Susanne Alt
Susanne Alt

La Habitacion Del Jazz 26-02-2024 (ES)

La Habitacion Del Jazz


The saxophonist, composer, DJ, and producer Susanne Alt was born in Würzburg, Germany, and resides in Amsterdam. She studied classical saxophone at the Meistersinger-Konservatorium in Nuremberg (1993-1996). At 18, she moved to the Netherlands to study jazz saxophone at the conservatories of Hilversum and later Amsterdam (1996-2000). She continued her studies at the Universität der Künste Berlin (2000-2003), graduating with honors. In 2004, she debuted as a producer with "Nocturne" on her own label, Venus Tunes, followed by several more albums. In addition to her own projects, she is a highly sought-after guest and session musician, collaborating with artists such as Fred Wesley, DJ Spinna, Opolopo, Johan S, Hardsoul, DJ Maestro, and Wicked Jazz Sounds.

After many years with over a hundred performances a year as a saxophonist and DJ, COVID-19 halted all activity, a period during which Alt took the opportunity to return to her roots in jazz.

On February 16th, she released her sixth studio album titled “Royalty for Real” on Venus Tunes. The album is dedicated to Roy Hargrove.

Alt first encountered the music of Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett, and Roy Hargrove at the age of 15, with Hargrove standing out as a profound influence on her musicality. Years later, Alt met Hargrove at late-night jam sessions after festival appearances in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States, and the two frequently played together. Hargrove's death in 2018 was a tremendous shock for Alt, and she embarked on composing a series of pieces in tribute to the trumpeter's legacy and the memories they shared.

For this work, Alt has assembled three top-tier musicians from the American jazz scene: bassist Gerald Cannon (Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Willie Jones III, Milt Jackson, Arturo Sandoval, Roy Hargrove, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Pat Martino, Carmen Lundy, Abbey Lincoln, Gary Bartz, Joe Lovano, Cyrus Chestnut, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Steve Turre…), virtuoso keyboardist James Hurt (Abbey Lincoln, Sherman Irby, Jacques Schwarz-Bart, Antonio Hart,…), and drummer Willie Jones III (Kurt Elling, Sonny Rollins, Bobby Hutcherson, Wynton Marsalis, Cedar Walton, Frank Wess, Houston Person, Billy Childs, Eric Reed, Eric Alexander, Bill Charlap, Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones…).

All the tracks are composed by Alt except for two: “Roy Allan,” a composition by Hargrove dedicated to his father, which Alt covers with a slightly funky and pop treatment, and the always beautiful “The Nearness Of You” by Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington, a song Hargrove frequently performed. Alt offers a charming and heartfelt version of this piece.

Among Alt's original tracks, we find the interesting “Blue Notes & Fairy Tales,” warm and with soul undertones. In “Rue Lepic,” Alt nods to Hargrove's “Strasbourg Saint-Denis.” The song title refers to a Parisian street where many famous people lived.

Another original track is “Bel Air Bop,” a tribute to the late-night sessions she and Hargrove shared at the Bel Air Hotel in The Hague after playing at the North Sea Jazz Festival. An excellent, well-oiled jazz track.

In “Classy Cats” and “Royalty For Real,” the funky and energetic groove shines.

Susanne Alt offers us an album with beautiful, well-performed songs (Alt's saxophone has a pleasantly warm tone) without more complexities than strictly necessary.

on 18/05/2024


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