First album by bassist Branko Arnsek
November 26, 2022 Sindelfingen Newspaper 


Sindelfingen jazz musician has released his first album as bandleader, composer and arranger. It's called "Move closer!"
by Thomas Volkman


SINDELFINGEN. Better late than never. Jazz bassist Branko Arnsek, who was born in former Yugoslavia, grew up in Sindelfingen and has now lived there again, is 63 years old. So in the jazz scene more than – to put it bluntly – an old hand with good contacts. Which, as he says himself, makes him a "likely to be called sideman". "I see myself as a musical globetrotter who comes into contact with many cultures and musical styles," Arnsek continues.
Arnsek shows a particular soft spot for Afro-Cuban jazz and gypsy swing. On his new album, which has now been recorded with a sextet, he primarily devotes himself to contemporary jazz. With one exception, the compositions on it are all penned by him. "It's easy for me to write," says Arnsek and remembers how he realized composition ideas around 30 years ago with the White Diamonds, where the second local hero, Jogi Nestel, played drums.
Arnsek now considers “Move closer!”
a summary of his many years of musical work. It is the first of many of his recordings to bear his name this time. To this end, he has gathered young musicians around him who can deal with the material and influences from the Balkans to Cuba, but who are also well versed in modern jazz. “In contemporary jazz, it is no longer necessary to do without groove and functional harmony in order to create something new. It's more the listener's experience of perhaps having heard some things, only to find out in the end that it's completely different," Arnsek notes.
Written for sextet
Arnsek wrote the compositions and arrangements especially for sextet. When the studio appointment finally came up, the originally planned wind instruments fell out at short notice. Arnsek phoned his contacts in Germany - and found what he was looking for in trumpeter Janos Löber (Dortmund) and alto saxophonist Anton Mangold (Schweinfurt). "The two young wind players are a real pleasure to listen to," Arnsek is more than satisfied after going to the studio.
And he can relate to the rest of his comrades-in-arms like basically the album as such. The result is a multi-layered sound carrier on which Afro-Cuban folklore meets rare rhythms such as makuta and rumba obatala, the rhythm group with Arnsek on double bass and electric bass, Frank Eberle on piano or electric piano, Michael Mischl on drums and Reinier Ceruto on congas and Batas also knows how to tickle the funk out of her instruments.
Arnsek dedicated the opener “Bećanović” to a deceased musician friend from the Balkans. Those four titles, in which the Cuban singer Johana Jo Jones comes into play and create a connection between the different musical cultures, are temperamental and emotional. In addition to the Cuban art of improvisation, melismas from the North American R&B genre also meet - and in the piece "D'Avinci", well hidden in intricate rhythms, even achievements from hip-hop sound.

Branko Arnsek Sextet: "Move closer!" Available on CD or vinyl (from January 2022) via the website television