Keys & Screws     ~ some more jazz ~

NoBusiness Records
Thomas Borgmann / Jan Roder / Willi Kellers album "Some More Jazz" LP.
released May 2020

Recorded on 16th May, 2017 at at SAE Studios, Berlin by Robert Oeser
Mixed by Olaf Rupp and mastered by Arunas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Design by Oskaras Anosovas
Produced by Danas Mikailionis



"(...) On their joint project "Keys & Screws Some More Jazz", we get a nice and clear communication between the three, where you would think they had never done anything but play together. Borgmann is a saxophonist who has the melodic touch, and who layers fine melodies out of the loosely composed "ideas", thus becoming the most important voice in the trio.(...)
This is the trio's own version of modern jazz and improvisation, and a version of that form of jazz I really appreciate. There's something about the intensity, creativity and interplay of the trio that makes this a delightful record.(...)
This is glorious jazz that opens up most senses, and that you should have the opportunity to hear in concert once."

~ Jan Granlie @ salt-peanuts, June-8th-2021

"Stunning, amazing, I have no words...Apparently traditional, but deeply avantgardist!!!"
~ Maciej Lewenstein

From the prosaic title on, a casual vibe pervades "Some More Jazz" which belies the depth of artistry involved in its execution. On each of the three cuts on this 47-minute LP, the seemingly random start progressively comes into focus. Notice of the naturally evolving unfolding arrive thick and fast.

On “The Other Morning In The Park” the pulse gradually coalesces from drummer Willi Kellers’ clanking steel pans, bassist Jan Roder’s discursive pizzicato and saxophonist Thomas Borgmann’s sweet soprano musings.
And then Roder drops out, leaving Kellers and Borgmann in tandem, so that when they pause he can return to initiate a new direction. Such shifts occur with so little fanfare they can be barely discernible.

Kellers and Borgmann go back a long way, already in partnership back in 1995 under the continuing moniker Ruf Der Heimat, and subsequently further documented on Boom Box (Jazzwerkstatt, 2011) and One For Cisco (NoBusiness, 2016), on each occasion with a new bassist completing the trio. The addition of Roder heralds a new brand: Keys & Screws.

And so palpable is the group feel, with Roder such an integral part in the proceedings, through his melding of rhythmic impulse with melody in an assertive counterpoint, that differentiating the threesome with a distinct name seems entirely appropriate.

Kellers similarly plays a key role. Like Louis Moholo-Moholo, he prompts, cajoles and almost sneaks in the beat, all the while without imposing himself, the architect of a transparent sound in which everyone can be clearly heard at all times.
He supplements that dexterity with another talent: the easy way in which he moves between haphazard clatter and relaxed propulsion.

On “Broadway Birdy” (split across the two sides), Kellers’ thumb piano, Roder’s strum and Borgmann’s toy melodica create a bucolic scene, briefly alluding to the hymn “Abide With Me,” before the reedman wields his tenor saxophone, outlining a wavering dirge which at times combines echoes of Trane’s “Alabama” and the free flow of legendary Chicago saxophonist Fred Anderson.
But even at his most hectic, Borgmann never loses control, building coherently and soulfully, sounding both familiar yet newly minted.

As with those previous albums, although each of the three tracks is credited to a different band member, the uncomplicated melodies could as well be extemporized. But the apparent simplicity is no obstacle to fulfilling and expressive invention. At the outset of “Chatham Bellbird” Borgmann uses tonal distortion to vary an incantatory tenor phrase, ultimately peaking in falsetto cries and hoarse shrieks, before later winding down on soprano with a slightly melancholy poppy lyricism.

Certainly the spontaneity with which each piece develops suggests three finely attuned sensibilities at work, or perhaps that should be at play.
But work or play, it’s an outstanding release.
~ John Scharpe @ Point of Departure

...deutsche Übersetzung +/-

Tom Hull's (village voice) strong vote gave a A-
" Nice, edgy free jazz, backing smartly away from the abyss."
"Schöner, kantiger Free Jazz, der sich geschickt vom Abgrund entfernt"

"The first record we've seen under the name of Keys & Screws, but a set that features work from reedman Thomas Borgmann – a player who always catches our ears, and who turns out some wonderful music here on tenor, soprano sax, and a toy melodica!

Borgmann has this way of delivering a line that's spacious and soulful when his bandmates might be moving in a slightly different direction – creating this personal spirit of hope and redemption amidst the darker tones of Jan Roder on bass and Willi Kellers on drums and percussion – often blown with a sense of confidence that never has him pushing too far or too fast – standing his own beautifully, and really delivering a great sense of message."
~ dusty groove, Chicago

"(...) The music of its three pieces shows the musicians of Keys & Screws to be artists of the first order, making music that comes from an increasingly sophisticated attitude to rhythm and musical time – in fact, a marriage between the pastoral and the urban/mechanical. Each of the pieces evokes the experience of being in a pulse labyrinth – a road map featuring three musical instruments propelled at some speed – which determines the routes along which the musical compositions travel through memorable and dynamic landscapes. (...)
A truly memorable set, captured in the beautiful warmth of this recording."

* * * *
"(...) Ignoring the different band name and the change of bassist, the essential feature of "Some More Jazz" is that it adheres to the principles which underpinned "Jazz"; namely, it is jazz in which the players take recognisable solos, sympathetically listening to one another and responding appropriately whilst retaining their trademark sounds and styles. (...)
In particular, Roder eloquently shows that he is not just the latest bassist rotated in to join Borgmann and Kellers but a vital musician in his own right, bursting with creative ideas.
Yes, Keys and Screws is a trio of equals in which three distinct individual voices meld together into one collective voice.
"Some More Jazz" is not just the follow-up to "Jazz", it is its equal...which is praise indeed."
~ John Eyles ©

"really a fantastic album. playful elements, flutes & steel drums, then almost seamlessly a great emotional depth. work on motifs until they fly up, without redundancies, loose grooves, moments of casual beauty. already a hot candidate now: i will still be able to listen in 5 or 10 years."
~ Jan Künemund




© thomas borgmann | impressum