Music Portrait | posted 14.05.2020
Muriel Grossmann
Abstraction with a sea view
Saxophonist Muriel Grossmann reaches abstraction on the Balearic Islands, rides the waves with hard bop and even amazes billionaires with standards. Who is the secret pioneer of the spiritual revival?
Text Christoph Benkeser , Photos Christoph Schubert © Jazzman , Translation Sebastian Hinz
Muriel+grossmann+c+christoph+schubert
Rubriken_sticker_detail_01

Ibiza is not an anti-jazz island, on the contrary, says Muriel Grossmann. The saxophonist has been living on the Balearic Island for over 17 years — next to the sea, between lemon trees and a chicken coop, far from hectic jazz metropolises of London and New York. A place where she refines her interpretation of the spiritual jazz of the 1960s, decodes it and, as an unknown pioneer of scene greats like Shabaka Hutchings or Kamasi Washington, rewires it in post-Coltrane manner. »Large cities have their advantage, but it also depends on which phase of life you are in«, says Grossmann. Her phase of life does not stem from the speed of the urban and futuristic street canyons, but from the view of the sea, the vegetation and diversity of the island culture. »People live here who like to retreat. That shapes my work.«

Muriel Grossmann was born in Paris in 1971, grew up in Vienna and moved to Barcelona in the early 2000s. »It was great«, she says. »I played a lot, but I wanted to settle down.« In 2004 she was given the opportunity to play a summer residence at Terero Pereyra, one of Ibiza’s venues that permanently closed down since. Grossmann arrived for the summer months — and stayed. Ibiza has provided her with constant work. She could start a family. And of course there are these winters __»where you can sit at the piano or take the horn and the music just flows out.« This flow has begun the moment she arrived at the island. Grossmann meet the jazz pianist Joachim Kühn. He, who once described Ibiza as an anti-jazz island, invited her to his studio, where she ran into musicians like Christian Lillinger, Robert Landfermann and Wolfgang Reisinger — personalities who ride jazz standards like waves and reinforcing Grossmanns own visions.

»The visible is just another area of information for the audible« (Muriel Grossmann)

With »Homecoming Reunion«, Muriel Grossmann released her first album back in 2007. Since then, eight more CDs have followed on her Dreamland Records imprint without epic mambo-jambo, but almost exaggeratedly understated via Bandcamp. Only when the Estonian label RR Gems became aware of her music in 2018 and asked her to press »Golden Rule« on vinyl did the search queries skyrocket. »It’s great to work with people who have trust and a deep connection to our music to do things according to my vision and to go beyond it«, says Grossmann. And success proves her right: British magazine UK Vibe voted the record album of the year, Gilles Peterson promoted her music and eventually, people started to dig into her back catalog.

Muriel Grossmann – ElevationVinyl LP Grossmann’s work has followed the same focus since the publication of »Earth Tones« in 2015: music as abstraction, as a complex form of communication as she puts it. »Elevation«, which will be released on the renowned Jazzman Records in May, is a continuation of this, a compilation of pieces that have already been heard on __»Natural Time« and »Momentum«. »›Elevation‹ clearly shows that everything is one«, says Grossmann. The pieces of the past can be put together into new records without telling another story because they were part of the same phase. A phase that can also be traced using the cover artwork. »Sometimes I paint the paintings directly to the music. Or I choose paintings for the music.« Her children are involved as well, the view from her garden affects the mood. »The visible is just another area of information for the audible«, says Grossmann.

Muriel Grossmann – Golden RuleVinyl 2LP It is this contrast between light and dark, the visible and audible, that defines her polymeric facets, frames it and thus contextualizes it anew. Grossmann spends the mild winters in the studio and tours the island when famous people from film, sports and business spend their vacation on the island. »They want jazz«, says Grossmann, who during summer season performs five days a week in a first class hotel venue called Cipriani’s Downtown. »I remember how the owner of the Bellagios and Mirage in Las Vegas, Steve Wynn, once came up to me to ask if we could play ›Take Five‹. We could. He stood there speechless and then said to the owner what kind of killer band he had hired. The owner replied: ›I know, that’s why I have them every day all these years.‹ That’s when Steve Wynn came back the next day and booked the table right next to the band.«


You can find the Vinyl records of Muriel Grossmann in the HHV Records webshop.

