Wednesday, 1 November 2017

German (Not Czech) Naima in Morning Part One (1980) and Family Walk (1981)

Naima or Naima New Jazz Quartet, from discogs:

German fusion combo that sound like a Latin-flavoured Toto Blanke cum Contact Trio mix.

I'm not so sure that comparison is quite apt since these guys are not as progressive / free jazz as either of those two outfits, being more like their Czech counterpart posted earlier, perhaps more acoustically inclined.

From the get-go, you get a sweet breezy feeling brought about by the addition of vibes to keys and electric guitars in all-instrumental compositions.  Throughout, the rhythm section keeps things nicely pumping to provide a level of energy you only got back in this period in time, before jazz reverted to acoustic instruments in the 80s.  A nice exemplar would be the title track Morning Part One:

And that's not even the best track here.  Vibraphonist (and principal composer) is Jochen Schmidt.  (Later on he performed on a highly recommended album called Axel Petry Quartett - Discover, this one.  Strong recommendation.  And not expensive.)  The variety is the other aspect, so typical of European jazz, which I love.  As usual we get delicate and tender slow pieces with in this case a flute melodying, on the Wind Song; improvisations are not too long, compositions show a great deal of originality, a slight classical influence pervades, i.e. we get all the best of Euro-jazz.

For their next album, in which they shortened their name considerably, the composers were totally different, and perhaps accordingly it was not quite as impressive.  Songwriting duties were mostly handled by a certain Ernst Schmidt-Breitbach who you can see doesn't appear elsewhere; even though Jochen is still present on vibes, he seems to have run out of ideas, sadly.

Perhaps the best track is the final one called Life Like, though there could be here substance for debate:

Sounding very much like any generic vibes plus electric guitar jazz track of which we've heard so many in these years: 5 years really, 3 posts per week, already 700+ albums...
or to use my wife's favourite comment: this sounds like everything else you've ever played before...
Well, I married her partly for her sense of humour so I can't complain, can I...


  1. Naima 1

    Naima 2

    Enjoy them...

  2. Thank you so much for this, Julian. I remember hearing the first album on The Growing Bin quite a few years ago.
    Your wife's comment is also echoed by mine (this account is in her name). Please keep providing your excellent service, as it's greatly appreciated. Adam.

  3. Wow, this is nice, new to me as well. Thanks Julian.

  4. btw what do u think about this resource ?
    Is it a good choice for music producer?

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