|Jazz is the new nomadism – it is played “on the road” – and it is also an immigration factor. HNH, the debut recording of drummer/composer Joe
Hertenstein with his trio, featuring bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and quarter-tone trumpeter Thomas Heberer, serves a great example, since all three are Germans, living in New York City. Their music is a clear product of the cityscape in all of its human complexity. Nevertheless, the musicians are still Europeans, which means they are not always performing the "in-your-face" Big Apple jazz style. There is the quietness, space, and breath that is specific to European jazz; when the trio plays free form, they move as one.Instead of taking the American "New Thing" idiom, they use the processes and vocabulary of European improvised music. Leader Joe Hertenstein, who has worked with the crème of improvisers in his native Germany,Cologne-based James Choice Orchestra (the ensemble includes Scott Fields, Frank Gratkowski, Carl Ludwig Huebsch, Thomas Lehn, Norbert Stein, Matthias Schubert a.o.), is – among other activities – a member of Butch Morris’ Nublu Orchestra. Bassist Pascal Niggenkemper has released two critically-acclaimed CDs with his trio featuring Robin Verheyen and Tyshawn Sorey, while trumpeter Thomas Heberer has been a member of Alexander von Schlippenbach's Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra and Misha Mengelberg's Instant Composers Pool for many years. Heberer also has collaborated with Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Peter Brötzmann, Dave
Douglas, Gerry Hemingway, Joachim Kühn, Paul Lovens, and David Murray a.o. Both he and
Hertenstein appear on 2005's "Live at Moers" CD by the James Choice Orchestra. Hertenstein and Heberer make their compositions catchy and visionary at the same time. Each piece here – composed, improvised, or a mix – finds its own form:supple, pulsating, swinging and highly explorative. Trumpet trios are still uncommon, however, HNH confirms that jazz is a universal expression.