Good-bye Venus or Slow Boat to Mars
Lenz is a born rambler between worlds. Whoever listens can join him on his “Slow Boat to Mars” and set off on a journey bearing a banner with the words “Goodbye Venus”, which is quite apparently meant to be not a little ironic. What you can experience on these wanderings - in transit and in transition – is described impressively by none less than Uli’s bassist Ed Schuller himself : “I have known Uli Lenz for over a decade. We have played many concerts together both duo and with various trios throughout the world … the man has been to more places on this globe than almost anyone I know … like all ‘real’ jazz musicians Uli has his own unique style rhythmically, harmonically and melodically - check out his left hand. His compositions also bear an original stamp, often bluesy, sometimes playful but always with a strong direction. Uli’s music is as real as his personality. His knowledge of music both technically and artistically comes from a deep place forged by much experience!”
Ed Schuller has worked with many fine drummers in the last three decades, but for him John Betsch is the real thing. “His feel can be both relaxed and intense, strong and at the same time sensitive. He understands dynamics vis-à-vis tension and release. Of course, the most important thing is that he swings but with his own original funky edge …!”
With this excellent rhythm section, the Uli Lenz Trio effortlessly spans an unusual and widespread dynamic space, so that a hammered out fortissimo in bass keys can vanish within hardly perceptible moments into gently soaring heights. The ballad interpretations on this album appear to let time stand still and the beat of the music pacing forward can often hardly be felt. This is a truly masterful debut album by this trio.