Filippa Gojo Quartett – Nahaufnahme (Ajazz A5017)

GojoDiscThere was some excellent music wafting through the Bonn underground stations last Summer courtesy of the SWB Sponsored ‘JazzTube’ Competition but my money was on Austrian born Filippa Gojo.  Just a look at the megaphone next to her music-stand was enough to suggest she would be different, and so she proved.  ‘Nauaufnahme  is her debut disc and just like her Museumsmeile appearance is a hypnotic mix of emotion and sound.

Before even putting the disc on my player I have to award full marks for the album cover design which would put a great many top selling Artists to shame.  Excellent work from  Knut Schötteldreier in Cologne.

Making herself heard - Filippa Gojo

Making herself heard – Filippa Gojo

Actually the cover concept, showing band members holding mirrors reflecting each other is a good metaphor for the music within.  ‘Reflection’ is a key motif.   A soundtrack of modern life – from the frenetic ‘Rush Hour’ with its’ hectic rhythm and staccato lyric announcing bluntly “I don’t have the time, to free up my mind” and maybe that’s just as well, because having time to think is just, well, confusing as the song of that name admits: “Will I love you?, will I keep seeing you?… will I  miss you or not? – I’m so confused”.  It’s a track I remember well from JazzTube  with it’s megaphone improvisation.  Just as then I’m not sure if she pulls it off – but I admire her for trying and I can honestly say on the grounds of its originality that it’s the best megaphone solo I’ve heard ever!  It’s also confusing for having English lyrics on the sleeve but being sung in Portugese.

If Phil Spector is the man for a  ‘Wall of Sound’ then Filippa Gojo might be labelled the Lady for a ‘Sound Carpet’ where her voice is every bit an instrument to be woven into the finished material as any of the instruments.  The lyrics are as important, but never more important than, the overall sound.  So much so that at times I stopped noticing whether her voice was speaking Spanish, English or coming out of a megaphone.  The whole is more important than the parts.

Full marks to Filippa Gojo for pushing the boundaries on her first ever disc, after the JazzTube performance my hopes were high for something a little different and she certainly delivers.  There is a strong air of self assurance here that’s remarkable for a first release.  The press flyer aptly describes this CD as an “Abwechslungsreiches”, “Herausforderndes Klangerlebnis” that translates as a ‘Challenging sound experience that is rich in variety’ and I don’t think I could describe what’s here any better than that.  Personally I prefer my jazz to be a little less challenging though and for me the best track by far is the plaintive ‘Lost in a Flashback’ where Gojo’s undoubted vocal talents are reigned in for the good of the song, as are the not to be under-rated contributions of her band.  Here there is plenty of melancholy via excellent work on double bass by David Andres and via piano of Sebastian Scobel.

Much as I like this disc I would really like to hear Filippa Gojo put her individual stamp on some jazz classics.  On the basis of ‘Nahaufnahme’ I will certainly be following the lady’s career with keen interest – definitely a ‘challenging sound experience’ that I recommend.

Filippa Gojo Quartett go underground at JazzTube last year.

Filippa Gojo Quartett go underground at JazzTube last year.

Finally – a trailer for the new CD:

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