Phoen – "Verdreht"

For the past ten years, the four members of the ensemble Phoen have been working on their own version of a saxophone quartet. With “Verdreht” (Session Work Records), the four talented musicians Viola Falb, Christoph Pepe Auer, Florian Fennes and Arnold Zamarin finally present their debut CD.

Viola Falb, Christoph Pepe Auer, Florian Fennes and Arnold Zamarin are four highly experimental musicians who are always searching for new musical challenges and like to look beyond the obvious boundaries. They all come from the environment of the Jazz Werkstatt Vienna. Connoisseurs of the scene should probably know the young musicians, since they have been an inherent part of the local jazz scene for years and have already demonstrated their outstanding creative abilities on numerous occasions. When it comes to realizing their own ideas, the four protagonists have repeatedly shown a lot of courage to take risks.

The title “Verdreht” (in English: Twisted) of the debut CD in some way already lets us guess in which direction the musical journey of the ensemble will take us. The pieces all sound a little strange, but are still clearly subject to a well thought out structure. When trying to  describe the music of the quartet in words, traditional genre classifications will not take you very far. Phoen is an attempt to soften traditional style concepts and, if possible, supply them with a new context. The principle is free play, creating a form of narrative, and embracing sound structures in motion, which are not based on common definitions, but on their own, highly individual forms.

Stylistically, the quartet works in the broad field of jazz, improvisation and contemporary music. Falb, Auer, Fennes and Zamarin are equally involved in the composition and arrangement process. A working method that is quite rare in a group of such exceptional artists. Despite the individual skills, the four musicians give each other enough room for development. Phoen perform on “Verdreht” a very interesting musical balancing act, urging the listeners to dive into this sound world and to take a closer look into this kind of musical matter.