Having last year been nominated for the JAZZ-ECHO German Music Award as Ensemble of the Year, Stephan-Max Wirth now goes one better by releasing an actual live recording “in concert” from the DOMICIL (Dortmund), a venue revered by jazz fans. To please an excited public, this extraordinary recording consists of both known and new compositions; The ballad “Shadow and Pearls”, for example, certainly belongs to the genre of modern jazz, but owes more to the inspiration of Eric Satie than say, to John Coltrane or Wayne Shorter. The free-associative uptempo blues “Impact”, which lent the CD it’s name, thrives from the energetic propulsion of the quartet; a musical clash which will excite many SMWE fans, and not just the ones who were there that evening.
Tracklist1. Dada Republic – 13:29 2. Shadow and Pearls – 4:30 3. Impact – 8:57 4. The Ankh of Amen-Ra – 12:32 5. Blue Nile – 9:57
Stephan-Max Wirth: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Jaap Berends: guitar
Bub Boelens: bass
Florian Hoefnagels: drums
Stephan-Max Wirth is considered one of the top saxophonists in international jazz. With his “robust tone, which gets under your skin” (Der Spiegel), he’s proved himself over the years at all the important festivals. Wirth doesn’t re-create; he creates anew. “He immerses himself deeply in the story and then lands perfectly in the moment” (Jazzthing). His projects and interpretations enjoy the highest regard from press and public alike, win awards and receive great praise. Stephan-Max Wirth is “a great asset not just for jazz, but for the entire cultural landscape” (Jazzpodium). Lastly, as Titel Magazine puts it; “Wirth is considered a brilliant composer and saxophonist in the contemporary jazz scene; a great musician“.
Stephan-Max Wirth was born in 1968. He was already a jazz enthusiast in his early years and took his first saxophone lessons with Leszek Zadlo in Munich. He moved to Cologne in 1995 having finished his studies under Jörg Kaufmann at the School of Arts in Arnhem (NL). From here as bandleader he organised international tournees for his own ensemble which he had formed in 1992. The tenor saxophonist and composer has been living and working in Berlin since 1999.
Stephan-Max Wirth was commissioned to compose various works for theater ( incl. Studiobühne Cologne) and continued to work intensely on his own projects. In order to keep his artistic talent independent and uncompromising he founded his own label BOS.REC. in 1993. Using this label and through innovative projects he has been able to support other jazz artists like Henning Wolter, Marcus Schinkel and the Cologne group “Leisure Minx”.
Many of Stephan-Max Wirth’s compositions have been adapted for Bigbands by the Cologne music arranger Thomas Forkert. The arrangement of “fish and monkey” profited greatly from this and is now part of the permanent repertoire of over 200 Bigbands in the whole of the German speaking area.
In 2004 Stephan-Max Wirth and his Ensemble released the album “Illumination” which won high praise from the press. In this program he combined, as a premier, throat singing and modern jazz within his compositions and so doing created an extraordinary and varied sound structure, raising him above the many superficially arranged “multi-kulti” projects prominent over the last years. He received the Berlin Senats Studiosponsership prize for this album.