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jazzwise 2019

Tell No One album review


Tell No One” is a very fine debut album by Earshot. So despite the command, I’ll spread the word. Aside from a glorious wealth of melodies, the Berlin-based quartet stands out with a combination of elegance and coolness that is rarely heard from such young players. Led by the two melody-focussed players, Arabella Sprot (s) and Robert York (g), this four-piece takes the motifs through different moods with a punch, whilst the rhythm section displays enough independence to keep the excitement level up. The only danger with so much coolness is a lack of those big virtuosic moments. The guitarist periodically asserts more authority and employs some energetic lines that indicate the post-Metheny school. But it must be said that there is too much holding back from the saxophone. On the other hand, Sprot’s precisely placed eighth-note lines create particularly expressive melodies, perhaps even as a result of this caution. So go and listen, but remember: “Tell No One”.

translated by Arabella Sprot

original - see right

jazzthetik / Angela Ballhorn 
3 ***
Where better to witness effective cross-border communication than in jazz? Earshot is a quartet consisting of 2 musicians from Britain, one Austrian and one German, who met in Berlin in 2015 and released their CD “Tell No One” on the Swiss record label Unit Records. Tenor saxophonist Arabella Sprot and guitarist Robert York are also both responsible for the compositions. And the musical understanding between them and the German-speaking rhythm section (Tom Berkmann on bass and Mathias Ruppnig on drums) is excellent. The quartet’s compositions have strong moments in which rubato passages with extended melodies are hugely atmospheric but are subsequently brought back up to speed and groove forwards. The busy interaction in the rhythm section manages to complement the elegant melodies without losing sight of the overall direction of this album. This quartet knows what it wants and has a strong musical vision. My listening tip is ‘Colourful Corners’, with a lovely introduction by saxophone and guitar. Sprot’s saxophone playing could occasionally have more bite, which would add an additional dimension to the quartet’s sound spectrum.


Translated 2019 by Arabella Sprot 

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