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1. Cry Want
2. Missing Mark Suetterlyn
3. Temporarily
4. Homage
5. Umbra
6. The First Snow
7. Scootin’ About
8. Trudgin’
9. Spring Rain
10. Trippin’
11. Counterparts
12. Jesus Maria
13. Trudgin’ (Bonus Track)

Featured Video

Release Information

Official worldwide release date - April 28, 2015

Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser makes his Whirlwind debut with his new quartet album Spring Rain, a tribute to US clarinettist and composer Jimmy Giuffre. Intentionally blurring the boundaries between jazz, blues, free improvisation and contemporary classical, along with an ear for strong melody, Blaser is a musician who seeks to widen the musical scope of his instrument while retaining its tonal identity. His own playing is rooted in classical training and with beginnings in blues and swing he gained a scholarship to study in the United States. His early penchant for breaking free of constraints has resulted in a number of successful collaborations, most notably with his established, trusted quartet of Russ Lossing (piano/keyboards), Drew Gress (bass) and Gerald Cleaver (drums).

Following an already impressive back-catalog – most recently his informed interpretation of works by medieval composer Guillame de Machaut (Consort in Motion: A Mirror to Machaut, 2013) – on Spring Rain Blaser takes the melodic focus and considerable but perhaps lesser-known output of Jimmy Giuffre (1921-2008) to inspire new compositions and interpretations which bristle with spontaneity and invention. Possessing a lyrical tone as well as a mastery of multiphonics (often achieving extraordinary, gritty results with these carefully-crafted embouchured/sung clusters), Blaser duels with the myriad keyboard colors of Lossing (including Wurlitzer, Fender Rhodes and Minimoog), driven by intuitive, intelligent bass and drums.

Artistically directed by the renowned Robert Sadin (Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Sting), Blaser's latest expression as a leader revels in the possibility of free improvisation which emanates as much from the influence of Stravinsky and Morton Feldman as it does high-grooving swing and blues. The diversity of the album is exemplified by the unpredictable, increasing tumult of 'Missing Mark Suetterlyn', the breezy almost Ellingtonian swing of 'Temporarily', the dark Bartokian spaciality of 'Umbra' and then riotous, improv-fusion-spirited 'The First Snow'.

Blaser thrives on continually developing and communicating new expressions in improvisation, keen for audiences to discover and appreciate the trombone in other forms. Spring Rain clearly displays that intent with an immersive soundworld which rewards with deeper understanding. He explains: “With this album I would like to show that the trombone can be melodic and have various forms of expression, and that I am not just interested in free jazz – you can't categorize my music in one space. I want people to know that there is jazz, blues, classical music, beautiful melodies and no boundaries."

Press Highlights

"Among current trombonists, Samuel Blaser is one of the greats."
Culture Jazz

"A stimulating transatlantic ensemble, balancing a formula that combines drama, risks, meditation and progression."
Jazz Convention (Italy)

"Blaser sometimes experiments skillfully with the technique of multiphonics on the trombone while playing the melody or improvising to create parallel audio layers."
Jazz Buzz (Greece)

"The Swiss virtuoso follows the manual in responding to the charter of each piece, but without denying his own voice... What follows is a flood of initiatives, cascading inventions..."
Libération (France)

"One of this year’s most celebrated five star releases."

"​W​ith his quartet,​ ​Blaser makes us rediscover the trombone and ​its​ ​range ​of possibilities. A great record."
Le Tarn Libre (FR)

"Cinematographic, dark and dazzling​...​​ ​Regardless of labelling attempts, Spring Rain has two typical characteristics: a trombonist will think it is remarkable; everyone else will think so as well.​"​
★★★★★ ​Cuadernos de Jazz Editores ​(SP)​

"Spring Rain will appeal to music lovers who like sophisticated, intelligent music with a clear classic ​vantage point​, but ​with​ a very modern twist​.​"
Jazz Press​ (PL)​

"​T​he music on Spring Rain has something so incredibly refreshing and encouraging."
★★★★ Telérama (FR)

"Whether it’s modern post-bop, avant-garde free improv or chamber music, Blaser always brings an unconventional voice to the affair."
Bird Is The Worm

"With Spring Rain​,​ Blaser remains in a logic of music at the crossroads of jazz and contemporary music, inventive, and clearly establish milestones for the future."
​Jazz à bâbord (FR)​

