Introducing “The Chopin Project”

Introducing “The Chopin Project”

Kurt Rosenwinkel & Jean-Paul Brodbeck present “The Chopin Project”, a collaborative reinterpretation of Chopin’s music for jazz quartet, featuring Jorge Rossy on drums and Lukas Traxel on bass. “The Chopin Project” explores Chopin’s timelessly romantic music, and traces the indelible marks it has made on jazz improvisation.

Berlin, February 11th, 2022 

Acclaimed Swiss pianist Jean-Paul Brodbeck and legendary jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel join forces on “The Chopin Project”, a historic collaboration which finds them reinterpreting the music of Fréderic Chopin for jazz quartet. Rosenwinkel and Brodbeck are joined by the brilliant young Swiss bassist Lukas Traxel, and drummer Jorge Rossy, a leading figure in the Spanish and American jazz communities. 

One might wonder whether Chopin’s elegant romantic-era compositions would be suited to reinterpretation by a modern electric jazz quartet. Brodbeck and company, through 10 riveting performances of original arrangements of classic Preludes, Etudes, Nocturnes and Valses leave no doubt. Romantic rhythms shift into the swagger of swing, angular folk melodies transform into the blues, and the refined elegance of Chopin’s long arcing melody lines are transfigured by the transcendent energy of post-bop.

“I was so driven by Chopin’s world over the years, first of all to grow as a pianist, then with that background, I began to absorb his aesthetics and approach to phrasing and melodies. I let it speak naturally with my jazz language, and then I started to hear Kurt’s guitar sound in this music that led to those arrangements”, says the author of the arrangements Jean-Paul Brodbeck.

The band met for the recording in Zurich in August 2021 and discovered an immediate chemistry and rapport. Brodbeck’s piano outlines the beauty of Chopin’s compositional structures, while Rossy and Traxel provide an energetic textural groove which subtly reframes that beauty into the rhythmic language of jazz. It’s this foundation which allows Rosenwinkel’s ecstatic lead lines to fly over the band, metamorphosing Chopin’s familiar melodies into something profoundly new. 

“The Chopin Project” demonstrates with deft precision how refreshing it can be when we treat the music of the western classical canon as a living document, and allow ourselves the freedom to reinterpret it with curiosity and open ears.

The full album “The Chopin Project” will be available on Heartcore Records as a CD, digitally for purchase and all digital platforms on April 22nd 2022.  

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