Your Comment
Related Articles
Music Essay | posted 09.07.2020
Baltic & Finnish Jazz
Removing Boundaries
While jazz from London to L.A. is evolving a fresh pop sensibility or even tries to update the fusion heritage, cool flavors between new blood and nostalgia are cultivated on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Here the genre is cosmopolitan as well and yet totally distinct.
Music Essay | posted 24.06.2019
British Jazz
On The Hot Spot
Jazz in Great Britain is in the midst of a generational shift. New talents from Manchester to London are revising gridlocked listening habits and are testing the limits of the genre. But why now?
Music List | posted 03.07.2019
Polish Jazz
An introduction in 10 vinyl records
The Polish jazz scene is considered one of the most important and creative in Europe. Today it oscillates between superficial conventions and hidden ruptures. A little search for clues.
Music Portrait | posted 07.07.2020
International Anthem
In search of the truth
For six years the label International Anthem from Chicago has been reliably delivering jazz with their own attitude and idea. Although the founders refuse to be ascribed almost any kind of attribution to a genre. For them, the most beautiful sound is just always: the truth.
Music Interview | posted 16.06.2020
Gary Bartz
»We no longer see reality«
The Grammy-winning soprano saxophonist shared the stage with Miles Davis, Art Blakey and Max Roach. Now he has recorded an album with British outfit Maisha — and discovered something new.
Music Portrait | posted 30.06.2020
We Jazz
With emphasis on We
We Jazz, that stands for edgy, surprising jazz from the north. And also not. Since 2013 the festival has been held in Helsinki, since 2016 the label was founded. Matti Nives mainly publishes Finnish bands there. And acts as one of the most important networkers of the local scene.
Music Review | posted 10.01.2014
BadBadNotGood
BBNG2
To get jazz back out of the feuilleton, it’s taken nothing but the gentlemen of BadBadNotGood. »BBNG2« is making jazz dangerous again.
Music Review | posted 11.02.2016
Ed Motta
Perpetual Gateways
Since Donny Hathaway, hardly anyone has sounded this tender. With »Perpetual Gateways«, jazz singer Ed Motta is keeping up his high standards.
Music Review | posted 22.03.2016
Vijay Iyer / Wadada Leo Smith
A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke
Words like »sublime« should be used sparingly; however, it’s more than fitting for the encounter between Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith.
Music Review | posted 14.04.2016
Özdemir Erdoğan
Jazz Session
Özedemir Erdoğan’s »Jazz Session« gives us a good idea of the great things waiting to be explored in the field of Turkish music.
Music Review | posted 10.05.2016
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band
55
On »55«, the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band shows how good Steel Drum-Funk can function with Hip-Hop elements.
Music Review | posted 07.07.2016
BBNG (BadBadNotGood)
IV
With their new LP »IV«, BBNG (BadBadNotGood) are proving the critics wrong: their instrumental hip hop has defeated the alleged elevator-jazz.
Music Review | posted 14.02.2020
The Heliocentrics
Infinity Of Now
With »Infinity Of Now«, which has just been released by Madlib Invazions, the genius of the Heliocentrics should really get around now. To the inifinity.
Music Review | posted 09.03.2020
Pharoah Sanders
Live In Paris 1975
Pharoah Sanders recorded “Live In Paris 1975” in times of transition. This is reflected in the stylistic diversity of the recordings, but not in the playing of his quartet.
Music Review | posted 03.03.2020
Wildflower
Season 2
»Season 2«, the second album by Wildflower, with musicians from Sons Of Kemet and Ill Considered, is a meditation in exhilarated times.
Music Portrait
WeWantSounds
Contagious passion
WeWantSounds has been publishing music from the 1970s and 1980s since 2015. The name of the label is a catchphrase. When the Parisian two-man company selects the reissues, genre and country borders don‘t matter.
Music Essay
Baltic & Finnish Jazz
Removing Boundaries
While jazz from London to L.A. is evolving a fresh pop sensibility or even tries to update the fusion heritage, cool flavors between new blood and nostalgia are cultivated on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Here the genre is cosmopolitan as well and yet totally distinct.
Music Portrait
International Anthem
In search of the truth
For six years the label International Anthem from Chicago has been reliably delivering jazz with their own attitude and idea. Although the founders refuse to be ascribed almost any kind of attribution to a genre. For them, the most beautiful sound is just always: the truth.
Music Portrait
We Jazz
With emphasis on We
We Jazz, that stands for edgy, surprising jazz from the north. And also not. Since 2013 the festival has been held in Helsinki, since 2016 the label was founded. Matti Nives mainly publishes Finnish bands there. And acts as one of the most important networkers of the local scene.
Music Portrait
