Category Archives: Allgemein

Daniel Erdmann & Aki Takase (EN)

Daniel Erdmann_tenor- & soprano saxophon
Aki Takase_piano

In close colaboration with Asia Networks

NEW CD: “Ellington”, 03/2024, enja records

The way they interact can only be described as telepathic. They combine inventiveness with technical perfection. Aki Takase and Daniel Erdmann have rehearsed a great deal together, and you can see it. But most importantly, they have a lot to tell each other and us. The precision with which they master unisons and rapid tempo changes does not stand in the way of their flight into the open, but rather opens the doors to it. And the desire for free, individual expression and the admiration for the jazz tradition led Aki Takase and Daniel Erdmann almost instinctively to Ellington.

Duke Ellington’s oeuvre – his compositions, his orchestral pieces, the variety of his work and his piano playing – proved to be the ideal starting point for the duo’s playing adventures. Ellington fired their imagination. The two found a variety of approaches. From variation to deconstruction and alienation, to the creation of something completely new, no longer inspired by the material of the originals, but by the mood and atmosphere of the compositions or original recordings. Themes by Duke Ellington show the duo the way to the essence of their playing: improvisation.

Each of the duo pieces opens up a different approach and unfolds its own colour. Swinging cheerfulness stands next to balladic passion and romantic melancholy, impressionistic lightness next to dense clouds of sound. The result is a multi-perspective picture and, of course, as with all successful reminiscences in jazz, a self-portrait, in this case a double portrait.
On stage they make a perfect picture: the tall Daniel Erdmann and the comparatively petite Aki Takase, who concentrates entirely on the piano. But it is only in their musical interaction, in their soulful togetherness, that the duo’s exciting psychogram emerges.

Ellington becomes a common point of reference. Even more than the sheet music, it is about sound, one of the central categories of his work. And above all it is about his spirit, which inspired Charles Mingus to write one of his most beautiful pieces – a piece whose title can also be read as the title of this duo recording: “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love. Bert Noglik


Daniel Erdmann was born in 1973 in Wolfsburg, Germany. He has been playing the saxophone since 1983 and studied a.o.with Gebhard Ullmann at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler. He recorded albums for various labels, i.a. BMC, ENJA, ACT, LABEL BLEU, INTAKT and plays concerts worldwide with bands and musicians like Das Kapital, Vincent Courtois, Aki Takase, Carlos Bica, Heinz Sauer, Samuel Rohrer, Henri Texier. In 2014 he founded the German-French company DAS ATELIER and his new band Daniel Erdmann’s Velvet Revolution with Théo Ceccaldi and Jim Hart. The first album of the band ( BMC Records ) was awarded the Year Award of German Critic and an Echo Jazz. In autumn 2020, Daniel Erdmann was awarded the prestigious SWR Jazz Prize at the Enjoy Jazz Festival. At the beginning of June 2021, Daniel Erdmann was awarded the inaugural German Jazz Prize.

Aki Takase was born in Osaka and grew up in Tokyo. She already had piano- lessons when she was three years old. Piano was her main subject during her studies at the Tohogakuen University in Tokyo. 1979 she had a longer stay in the U.S.A. 1981 at the Jazzfestival at Philharmony of Berlin, the first celebrated performance with her trio featuring Takeo Moriyama and Nobuyoshi Ino in Germany. Numerous concerts and recordings with Dave Liebman, Sheila Jordan, Cecil McBee, Lester Bowie, Bob Moses, Joe Henderson, Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen and many more followed. In the ninetees very successful duos with the singer MARIA JOAO, and with the saxophonist DAVID MURRAY. Work in trio with REGGIE WORKMANN and RASHIED ALI in duet with ALEX von SCHLIPPENBACH, as well as occasional projects with the TOKI STRING ORCHESTA.  Record- Awards of the UDJ Aki Takase got in 1990 (Play Ballads of Duke Ellington), 1991 (Shima Shoka), 1994 (Blue Monk), and 1998 (Duet for Eric Dolphy). From 1997 to 1999 she worked as guest-lecturer at the university for music „Hanns Eisler “ in Berlin. 1998 she received the Critic Award of the „Berliner newspaper“. In the year 2001 her Solo-CD’S „Le Cahier du Bal „(Leo Records) was published as well as her „W.C.Handy-Project“ with Rudi Mahall, Nils Wogram, Fred Frith and Paul Lovens under the name „St. Louis Blues“ (Enja Records). Aki Takase received the SWR Jazzaward 2002 for the „St. Louis Blues“ CD and in 2004 she was awarded the prestigious Yearly German Critics Award (Jahrespreis der dt. Schallplattenkritik). Since then she is working on numerous new projects which are duos with Alexander von Schlippenbach, Lauren Newton, Silke Eberhard (Ornette Coleman Anthology) and Louis Sclavis as well as in Trio with LOK 03 (Alexander von Schlippenbach & DJ Illvibe), TAMA (Jan Roder and Oliver Steidle), Aki and the Good Boys, La Planete Quartet with Louis Sclavis, Vincent Courtois and Dominique Pifarely, to mention just a few. Aki Takase is one of the most creative jazzartists nowadays. For years she is working with the dancer extraordinaire  YUI KAWAGUCHI in the ongoing project called DIE STADT IM KLAVIER. Aki Takase receives the Berlin Jazzaward 2018. At the beginning of June 2021, Aki Takase was awarded the inaugural German Jazz Prize.

Photos © Dirk Bleicker (Click the image for a larger view)