Reviews

VOYAGE PRESS QUOTES

The concept and the unusual sound of ‘Voyage’ are best reflected in the words of J.Overkott in a review for the WESTFÄLISCHE RUNDSCHAU in August of ‘08:

“Bauer mixes. His music swings in a most contemporary manner. Additionally, the compositions on the album – new material throughout – process ‘folkloristic’ influences. Bauer, percussive at the marimba and reverberative at the vibraharp, works with a small ensemble. The production lives from musical dialogue, generally from the strong communication within this quintet. The music’s effect is contemplative, stories without words, philosophy in notes, serenity through motion. The leader is clever enough to step back again and again, thereby shaping this production all the more. ‘Voyage’, it seems, arrived at its destination. “

NEUE WESTFÄLISCHE ZEITUNG, SEPTEMBER 2, 2008:

LISTENING ABOVE ALL
Stefan Bauer at “Jazz im Skulpturengarten”

. . . The “Spiritus Rector” of the evening, Stefan Bauer, who had traveled here from Brooklyn, brought along excellent musicians for the ‘Stefan Bauer Voyage’. Chris Bacas, also from Brooklyn, is a saxophonist who is washed by the waters of Bebop and Free Jazz. He produced breath-taking solos especially on the soprano saxophone. Roland Schneider (drums) from Berlin presented polyrhythms of the highest complexity with arresting understatement. His metric precision was absolutely unerring. Pepe Berns  . . . played with light-as-a-feather grandezza and impressed with dazzling runs. Israeli singer Michal Cohen’s intonation was dead on, even during the most awkward tonal runs. She is capable of modulating the color of her sound. When the musical context required it, Cohen enchanted the audience with her alluring timbre . . . Stefan Bauer exercised prudent sound direction . . .  Immense virtuosity and compositional skill sum up this musician. The last piece was Michal Cohen’s. It . . . was a song full of pain that ended with a breaking voice and finally with a breath (like the Hebrew word ”ruach”) – which could also be translated as ‘spirit’.          By Johannes Vetter

 

MANITOBA STYLES, CANADA, SEPTEMBER 2008

Like the late Don Cherry, Bauer has long enjoyed a rare ability to draw other music (from folk fundamentals to digital programming) into jazz without forcing the fit. On Voyage, Bauer’s new band of the same name finds much more sustenance in textures and snaking melodies than it does in traditional jazz theme-solo structure. Bassist Ugonna Okegwo, drummer Ted Poor and saxophonist Chris Bacas are up for it, and Cohen is a revelation – trumpet, flute and soul without words.                             By Randal McIlroy

 

 

WESER KURIER, SEPTEMBER 9, 2008
FORMIDABLE SOUND EXPLORER ON THE VIBRAPHONE      

Stefan Bauer presented his new album „Voyage“ with his four-piece band at the ‘Haus im Park’.
By Yorn Schaefer. . . The strength of this quintet around the Israeli singer Michal Cohen, the saxophonist Chris Bacas, Pepe Berns on the contra bass and Roland Schneider on drums was evident from the start: formal compositional rigor, something slightly coolish, and something experimental. All of which nevertheless comes across with an immense degree of Swing and Groove as well as at times fulminatingly forceful interplay. Michal Cohen lets her wordless sound paintings, mourning-postulating and quietly breathed, wander through the hall, most of the time embedded in the warm tutti-sound. She improvises wonderfully with the drums and with the powerful-variable playing of Saxophonist Chris Bacas. . .  Stefan Bauer works vibraphone and marimba, at times cautiously groping like a sound explorer, then again with driving energy . . .   Michal Cohen, who has Yemenite roots, finally sings with Arabic mourning, a piece of film music while Stefan Bauer leaps back and forth between Vibraphone and Marimba. In short: amazing musicians, a fantastic band.

 

RHEINISCHE POST, SEPTEMBER 2008
BRILLIANT SESSION IN THE “BLUE NOTE-KELLNEREI“

By Udo Spelleken
. . . With Stefan Bauer as vibraphonist and composer, currently on a European tour to present his new CD-production “Voyage“, the listeners experienced a brilliant session  . . . the pieces slowly assembled a sound edifice that the instrumentalists and the singer with her touching voice made beam in luminous colors . . . Stefan Bauer worked with marimba as well as with the vibraharp both of which he used with less of a pianistic rather than percussive phrasing approach and created interesting sound textures. In his compositions there are are romatic and impressionistic elements, enriched by sharpness and formal awareness, and by magnificent sounds full of fantasy. “Seduction“, evolved from a piece of film music, seemed rigid in part, purely acoustic, then again sentimental, and ended in rocking rhythms. Again and again Chris Bacas enthused with his unorthodox saxophone statements.

http://www.ruhrjazz.net/reviews/2012/05/bauer/bauer.html

Iserlohn, 6.5.2012

. . . The concert started with a composition of Stefan Bauer’s which painted the turbulent but livable city of New York into the concert room.

