Lüdemann's TransEuropeExpress Ensemble returns on BMC Records with Majid Bekkas

The TransEuropeExpress Ensemble, a jazz octet composed of excellent French and German musicians, led by German pianist-composer Hans Lüdemann, is set to explore Europe’s frontiers. The first stop on their long-term project called On The Edges is this album, which creates exciting yet organic music from the identities and tensions between the gnawa musical tradition and European jazz, featuring the world-famous Moroccan musician and singer Majid Bekkas.

Pianist-composer Hans Lüdemann is considered an own artist by BMC Records after recording five albums – in solo, trio and octet – under the auspices of the Hungarian label. His five-album series Die Kunst des Trios won an Echo Jazz Award and his record Polyjazz – released in 2018 – was praised by the German press with five star reviews. The latter was already recorded with the TransEuropeExpress Ensemble, which brought together some of the best musicians of the German and French jazz scene, and with whom Lüdemann also recorded this album.

On The Edges 1 is the first stop in a long-term project to explore the musical cultures of Europe’s border regions. The cycle begins on the other side of the Mediterranean with Majid Bekkas, a Moroccan musician, composer and singer who brought his own compositions, ideas and improvisations, as well as his special instruments, oud and guembri into this project. Bekkas is not only fluent in the language of his own culture, the gnawa tradition, but has also played in the first league of jazz for years: he has toured the world as a trio joint by pianist Joachim Kühn and drummer Ramón Lopez. On one such occasion he met Hans Lüdemann, who dreamed of this musical material based in part on Bekkas’ multilingualism, with particular emphasis on the similarities between musical cultures and the tensions arising from their differences. The orchestration is the result of a collective process in which the sound possibilities, soloistic virtues and individuality of the members of the ensemble can unfold.

As a continuation of the series, the Scandinavian region, then the Italian and later the Turkish music culture will soon be in focus with the participation of prestigious soloists like Majid Bekkas.
TransEuropeExpress Ensemble:
Hans Lüdemann – piano, virtual piano
Yves Robert – trombone
Alexandra Grimal – soprano & tenor saxophones
Silke Eberhard – alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet
Régis Huby – violin
Ronny Graupe – guitar
Sébastien Boisseau – double bass
Dejan Terzic – drums, percussions
featuring Majid Bekkas – oud, guembri, voice