rich in playfulness and powerful expression. Apart from their virtuosity, the listener is fascinated by the ingenious use of electronic means. Loops, interval shifts and a guitar phrase turning into an accordion, these are just three examples of the spectrum of sound by this adventurous duo with a leaning towards rock and fusion.
Of course they aren’t allowed off stage without an encore and, of all things, Nils Walker and Arne Jansen have chosen to change genres with the title: “With a Little Help from My Friends”, by the Beatles – performing this catchy song entirely in their own style, a mixture of natural and electronic sound.
Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, Aldo Lindhorst, Kultur, Page 9, January 23rd, 2012
Nils Wülker and Arne Jansen in the Harmonie
Nils Wülker, together with the guitarist and musical companion, Arne Jansen, interprets previous compositions and arrangements in an excitingly new way. The congenial duo is now presenting its programme in the Endenicher Harmonie, cool and reduced in sound, yet not less intensive than a band.
Despite the reduced line-up, a rich atmospheric sound is developed through an intensive dialogue between both musicians, spherical and forceful at the same time. The duo situation gives both musicians a lot of room to unfold a downright magical sound, that Wülker especially celebrates in the gentle ballads.
Jansen continually contributes bewitching, acoustic patterns and is at the same time the duo’s rhythmic motor in the groove-oriented pieces. The guitar riffs are cloned with loops and delay effects, creating driving beats over which the duo can set off their solo fireworks.
General-Anzeiger Bonn, Robert Fontani, January 26th, 2012
Nils Wülker and Arne Jansen in Theaterstübchen
„Wülker gave his trumpet free reign to dream, Jansen plucked and simultaneously caressed his guitar. In doing so, the guitarist partially added some reverb to his instrument, allowing the echoes to resonate in gentle solos, and added further effects that melted together. Sometimes he hit rhythmic abbreviations, programmed to repeat, then played further chords, layering these on top of those. At times he formed distorted rock sound layers on his guitar, onto which Wülker merged his extremely well-timed and creative melodies, or at other times, Jansen caressed his instrument as if he was about to play a lullaby. It was simply brilliant how Wülker constantly added new sonic elements and creations to his partner’s ever-changing sonic paintings.”
Kassel Zeitung, Steve Kuberczyk-Stein, January 19th, 2012
Weightless Jazz Dialogues
Nils Wülker and Arne Jansen practice duo format at KulturForumKiel.
As if someone had suspended musical gravity: A trumpet player and guitarist conduct airy dialogues, without having a drummer to divide time, a bass to keep them grounded, or a piano filling the free space between.
The line-up that Nils Wülker and Arne Jansen chose for their well-attended performance at the KulturForum is more than rare in jazz. However, from the first note onwards, the result sounds somehow familiar.
After two years of collaboration, we wanted to try out what is possible in a duo format, says the perhaps most well-known German trumpet play next to Till Brönner at the end of the first piece. And quite a lot is possible, whereby one shouldn’t take the word “duo” literally. Apart from his electric and acoustic guitar, Arne Jansen has an arsenal of technology “that would shine beside any airplane’s cockpit”, Wülker jokes. There’s no problem letting a rhythm guitar loop run next to the solo. There’s no problem augmenting the trumpet with so much reverb that the instrument resounds from all sides.
That’s rather a lot of metal in the air. Yet the contrast between the brass and string instruments remains sufficiently marked and appealing. This music would work well as a soundtrack for a road movie, entirely in the service of beauty without a trace of ingratiation. Anyone who is annoyed by the proximity of Nils Wülker’s regular productions to smooth jazz will experience here an inspired and wonderfully clearly played trumpet and flugelhorn. Fortunately on this evening he also refrains from singing. In terms of their roles, they are for the most part equally divided. Wülker of course performs as a soloist only in the next moment to accompany his vis-á-vis sparingly with a few phrases. The duo loosens things up with their clever choice of pieces. Apart from the thick, atmospheric, dreamy works, they present popular funk songs and a chamber music cover of Soundgarden’s grunge hit “Black Hole Sun”. By using his acoustic guitar on this, he increases the distance to the original and creates room for a unique, pleasantly lyrical interpretation. Not that the duo is generally in the defence. Every now and again, Jansen is surprisingly bowled over, letting his instrument whine and howl.
The audience is readily enthused by all this. When the duo leads into the finale with the Beatles “With A Little Help From My Friend”, the guests hardly want to let them off stage. Back on stage, they simply keep on playing the song. Which is just fine on such a wonderfully well-rounded evening.
Kieler Nachrichten, Oliver Stenzel, Saturday, January 28th, 2012
Press Quotes CD & Concert-Reviews
Music convention “Jazz Ahead” in Bremen:
“The high points of the various evenings’ concerts in Bremen were the performances given by the british jazz legend John McLaughlin and by the Berlin-based Arne Jansen Trio.”
Radio Bremen, 25.04.2010
Finally! You’ll be tempted to gaze up to heaven and let out a cry of relief. Germany has not seen the likes of a jazz guitar player such as young Arne Jansen from Berlin for decades. Perhaps never.
Wolf Kampmann, Jazzthetik, October 2008
Jansen’s trio gave a furious concert – spectacular music, emphatic and expressive, with awesome dynamics.
Angela Ballhorn, Concert at Jazz Baltica 2009, Jazzthetik
Without doubt one of the biggest guitar talents in this country.
Dirk Bremshey, Hamm Live, December 2008
The concert by the Arne Jansen Trio from Berlin was a feat of extraordinary ordinariness. This music rests in its beauty and refuses to succumb to extravagant experimentalism or superficial athletics. Every one of Jansen?s notes exhales authenticity.
Concert at “10 Years of Enjoy Jazz 2008”, Jazzpodium, Volker Doberstein, 12/2008
„Friedensreich“ (with Katja Riemann) in Kiel: The guitarist Arne Jansen wrote the accompanying arrangements with here (Katja Riemann), at one moment a lullaby, at the next a drone of stormy loops. Jansen distills the melodic idea, the narrative seed, from Rammsteins testosterone-packed teutonic martial music, and expands upon it with astounding musical intelligence. Never before has Rammstein sounded so clever and comprehensible.“
Kieler Nachrichten, Jens Raschke, 02.12.2009
„Friedensreich“ (with Katja Riemann) in Gera: „On stage, Arne Jansen, an entire orchestra of a musician, and Riemann. She speaks, aspirates, whispers, hyperventilates the brilliant, merciless, wistful Berg texts, sings, growls, yells songs by Rammstein and others. And suddenly, everyone is together in this one room: bad boys oi, oi, allotment holders with their damned sense of longing, vain artists, common shop assistants and the whole ruined, cute, narrow-minded, broken, cynic, kitsch, one-and-only Father- and „Muvver“-land. Art will never be able to change it, but can at least sharpen awareness, and that is exactly what is achieved in this „Doitschland evening“.
Ostthüringer Zeitung 14.10.2009
„Friedensreich“ (mit Katja Riemann) in Oldenburg: a special word of praise to the instrumentalist: equipped with only guitar and effect pedals, Jansen creates a densely atmospheric, and at all times a fitting counterbalance to the lyrics east-German heavy metal band Rammstein.”
NWZ, Matthias Mineur, 23.06.2009
CD “Younger Than That Now” (2008)
“The outcome? A dense and complex mixture of melodic atmospheres and sustained rhythms, whereby Jansen is pleasantly restrained on his Gibson guitar. The musical mood with its relaxed thoughtfulness is perhaps reminiscent of Scandinavian jazz.
A lot of the song titles as well as the poetic associations Jansen includes in the booklet notes manifest a relation to the foreign author, (Haruki) Murakami, as a tribute. Jansen feels intrinsically connected to his creative process and dramaturgy. He often has a similar experience to Murakami when writing: initially an idea shines, a thought sparkles. Jansen then pursues it and translates it into music that is rich in imagery. This is the inception of a wonderful song.”
Tagesspiegel, Roman Rhode, Nov. 4, 2008
“At the end of 2005 we were thrilled with „My Tree“ (Traumton 4486) ; and in order to express our thoughts about Arne Jansen’s new album, we could use nearly the exact same vocabulary: a guitar of the likes of Rosenwinkel/Muthspiel; an exceptionally, stylish performer and composer, inexhaustible single-note playing; beyond all post-modern clichés, exciting, striking, astonishing. The Berlin guitarist is above all himself, a highly musical economistof beauty, of bearing, of space. He is an artist of reduction, such as in the beguilingly beautiful, almost minimalist and programmatic opening title „On the Shore“ , who furthermore, like in „Setting Forth“ chooses prudently open strings over dramatically changing chords.
Arne’s truly large world, remains a reductionist one: at over nine minutes, the opus „The end of the world“, the three provide a prime example of ‘less is more’; AJ has dedicated the piece to Haruki Murikami, the japanese author with innumerable references to pop, rock music and jazz. Here there is no tamtam crescendo to be found. Here reigns the softly breathing Moment, quiet, but powerful in its meaning, which we know through Haiku and Tanka.
Arne Jansen and his trio offer wonderful music, music which contains much more than the ostensibly audible: an amazing amount of far-eastern wisdom.”
Jazzpodium, Alexander Schmitz, October 2008
“The Dylan Factor:
Guitarist Arne Jansen is setting new standards in the Berlin jazz scene. In spite of legions of motivated jazz musicians, innovation, individuality and international standards rarely sewn/few and far between. Arne Jansen brings this stagnancy to an end.
Jansen is a gentle extremist. The pieces on his new album „Younger Than That Now“ are totally new and fresh, and yet stirs long-standing musical memories of jazz, rock and folk.
He seeks his inspiration in Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Radiohead or Bob Dylan, from whom he has also borrowed the title for his album.
„The simplicity in music moves me, even if it be acoustic pop, which comprises only three chords.“
Jansen doesn’t disclaim examples like John Scofield, Pat Metheney or Bill Frisell, but his version of jazz sounds more like instrumental rock. He plays without each and every pressure, he can let go where others get in the way. „I don’t want my music to be aloof. Art for itself alone, which catches life through a long-distance lens, is meaningless to me. I sometimes buy records, which on first hearing impress me, but then I catch myself and realise that I never listen to them again“. Jansen’s songs are an unbroken line between White Stripes and Neil Young. Jazz or not, Jansen translates his influences into a Berlin jargon, the sounds of daily life in the German capital, from the dust of the building sites to the scent of hot-dog stands in the beer garden.”
TIP Berlin 2.10.2008
“The german guitarist demonstrates his skill in the subject of lucidity. This musician unerringly casts his exquisitely honed tones, droplet-like, in these eight instrumentals in such an economical and trembling fashion, that is simply inimitable, original, wilful and awe-inspiring.
Together with Eva Kruse (b) and Eric Schaefer (dr), the berliner’s album (production) succeeds in transporting us somewhere between the impressionism of Mike Goodricks, the nordic/northern Blues of Terje Rypdal, and the economical performance concept of Jim Hall, off the beaten track of traditional jazz, over-theoretical dogma and avantgarde forces. Wonderfully nonconformist.”
Gitarre & Bass, 11/2008
” Arne Jansen Trio: „Younger than That Now“ (Traumton)The guitarist Arne Jansen has two thirds of Michael Wollny’s successful trio in his band. The Berliner composes simple, good-sounding melodies. He studied with, among others, Pat Metheny qnd John Abercrombie, and was a member of the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Jansen and Kruse also play in the quartet „Firomanum“, which enchanted this year’s Jazzfest Berlin.”