After this first tune the audience was already giddy with excitement. The following composition was “Seduction”, an original as well, which impressed with the synchronicity of soprano saxophone and voice, and during which the charismatic Michal Cohen knocked the audience almost off its seats with a vocal solo. The range of her sound-vocabulary and her clear voice enchanted the listener. . .

After two encores the concert unfortunately ended, and many left exhilarated.

Kurt Rade, Ruhrjazz.net , May 2012

Jazzzeitung Juni 2012:

Traveling with Stefan Bauer and the „Voyage“-Band

From a musical point of view, Stefan Bauer is primarily a ‘listener’ who values the primary experience . . . And consequently Stefan Bauer’s band “Voyage” doesn’t want to be an “ego-band” with soloists performing gymnastic exercises and Bauer’s vibraphone and marimba mostly functioning as subtle providers of color. The virtuosic four-mallet play instills harmonic, melodic and rhythmical wealth into a lithe flow that weaves spacious settings for the creative network between Chris Bacas on saxophone, Pepe Berns on bass, Roland Schneider on drums, and the Israeli singer Michal Cohen.  India’s musical culture is very present in their music. This shifting, rhythmical complexity which is linked with a monophonic melody really enthusiastically moves everything into gear. Michal Cohen’s dark timbre lends itself not only to sensual jazz-phrasing but is equally well-suited for oriental vocal effects, often in dialogue with Bacas’ earthy saxophone sound. This transparency between Indian, or lets call it worldly ‘urban’ musical reality on one hand and a skillfully reflected jazz-idiom on the other is so plausible, so refreshingly open minded . . . Stefan Pieper

 

IKZ, 10. Mai 2012

Stefan Bauer enthused the Jazz Campus with his project “Voyage” and the singer Michal Cohen.

This New York musician who stands among the most accomplished vibraphonists in the world of jazz is the linchpin of this project . . . among the excellent musicians  . . . singer Michal Cohen from Israel was especially a fascinating appearance . . .                   Ralf Tiemann

Rheinische Post, 12.Mai 2012:

Bauer Quintet at the Coffeehouse

For their 30th Club anniversary the Jazz-Friends of Kleve treated themselves to another highlight with the internationally active Stefan Bauer Quintet . . .  A successful appearance at the renowned jazz festival in Moers caught the attention of the Province of North-Rhine-Westphalia, which has since financially supported the development of this project . . .  all in all an excursion to so far unheard sonic worlds. . .

Westfaelische Nachrichten, Mai 2012

World class creative music in the “village”

Stefan Bauer and “Voyage”enthuse listeners

Sendenhorst. This truly was an extraordinary musical experience . . .  What this quintet had to offer musically quickly took the breath away of even the most experienced listeners . . . it took just a short time for these five musicians to take everyone in the room on a journey to a world of their own . . . The quintet played with passion and took the audience on a “voyage” from intimate and delicate to wide and orchestral, and from high intellectualism to deep emotion, a journey shared between American-infused Modern Jazz and a kind of “world music” that cannot be found on any map . . . The sustained applause for this magnificent and rarely heard musical adventure was well earned…because this quintet was simply just very, very good… Heinz Braunsmann

Westfälischer Anzeiger 21.April 2012

“Voyage”: Highest standard with sound-painting

Visitors to the International Jazzfest (Hamm) at the opening yesterday night were able to experience truly sophisticated music at the Kurhaus … provided they made it through the rush and into the jam-packed Mirror Hall … Lau

Der Westen (WAZ), 29.04.2012, Jazz im Glashaus Herten

An exciting sound adventure

 

Five extraordinary musicians . . . listeners are quickly captivated by tone, dwelling somewhere between metropolises like New York or New Delhi and the Arabic influences of the singer . . .  And within this magnificent confluence of strong soloists, listeners are led to believe they were at a thousand places simultaneously. The band pulsates and breathes hectically, cries or wails, at times marches or relaxes in the sunset of a desert.

This “voyage” is at times challenging, as jazz is not music to sway to, but rather an exciting sound adventure. That’s what visitors Renate Tellgmann and Ian McLachlan thought: “ We are not jazz- connoisseurs, and one has to get oneself into it. Then, however, it’s fascinating” said the couple.                         Jörg Kolesza