Roy Ayers
Warm vibrations with universal attraction
The American vibraphonist, singer, songwriter and arranger Roy Ayers is one of the most sampled contemporary musicians. With songs like »Everybody Loves The Sunshine«, the soul jazz legend, which celebrates it’s 80th birthday in September, became the main inspiration for Acid Jazz in the late 90s. His new album “Roy Ayers JID 002” on Jazz Is Dead with Adrian Younge and ex-ATCQ producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad continues his golden period of the Polydor years in the 70s seamlessly.
Music Interview
Gary Bartz
»We no longer see reality«
The Grammy-winning soprano saxophonist shared the stage with Miles Davis, Art Blakey and Max Roach. Now he has recorded an album with British outfit Maisha — and discovered something new.
Music Portrait
Dekmantel
Infinite Holidays
For the better part of a decade now, the Dekmantel imprint from Amsterdam is successfully squaring the circle as label, festival and promoter of several events: Connecting innovation and underground with a quality standard that is by now globally recognized without failing its aspirations. An end? Even in times of crisis far away.
Music List
Rafael Anton Irisarri
10 All Time Favs
Ambient? Maybe. But with splinters of metal, neo-classical and other stuff. Rafael Anton Irisarri paints overwhelming sound paintings with thick brushstrokes. For us the American composer has revealed his influences.
Music Portrait
Muriel Grossmann
Abstraction with a sea view
Saxophonist Muriel Grossmann reaches abstraction on the Balearic Islands, rides the waves with hard bop and even amazes billionaires with standards. Who is the secret pioneer of the spiritual revival?
Music Portrait
Roza Terenzi
Rave in a time capsule
Roza Terenzi turns past rave days upside down and brushes it with jungle breaks and techno cuts. On »Modern Bliss« she finally ends up in the future.
Music Portrait
Soviet Grail
Collective memory
Amid jazz experiments, electronic brutalism and psychedelic underground, Sergey Klimov digs for treasures for which musicians ended up in prison. With Soviet Grail, the Russian label boss traces the history of Soviet music.
Music List
ADULT.
10 All Time Favs
ADULT. have been making music for more than 20 years now. And they still don’t want simple attributions, sunlight, self-deception. Instead they wanted to call us records, which they shaped, improved, formed.
Music Interview
Quelle Chris
Accepting the chaos
He’s the most prolific oddball of the rap underground. And he’s on fire. With »Innocent Country 2« Quelle Chris follows up on his groundbreaking record »Guns« and a process where hopelessness is contradicted by accepting a surreal anxiety.
Music List
Peaking Lights
10 All Time Favs
In these days the new album «E S C A P E» of the Peaking Lights is released on Dekmantel. We had the opportunity to ask Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis about 10 records that they have shaped, improved and formed.
Music Portrait
Patricia Kokett
Part of his own Movement
Patricia Kokett blends rave with mysticism, futuristic industrial with shamanistic noise, the spirit of Coil with imaginary records from Kompakt Records. The music of the Lithuanian producer Gediminas Jakubka, who turns into Patricia on stage, balances between borders. An attempt at orientation.
Music List
Jeff Parker
10 All Time Favs
The guitarist Jeff Parker is no newcomer to the music scene. And yet you get the feeling he’s just starting out. But he already wrote music history as part of Tortoise. Now his new album »Suite for Max Brown« has been released on International Anthem. For this occasion we have asked Jeff Parker to choose 10 records that have shaped, improved and formed him.
Music Portrait
Kalahari Oyster Cult
The best of all possible worlds
Diving for pearls in the mud, tracking down rave classics from the nineties and working with producers for whom it doesn’t matter if the record ends up in the Beatport charts: Colin Volvert’s label Kalahari Oyster Cult mixes up the underground with its DIY ethos.
Music List
Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics
10 All Time Favs
The Heliocentrics have just released »Infinity Of Now«. The album has the potential to inspire future musicians. Malcolm Catto, however, has first revealed to us the records that have shaped, improved and formed him.
Music Portrait
Mad About Records
Sinfully summery
With his label Mad About the Portuguese Joaquim Paulo takes care of the really hard to find records from Jazz to Bossa Nova. With success. We introduce you to the label in detail.
Music Portrait
Blackest Ever Black
Search for alienation
Among connoisseurs of fucked up, intoxicating sounds, the record label Blackest Ever Black was appreciated like no other. IAt the end of the year 2019 it was suddenly closed. We look back on a label that musically determined the 2010s like few others.
Music Comment
RSD Black Friday 2019
12 Vinyl records to look out for
We’ve browsed through this year’s list of exclusive Record Store Day Black Friday 2019 releases and put together a selection of twelve Vinyl records that we’ve identified as possible highlights.
