|Recorded by Ziv Ravitz at Douglass Street Music Collective, Brooklyn, June 2010.
Although a broad term, most people associate a specific set of dos and don'ts with jazz, most of them unseparable
from the African-American experience. Artists like trumpeter Thomas Heberer--a German living in New York City--
challenge those seemingly holy rules by not trying to pretend; he simply is himself: A man raised and educated in
Europe. Thomas' music certainly owes something to the jazz canon but instead of being limited and exclusive, his
approach is broad and inclusive, a branch of world music. His art is coming from the gut as much as from the brain;
it doesn't distinguish between high-brow and low-brow: think Leadbelly, Louis, Ornette, Gesualdo, Bach and
Stockhausen, all at the same time. Heberer's trio Clarino with Belgian clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst and French-
German bassist Pascal Niggenkemper--both New York colleagues--exclusively plays originals written in Thomas'
innovative Cookbooknotation, "a code that brings a fresh and very personal approach to blending improvisation and
composition," as the artist explains. "It does so by implementing the idea of instant memory. Shaped according to a
specific set of rules, musical units are improvised and memorized on the fly, and later reintroduced into the musical
process--sometimes modified, sometimes not." Thomas Heberer is one of the most interesting brassmen today,
garnering credit for his excellent and innovative work, both as a trumpeter and a rare practitioner of the quartertone
trumpet. A longtime member of Misha Mengelberg's Instant Composers Pool, Thomas has collaborated with
most everybody in the field in the last 20 years. Some of his more recent employers include: Han Bennink, Karl
Berger, Peter Broetzmann and Eugene Chadbourne. The title of this CD, "Klippe" ("cliff" in English) is a metaphor for
the music being "on the edge"; it's about respecting and knowing the past while being fearlessly ready to jump off
the cliff into unknown territory, enjoying the adrenaline rush along the way. These great musicians, coming from
Europe and living in the US, prove that jazz is not only an international affair these days, but that the future of this
beautiful art form depends as much on the expats as it does on the "homies."