To all of our fans: Inside Outside is not available anymore as CD. Our new Record Comany released Tertia instead!! Crystal Rain. Markus Burger showers us with crystalline raindrops of sound. Jan Von Klewitz makes his horn sing, like an iridescent mating call. The invitation to a sensual voyage has been issued. That voyage lasts an hour, one hour in the life of two peaceful souls, a length of time that tells us nothing. If music can do one thing for us, it does that one thing particularly effectively here: it suspends our everyday conception of time. Many boundaries are blurred here, everything is in a state of flux. The listener can dive in, bathe in the sound, float upon it. And the spatial sound summons up a sound space known for it's capacity to do something with a person, to release inner mobility. Even though the music was not made in a church but in a worldly studio, the very title and cover of the CD lead us to a place more attuned than most to listening to the voice inside and to messages from outside. INSIDE OUTSIDE builds on the ideas of it's predecessor SPIRITUAL STANDARDS. Last time it was German chorales, hymns and Christmas carols that were promoted to »spiritual standards« (and - thank God? - not to »Swingin' Christmas«); this time, we hear two more chorales and two Handel arrangements. Now, jazz musicians are not exactly noted for their faithfulness to the Urtext. But a refreshingly disrespectful approach to hallowed originals is not the improviser's only virtue. Making »something borrowed« into something of one's own need not mean reducing a composition to a mere melodic-harmonic skeleton. And even if improvisation involves turning the ball of sound inside out, the aim is often to extract the essence of the piece - a refreshingly respectful approach. Burger and von Klewitz believe they owe it to the content of Bach's and Handel's pieces to read between the notes of those pieces. And this form of identification deprives the dry Teutonic term Fremdkomposition of the chilly undertone inherent in »someone else's work«. Most of the repertoire is »all their own work«, not that this does anything to change the spiritual character of the whole. This could have been done differently, of course, if the »material« - as originally envisaged for a time - had been recorded by the SEPTER BOURBON quartet (the Burger/von Klewitz axis plus rhythm group). But in the end things took a different course. Markus Burger fell ill. So seriously, that he had to change the way he lived. Value judgments lost their precedence, rearranging themselves so that what used to seem important now appeared unimportant - and vice versa. The first signs of this transformation were evident on ULTREYA, a solo album from 2002, representing the lessons learned from a three-year illness. Burger overcame it, having gained the strength he needed from many sources, old and new, and in particular from meditation. His relationship to nature and to time began changing (as can be detected in numbers like Stundenglas or The Marathon Man). Extramusical passions like fishing and photography had their own contribution to make. The need for peace and for greater depth is unmistakable on INSIDE OUTSIDE. It shows how Burger and von Klewitz have profited from a personal relationship that has matured over many years, from intuitive understanding, from spiritual Concord and harmony. The continuation of a (musical) love affair. And one that can survive physical separation: the saxophonist lives in Berlin, the pianist has now settled in Los Angeles. Sometimes the music is soft as alabaster, sometimes exultant as an anthem, at no time does it descend into the merely emotional. Endowed with all the harmonic subtleties of jazz, these musicians show what sorts out the men from the boys, as Pat Metheny put it; they see beauty in simple things and aren't afraid of major common chords. Harmonically, the duo cover wide expanses within a narrowly circumscribed range of sounds, inside - but, as if in express observance of the title, outside as well: specifically, when the two of them freely interact in short interludes, letting tension build up. Their sonic image, too, diverges from the well-tempered: the clavier is prepared piano, the saxophone has clattering keys. Markus Burger and Jan Von Klewitz do their work inside and outside. But this pair of antonyms has a further, deeper meaning, beyond the musical surface. Burger and von Klewitz transport the inside to the outside. Intimate as this duo may sound, INSIDE OUTSIDE does not extend an invitation to introverted contemplation: something is being expressed here, pushing the envelope from within, communicating. Even when the two seem lost to the world and wrapped up in their musical thoughts, we still sense them near to us. So much so, that the listener too feels something in motion, in vibration. And sooner or later it seems to be there ... The silent choir of an imaginary congregation. Karsten Mützelfeldt.
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