Tag Archives: CD

HUK’s Eleven: Rescued from the Drawer

Rescued from the Drawer


HUK’s Eleven is a band from the Interlaken area here in Switzerland that has been put together to play and record arrangements written by trumpet player Hansueli Krähenbühl. Some years ago he started to arrange Jazz standards for a wind section of 5-6 players (trumpets, trombones and saxophones) plus a rhythm section for workshop sessions. Since those arrangements spend most of their time in the drawer the idea came up to rescue them from the drawer and make a record. Finally in January 2017 a recording studio has been organized and a band (four saxophonists, two trumpet players, one trombone player plus a rhythm section with piano, guitar, bass and drums) was compiled to produce this record.

Some of the finest Swiss jazz musicians are lining up on this CD including Rolf and Sandro Häsler,  Vincent Lachat and Jérôme De Carli.

The selected tunes are all well known Jazz standards. The CD contains Cole Porter songs like “Love for Sale” or “You’d Be so Nice to Come Home To”,  George Gershwin’s “Soon”,  “It Might as Well Be Spring” from Richard Rogers and “Days of Wine and Roses” from Henry Mancini.

These great melodies make it rather easy to listen and to focus on the details of the arrangements and the solos. The band produces a full and complete sound almost like a big band, but it gives also space and freedom for each and everyone to shine as a soloist. The first song “Lady Bird” shows the direction:  a very well arranged melody, followed by solos including accompaniment of the band. That is basically the pattern on this album, the melody is arranged for the whole band and is followed by two or three solo choruses where each musician gets a chance to play a solo.

My favorite songs  on the CD are “Lady Bird”, “Tanga” and “It Might as Well Be Spring”. “Tanga” comes with a nice Latin groove and “It Might as Well Be Spring” has a very nice even a little bit greasy saxophone section, but I like that.

The rhythm section is playing very well together, piano and guitar give each other the necessary space and Stephan Urwyler on guitar is given extra room to improvise multiple times. Not bad for a band with so many horns.

So overall, I like the CD, the arrangements are nice and easy, very well played, the sound of the CD is also very well mixed and balanced, so a clear recommendation from me.

The band plans to play in public, but I have no dates yet, but I guess the Jazz summer will have a spot for this band.

You will find some of the songs on YouTube. Here is a link to “Lady Bird”:


Here is the complete line-up:

  • Hansueli Krähenbühl – trumpet, fluegelhorn
  • Sandro Häsler – trumpet, fluegelhorn
  • Rolf Häsler – soprano saxophone, alto saxophone
  • Fredi Krähenbühl – tenor saxophone, flute
  • Ivo Prato - tenor saxophone
  • Cornel Studach - baritone saxophone
  • Vincent Lachat - trombone
  • Stephan Urwyler - guitar
  • Jérôme De Carli - piano
  • Hans Ermel - bass
  • Roland Bürki – drums

And finally a playlist if you want to listen to or order the CD:

Marcus Strickland – Nihil Novi


Another 2016 CD release which is my favorite CD at the moment: Nihil Novi from Marcus Strickland. Nihil Novi means “Nothing new” and this is a clear understatement and it is also correct at the same time.  Nihil Novi is not like all the other Jazz CDs I’m listening to but the material on this album sounds quite familiar to material I have been listening before. Here is a musician who took the chance to release a unique album on Blue Note with all the possibilities that are behind that “big” jazz label.

I had the chance to see Marcus Strickland in 2012 in Langnau where he was teaching the saxophone class at the jazz workshops during the Langnau jazz festival. Was very impressive and entertaining, what he explained in his classes. Since then I’m following his music.

Back to the album: Produced was the album by Meshell Ndegeocello (just found out that she comes to Europe in spring)  and there is a long list of guest musicians including Robert Glasper on keyboards, singer Jean Baylor and twin-brother E.J. Strickland on drums.

Which song is my favorite: Hard to say, I  like the trumpet part on “Mirrors”, I like also those little fragments like “Mantra” and I like the vocals on “Talking Loud”.

There is a nice video, which I added to this post, so enjoy Marcus in his own words: