The Ones Before Us

The Ones Before Us

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  • Artist: ENJ Society
  • Release: 2. November 2018
  • Catalog No: Q-1802

ENJ Society

Humanity exists as part of a continuum: what we achieve – be it through the act of doing or creating – would not be possible without the knowledge and experience of the generations before us.

In musicwe are shaped by what is already there and what is slumbering subconsciously within. We are merely a link between our ancestors and our children.

Die Kombination von Tenor-Saxofon und Trompete hat im Jazz eine lange Tradition. Um den Klang dieser zwei Instrumente möglichst pur auszuloten, verzichten Michael Erian (Saxophone) und Daniel Nösig (Trumpete) in dieser Besetzung völlig auf „harmonische Begleitung“ durch Klavier oder Gitarre. Der Klang ist reduziert auf die vier Stimmen von Trompete, Saxofon, Kontrabass, Schlagzeug und bietet durch seine Schlichtheit einen besonderen Reiz durch seinen offenen Klang.

Die Kompositionen Stammen zum großen Teil aus der Feder von Nösig und Erian und spiegeln den Zugang zur improvisierten Musik der beiden, die nicht nur die Herkunft aus Kärnten vereint, sondern auch die gemeinsame Studienjahre in Holland.

Die Stilistik reicht von freier Improvisation über Bop bis hin zur folkloristisch inspirierten Stücken und Rubato Teilen.

Mit dem Bassisten Milan Nikolic und Howard Curtis, der schon Drummern wie Billy Drummond als Vorbild diente, ist die Rhythm Section versiert und spielt mit Leichtigkeit und Natürlichkeit die es den Solisten ermöglicht in Dialog zu treten. Enjoy! (Michael Erian)


The Loibl Pass is a high alpine mountain pass in the Karavanke chain, which links Austria with Slovenia. It is the gateway to the south, with many tourists using it every year to travel to the Adriatic Sea. But listening closely, we can also hear shadows of a dark past: The Loibl Pass tunnel was dug by concentration camp prisoners in World War II. A short trumpet solo passes over the melody, which is always repeated by the tenor saxophone. The piece ends in a collective decrescendo, only to lead into the bass intro of the next piece.

Implementing loops as used in electronic music, but here with acoustic instruments. The short theme is a springboard for the saxophone and trumpet solos, breathing new life and vigor into the piece.

The Ones Before Us
After the free bass introduction a rubato melody begins, reminiscent of musical traditions specific to Carinthia. We are then met with a short slow middle section, which culminates with the emergence of a waltz. This provides the basis for a collective solo between trumpet and saxophone, after which – along with a tutti from the winds – the tempo dissolves and the rubato melody emerges again. The piece comes to an end after a reiteration of the slower middle section.

Dry Tones
The piece is already pretty old. It’s a blues piece that stemmed from an exercise with the interval of a tritone.

Another blues, with repetitive phrases that keep shifting. Sounds more complicated than it really is… Thrown into the mix are slightly altered chords with a kind of “second line groove”. That’s it. By the way, reading ORIAK backwards leaves you with KAIRO, or rather Cairo in English. Don’t look into it too much as to what it might mean. It’s just a fun tune.

Something to live for
Composed for the most important person in my life. Describes her depth and beauty, as well as the positive change she’s instilled in my life since I’ve known her. Bahar Khanshaghaghi, I love you!

Villa Kunterbunt
Villa Kunterbunt is based on the harmony of the standard “It Could Happen to You”. The original chords were partly changed, the B-part modulated, with the addition of a few accents and rhythmic patterns. Sort of reworking a classic…

S Is For Smile (Howard Curtis)
“S Is For Smile” was written for my girlfriend, who later became my wife. Two of her qualities have always stuck in my mind: 1) her laughter and 2) her unwavering opinions on various things, books, religion, politics. Musically I tried to represent those qualities, first with a melody that jumps around like her voice, especially in her laugh. Also, a constant melody line with underlying changing harmonic support. In these ways, the song is very much her.


Line Up:
Daniel Nösig – Trumpet
Michael Erian – Saxophone
Milan Nikolic – Bass
Howard Curtis -Drums