"A nice recording which should open up many gigs around in the Nordic countries for the trombone lovers."
Salt Peanuts (Norway)

"Right now, there appears to be no one – and I mean absolutely no one – more eminently qualified to make a tribute to Jimmy Giuffre than Samuel Blaser. The trombonist worships at the altar of of creativity, as Mr. Giuffre did throughout his life..."
Jazz a Gama

"Samuel Blaser is a top trombonist in the new jazz field and this quartet qualifies as one of the most vibrant out there today."
Gapplegate Music Review

"The result is great music, firmly rooted in the jazz tradition, but with a very surprising inventiveness​.​"
★★★★ Jazz PT​

"A sublime homage to the visionary work of under-sung innovator Jimmy Giuffre... The sonorous tone of Blaser's lyrical phrasing and expressive multiphonics is a unifying element throughout."
All About Jazz

"Neither simply an out-and-out jazzer nor free jazz exponent, Samuel Blaser's intention that Spring Rain might "show that the trombone can be melodic and have various forms of expression" is beautifully realised in this imaginative, forward-thinking release."
London Jazz

"Spring Rain has an impressive blend of serious and playful moments, music to contemplate yet not fuss over."
Step Tempest

"Spring Rain can’t fail to be one of this year’s most celebrated five star releases."
Jazz Views

"Blaser has successfully negotiated a path from avant-garde to mainstream-modern and with a dream group produces the record of his career so far."
Jazz Journal

"Blaser trills and sways with a wonderful, inebriated tone."
Swiss Vibe Magazine

"Mr. Blaser explores this music, and the terse angularities of his own originals, with a smartly elastic rhythm section."
The New York Times

"A thrilling piece of work where the ebb and flow of diverse sounds capture the listener, as if he is following in the footsteps of Jimmy who drove the unrestricted interplay among instruments."
Jazz Tokyo

"A really great success... superior compositions."
Leipziger Volkszeitung

"More than just excellent, it's surprising Contemporary Improvised Music on compositionally solid standing."
★★★★★ Concerto Magazine

"An imaginatively conceived and impeccably rendered dedication to an artist who, like himself, is a true jazz visionary."
Jazz Bob

"​Blaser plays in the top league in his field, and not just in Switzerltand, but globally... full of warmth and seemingly effortless approach in his tone, as well as rhythmic multiphonics."​
★★★★★ Jazz 'n' More

"Full of meditative serenity."
Audio Magazine

"A work that shows the way that improvised music can be a real listening experience: unpredictable, exciting and enjoyable."
★★★★ Jazzthetik

"An impressive improviser and composer who looks to the bigger picture of Jazz Convention."
Neue Musikzeitung

"Maintains the sense of lyricism whilst pushing at the boundaries."
★★★★ Jazz Magazine

"[Blaser] patently explores the nooks and crannies within the melodies and rhythms and does so with such delicacy, he moves his colleagues to do the same."
Glide Magazine (Gr)

"This is music with an intellectual edge."
★★★★★ Stereo Magazine

"Samuel Blaser is a top trombonist in the new jazz field and this quartet qualifies as one of the most vibrant out there today."
Gapplegate Music Review

"Blaser is one of the most globally recognized performers on his instrument."
Berliner Zeitung

"Authentic in its reflection of sounds past, present and future, [Spring Rain] is another fluid example of this brass player’s flourishing talent."
The Whole Note

"Spring Rain uniquely salutes a jazz hero while showcasing the skills of improvisers who propel the tradition in their own manner."
New York City Jazz Record

"The special attraction of this album is the refreshing cross-genre unpredictability of the musicians."

"A​n intrepid, Swiss-born trombonist living in Berlin, whose new album, 'Spring Rain', is a thoughtful and energetic tribute... Mr. Blaser has a precise, expressive style on trombone and he’s an ace with multiphonic techniques, which enable him to growl chords on the instrument..."
The New York Times

"He not only sculpts meticulous improvisations that sound composed, but also assembles smart projects in which the concept never overwhelms the emotional substance... An imaginative salute to the great reedist and improviser Jimmy Giuffre​... excellent band."
Chicago Reader

"A play on textures and depth create a metamorphosis of sound that goes beyond the acoustic phenomenon."
Noiself (blog)

"Inspired new interpretations and compositions full of spontaneity and inventiveness."
Tracce Di Jazz Magazine (IT)