KulturSPIEGEL 12/2008 Neue CDs Jazz
Freedom and Euphoria. Musicians describe, why a work lies close to their hearts – this time: Arne Jansen, Guitarist
„ I love the freedom of improvisation – listening to your fellow musicians and the shared act of composing ‘in the moment”; With composition, just as with improvisation, I follow a melodic motif, which stirs something in me. I then try to follow this feeling through to wherever it may choose to lead me. It concerns much less a conscious creative process, and much more so, an unconscious journey of discovery, in which I try to follow melodic motif which moves me in some way. I greatly admire the masters of these skills, such as Miles Davis, Bod Dylan, Mahler or Radiohead. This all has to do with my musical development of course. After beginning as a rock guitarist, with a predeliction for Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler, I discovered, with near blind euphoria, jazz. Over a period of about ten years, I have engaged myself extremely intensively with this musical form of expression. And so it is for me a necessity and a great pleasure, to play music together with my colleagues Eva Kruse and Eric Schaefer, music which takes her inspiration from all these various styles, and is ingrained with jazz, as well as rock and pop music.“
Tagespiegel Berlin, Spielzeit, 30.10.2008
CD „My Tree” (2006)
“Seven self-composed pieces are presented by the 30 year old guitarist and composer Arne Jansen, one of Peter Herbolzheimer’s favourite guitarists in the new german generation, on his debut Album with Eva Kruse and Eric Schaefer, both active for the last seven years in various ensembles, which he has recorded for Traumton Records.
To be found on „My Tree“ are well structured compositions, in which solo passages and improvisations are never simply arbitrary, but provide a clear musical unity, and something is constantly happening in these over-flowing works, so that the listener is often reminded of other influences; simply exciting/engrossing.
Three highly gifted and young musicians prove that they have ample room for their individual soundworld. Sometimes rock, sometimes jazz, Arne Jansen displays his virtuosic ability, Eric Schaefer creates unobtrusively a rhythmical and structured dynamic range, and together with Eva Kruse’s dynamic playing, „My Tree“ offers an rousing and captivating modern jazz, which lies far beyond fixed concepts.”
Jazzdimensions.de 4/2006 Martin Lücke
“The Berlin guitarist Arne Jansen is influenced by the usual suspects John Scofield, Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny, but his first love is Mark Knopfler and the grunge-melancholic Pearl Jam. Not for nothing does his trio’s debut album (on bass, Eva Kruse, on drums Eric Schaefer) with an exceptional/unusual version of the Pearl Jam piece „Release“. It is the enthralling rounding-off of a record, which draws power from tranquility. And in the process highlights Jansen’s enormous multi-faceted jazz-guitar artistry of wit and sensitivity.”
Berliner Morgenpost, 8.4.2006
“Strength lies hiere within peace. Jansen’s compositions are soulful landscape paintings with a great sense of breadth and space. Added to this, a definite rock melancholy. Not without reason is the album title a bow of acknowledgement to Pearl Jam’s „In My Tree“, not through coincidence does Arne Jansen’s cd close with the interpretation of an old song of those inventors of Grunge. The piece is called „Release“, and is indeed a liberation. Utterly gentle, with Jansen’s harmonics on the guitar, Kruse’s sweet-but-powerful basslines and Schaefer’s tinkling bells: so it all begins, like an unorthodox jazz waltz. Then follows the anthem-like /hymn-like discharge. It is an earthquake. And an awesome finale to an enjoyable and laid-back trio album.”
Rondo, Josef Engels, 25.3.2006
“Arne Jansen is unquestionably a heavyweight in the Muthspiel/Rosenwinkel category. Arne is an exceptionally tasteful performer, in composition as well as sound.”
„My Tree“ offers a modernity, which enthralls, which is unusually warm and engaging, and yet doesn’t fall into post-modern, deconstructivist cliché. It succeeds constantly in one thing: it makes you curious. The guitar itself and the trio interaction are all in all thrilling, the profundity of musical declaration convincing the easiness of their presentation are striking. Utterly astonishing.”
Alexander Schmitz, Jazz Podium, 2006
“He sounds fresh and manages an impressive balancing act between quiescent improvisation and hot-blooded guitar rhetoric.”
Gitarre & Bass, 2/2006 Lothar Trampert
“He can conjure up wonderfully lyrical meshwork, flare into off-the-wall themes, and also commemmorate the explosiveness of rock music: Arne Jansen’s trio is a pleasure for the senses and the intellect.”
Roland Spiegel, Jazz-Zeitung 2006/02, Critics’ Choice, BR
” …And so Traumton Berlin continues just as ever: headstrong, excellently produced and with stylish packaging; one need only hear the debut-cd of the guitarist Arne Jansen, who in his trio, with his terrific, artful and joyful playing, positions himself between Hendrix, Metheny and Jim Hall…”
Saarbrücker Zeitung, 18.12006