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Cadence Magazine New York

Saxophonist and composer Jurgen Hagenlocher keeps his modal Bop recital fresh in several ways. First of all, there’s his own playing. He incorporates almost Lestorian turns of phrase into his solos, and accents them with Swing riffs, all the while sounding perfectly in keeping with the style. He also benefits from strong solo efforts of his sidemen, especially Alex Sipiagin (he’s credited with trumpet but on “Split Society” and “Circumstances” the fullness of his tone leads me to suspect he may be doubling on flugelhorn). Organist Thomas Bauser and guitarist Dano Haider also contribute statements that never stint on the melodic content in favor of facile display. By switching up who gets first solo, Hagenlocher makes sure each player has a chance to put his stamp on the proceed- ings. His choice of organ in the rhythm section also freshens up the format. Bauser doesn’t slather on the grease, favoring instead a more luminous sound that adds, in conjunction with Haider’s complementary tone, a soft glow to the proceedings. Drummer Jorg Eckel provides rhythmic snap. The compositions are all originals, mostly by the leader but with two contributions from the guitarist. Melodically they tend not to stick in the ear, but their harmonies open up intriguing courses for the soloists. Certainly this is a ses- sion that’s easy on the ear.

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