Music List
Polish Jazz
An introduction in 10 vinyl records
The Polish jazz scene is considered one of the most important and creative in Europe. Today it oscillates between superficial conventions and hidden ruptures. A little search for clues.
Music Essay
Women Of Jazz
We Insist Female
Women in jazz are still not a matter of course. That has to change. For in the past, female musicians have had a decisive influence on jazz and the future is also in their hands.
Music Column
Records Revisited
Lootpack – Soundpieces: Da Antidote! (1999)
The breakthrough: »Soundpieces: Da Antidote« lifted the still young West Coast label Stones Throw from the circle of experts to the cult Olympus. Now the underground classic is 20 years old.
Music Essay
British Jazz
On The Hot Spot
Jazz in Great Britain is in the midst of a generational shift. New talents from Manchester to London are revising gridlocked listening habits and are testing the limits of the genre. But why now?
Music List
Record Store Day 2019
12 releases to look out for
We’ve searched through this year’s list of releases exclusively released for Record Store Day 2019 and put together a selection of twelve records that we’ve identified as possible highlights.
Music Column
Records Revisited
J Dilla – The Shining (2006)
»The Shining« was J Dilla’s first posthumous album. You get soul, you get funk, you get the tricky stuff, and you can also get this raw rap shit. You get the infinite forms of expression that J Dilla mastered. It’s a true classic.
Music Interview
Midori Takada
Deep inward scenerys
The exceptional percussionist Midori Takada gives us an insight into the recordings and circumstances of her masterpiece »Through The Looking Glass«, which is now re-released by WRWTFWW Records in cooperation with Palto Flats.
Music Portrait
New Record Labels #26
Parallel Berlin, Power Vacuum, Superfly und Super Rhythm Trax
Every month we introduce you to labels, which we recently included in our Shop and/ or the discovery of which is worth it! The chosen ones this time around: Parallel Berlin, Power Vacuum, Superfly and Super Rhythm Trax.
Music Portrait
New Record Labels #25
Bliq, Dub Disco, Ectotherm, and Jazzaggression
Month by Month we are going to introduce you to a bunch of record labels, which are new at hhv.de webshop and/or you definitely have to discover now. The record labels this month are: Bliq, Dub Disco, Ectotherm, Jazzaggression.
Music List
Acid Arab
10 All Time Favs
We ask musicians to list and comment on 10 records by which they have been formed, bettered and educated. This time, the production collective Acid Arab takes on the task.
Music Interview
Abra
Turnt Up Art Kid
Abra comes with the charisma, the talent and the looks to become one of the great figures of pop. At the same time she’s bizarre enough to be love by those who hate Spotify. For a long time she was just one thing for many: too bizarre.
Music List
Deadbeat
10 Canadian Favorites
Deadbeat is one of the musicians who carry the torch for contemporary electronic music from Canada. There are others, there have been others. In his list Deadbeats names them – plus influntial canadian musicians from other genres.
Music Interview
Oneohtrix Point Never
The little cheese shop
»They had the skills, the church provided them with a way to make music and now we have Bach! Do we sit there now and say: ›Sucks that he branded himself?‹«. We had a lively talk with Oneohtrix Point Never.
Music List
Off the beaten tracks with...
Blond:ish
We go off the beaten tracks. In our ongoing series we give artists the space to talk about a passion which isn’t their own music. This time around Blond:ish take us with them on their travels.
Music List
Fred P
10 All Time Favs
We ask musicians to list and comment on 10 records by which they have been formed, mended and educated. This time, the producer and DJ Fred P takes on the task.
Music List
The Black Madonna
10 Classic Midwest Rave Favs
We ask musicians to list and comment on 10 records by which they have been formed, bettered and educated. This time, producer and DJ The Black Madonna takes on the task.
Music Interview
Jaakko Eino Kalevi
About Love And Other Mental Illnesses
Jaakko Eino Kalevi looks like a stoned angel in a woolie, works as a tram driver and with »No End« he released on of the best songs of 2013. About time we get to know him. A conversation about love, music and how to wash laundry.
Music Interview
The Mixfits
Turntrable Diaries # 7
This year the DMC World Championships turns 30. So for that reason we like to introduce you to some of the protagonists. This time we talked to The Mixfitz.
Music Interview
Dj Shiftee
Turntable Diaries # 6
This year the DMC World Championships turns 30. So for that reason we like to introduce you to some of the protagonists. This time we talked to DJ Shiftee.
Music Interview
Dj Switch
Turntable Diaries # 5
This year the DMC World Championships turns 30. So for that reason we like to introduce you to some of the protagonists. This time we talked to DJ Switch.