"Band Cultures The Jazz Heritage Of The Eighties"
- Contemporary (modern) horn attacks in the Kultur-Cafe -
... On Wednesday the Ferdinand Rexforth Jazzproject from Essen were on stage. In the manner of 80s jazz styles like nu jazz or free funk the band's founder and composer Ferdinand Rexforth (powerful and allluring) and his congenial partners
(companions) were getting ready to carry into the 21st century the musical heritage of greats such as the Lounge Lizards Lizards or James White.
This worked perfectly well without being a mere copy of those styles. Against a backdrop of (punk) rock-like drum and bass grooves the horn players developed their exalted solos blasting eruptions that went to the limit of being mere noise merged with lyrical hard bop passages. It was amazing to witness how Lars Kuklinski (trumpet) and Matthias Müller (trombone) seemed to be rather inconspicuous, lacking an impressive stage presence. The more expressive, however, is their playing, their sonorous horn attacks.
It may be this very contrast of calculated understatement on the one hand and the burning inner fire on the other hand which makes this young band so fascinating.
Jürgen B. Süßmann
WAZ, Bochum, 23th May 2003
"A Kind Of Techno For Jazzmusicians"
In 1981 tenor sax player Ferdinand Rexforth started his stage career with a concert at the "Kulturzentrum Schlachthof". Remarkable projects with musicians from Kassel followed, above all the "Mörfiye" sextet.
Now, 20 years later and at the old familiar place, the musiciann and composer, who has made Essen his new home, introduced his current band, the Ferdinand Rexforth Jazzproject, with members of various nationalities. The unusual Mörfiye mix of instruments has been preserved: there is no harmony instrument. But the two saxophones (in addition to Rexforth there is alto player Dmitrij Markitantov from Kiew) as well as trumpet (Lars Kuklinski) and trombone (Matthias Müller) make possible complex wind sections which are given a solid basis by bassist Jorge Vallejo from Bogota and drummer Tarik Dosdogru from Turkey.
Another thing Ferdinand Rexforth has remained faithful to is his tricky intellectual style enriched by odd rhythms and abrupt changes of mood, which are all reflected in the eccentric choice of titles:
Tunes like "Starship Field Propulsion" or "Rollercoaster" sound just like these jagged sound mixtures and powerful beats (a kind of techno for jazzers) (serve) as a base for powerplay solos. The sextet masters this thightrope act between strict arrangement and expressive eruptions with great musical skill and a tongue-in -cheek sense of humour...."
Hartmut Schmidt, HNA, 26th January 2002
CD review in "Jazz Podium" 9/1996
What the music of the Mörfiye sextet has in common with the dances of the Eskimos escapes me, but its conventionality is about as widespread in our part of the world as those dances are.
Already the makeup of the band (2 tenor sax players, 2 trombonists, bass and drums) makes you assume that these musicians are willing to create something unconventional. Without a doubt they have succeeded.
The titles, all composed by Ferdinand Rexforth and Gerd Hemmen, brim over with joyful experiments: crisp and precise brass and reeds, grooving and powerful rhythms, excessive
free passages and expressive ballads - you name it. But nothing is like the ordinary stuff you might expect.
The arrangements are marked by a sense of variety that keeps surprising you and by exceptional musical skills and verve.
Each player enjoys sufficient freedom to make the most of his solos, and yet it is the peculiar sound of the group as a whole which makes this CD so unique and special. Furthermore, the sound quality is excellent. This CD is an absolute must for those who from time to time enjoy hearing something which is not off the peg.
CD-crew: Werner Kiefer (ts), Ferdinand Rexforth (ts, comp),
Gerd Hemmen (tb, comp), Detlef Landeck (tb),
Thomas "Cap" Gier (b), Roman Beilharz (dr)
NEOBOP WITHOUT NOSTALGIA
The "Absolutely Knot" quartet presented their program consisting of bop standards with new personnel.The man behind the project is the Kassel based saxophonist Ferdinand Rexforth, ususally known for more modern sounds. It is his excessive solos combining wildness and brilliant technique that repeatedly shatter the sporadic moments of nostalgia.
These solos find their equivalent in the tremendously vital, accentuated play of drummer Michael Verhovec, who follows the soloist's ideas with dreamlike confidence.
...Although the four musicians are convincing in their ballads they seem to feel really at ease at a faster pace. ...On the other hand, the slower solos show a lyrical and casual elegance which is hardly there in Rexforth's better known group "Mörfiye". Of course, pianist Busse, too, can the better assert himself with his unobtrusive playing when the sound level on stage is lower.
"Absolutely Knot" successfully pay tribute to the modern jazz classics without walking along the beaten tracks of retrospection. Above all, and most imprtantly, however, this quartet perform their repertory with unbridled enthusiasm.
Wolf v. Rechenberg, HNA, 12th October 1996
Various press clippings about "Mörfiye"
" A slight oddity of the windplayers' harmonies and themes like "Acid Louse", which make fun of the music industry, are reminiscent of the Carla Bley Band. () you hear a kind of mini big band which is in perfect command of both freely developing passages and tightly composed polyrhythms. "
(Hessisch-Niedersächsische-Allgemeine, 31st October 1989)
"A genuine surprise was the Mörfiye group which with its two trombones and two saxes plus rhythm section played in a cheeky and light-hearted way without any inhibitions, combining fluent styles with rough and free passages."
"...the young ... group Mörfiye .... performed a version of contemporary Euro-Jazz marked by diversity of material, drive and intelligence."
Frankfurter Rundschau, 12th December 1991