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Joshua Bredemeier

Lauter Wind (2021)

4.7

March 25, 2022

Tuning / Blend 4.7
Energy / Intensity 4.3
Innovation / Creativity 4.7
Soloists 4.7
Sound / Production 4.7
Repeat Listenability 4.3
Tracks
1 Die Affen rasen durch den Wald 4.7
2 Was macht der Fuhrmann 4.7
3 In einen Harung (jung und schlank) 4.7
4 Komm, lieber Mai, und mache 4.7
5 Hopp, hopp, hopp, Pferdchen, lauf Galopp 4.7
6 Jetzt fahr'n wir über'n See 4.7
7 Hejo! Spann den Wagen an 5.0
8 Das Glück 4.7
9 Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer 5.0
10 Es schaukeln die Winde 4.7

Recorded 2021
Total time: 25:20, 10 songs


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 5
Innovation / Creativity 5
Soloists 5
Sound / Production 5
Repeat Listenability 5
Tracks
1 Die Affen rasen durch den Wald 5
2 Was macht der Fuhrmann 5
3 In einen Harung (jung und schlank) 5
4 Komm, lieber Mai, und mache 5
5 Hopp, hopp, hopp, Pferdchen, lauf Galopp 5
6 Jetzt fahr'n wir über'n See 5
7 Hejo! Spann den Wagen an 5
8 Das Glück 5
9 Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer 5
10 Es schaukeln die Winde 5

German folk music gets a cabaret treatment in Lauter Wind, a sparkling and slightly confusing album from Joshua Bredemeier and his coed quintet. The singing is very good, the arrangements swing, the chords lock. What confuses me is whom these excellent singers are making music for. I think the answer is "people who wouldn't otherwise hear these songs" and for that I applaud them.

Most of these songs are children's songs, brightened up in jazzy modern arrangements. They're not the kind of settings that immediately tend to grab actual children, though. The rhythms swing and syncopate, the chords suspend. I like it! But for the most part, I think my kids would not especially connect. Take Hejo! Spann den Wagen an, a tune that is both catchy and familiar to the English speaking world as Hey Ho, Nobody Home. It's presented here in a stunning arrangement, with a wordless modernist intro and Gregorian chant-like melodies. I love it! I'd love to hear it sung by a good chamber choir. I also don't see it replacing the familiar round in kindergartens any time soon.

The last two songs are the ones with the most cross-generational appeal. Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer is catchy and has some funny sound effects that cross the linguistic barrier, with a little bit of clap-a-long fun. Then Es schaukeln die Winde, a lovely waltzing lullaby suitable for all lullaby occasions. 

Most of the repertoire is traditional, and as a lifelong folkie I enjoy hearing the songs I know and getting to know the ones I don't. Das Glück is a bouncing change of pace from the children's tunes — it's presented here as a patter song in lieder style. There's also some Mozart, a waltzing Komm, lieber Mai und mache that also could transition to a chamber choir with little adjustment. It's a great arrangement and, as you'd expect from Mozart, has a great underlying tune.

The three upper-voiced soloists have complementary crystalline voices that shift easily along the classical-jazz continuum and their voices are justly featured on most of the numbers. The two lower-voiced singers have fuzzier, jazzier voices that blend well and lock the ensemble together. I enjoyed hearing them sing these songs together, even if I was never entirely sure why we were here.


TeKay
4
Tuning / Blend 4
Energy / Intensity 3
Innovation / Creativity 4
Soloists 4
Sound / Production 4
Repeat Listenability 3
Tracks
1 Die Affen rasen durch den Wald 4
2 Was macht der Fuhrmann 4
3 In einen Harung (jung und schlank) 5
4 Komm, lieber Mai, und mache 4
5 Hopp, hopp, hopp, Pferdchen, lauf Galopp 4
6 Jetzt fahr'n wir über'n See 5
7 Hejo! Spann den Wagen an 5
8 Das Glück 4
9 Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer 5
10 Es schaukeln die Winde 4

Lauter Wind is just that: a loud wind of joy and childhood excitement wrapped up in jazzy chords and rolling rhythms by the German wunderkind himself, Joshua Bredemeier. Joining Bredemeier are some of his very talented and famous friends, including ONAIR's Jennifer Kothe and Quintense's Katrin Enkemeier.

The album is twenty-four minutes of quirky children's songs that are part of a cultural project to elevate such simple songs to concert hall level. So here, the songs are either swung to within an inch of their life, or sung with a grand atmospheric chorale masterpiece sound with all the expected comedic additions that songs for the wee ones have to incorporate — including what sounds like a loud breaking of the wind/raspberry at one point in Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer.

That song in particular showcases Bredemeier's arranging prowess. Sneaking in some German translating tools and a little research, much like BINGO where claps and speed and dropped letters make up the fun of the song, Auf does similar things with notes and the aforementioned bleeps and bloops. It all works so wonderfully, especially paired with the quintet's engaging singing and vocal coloring.

The album is an easy listen, especially if you like jazz music at all — because even if you can't speak German, it is easy to imagine this as a bee-boppin' scat album. In fact, some of the songs are probably enhanced because I don't always know what they are saying, so I "disregard" the fact that it's kids' music and enjoy the track for the sophisticated singing present. My two favorite tracks for this reason are Jetzt fahr'n wir über'n See, which sounds like a mix of The Real Group and The Idea of North on the easy listening setting; and Hejo!, which breaks down to a series of tonal clusters that is utterly fascinating. Google translates it as "Hey! Leverage the car." Okay, will do. See what I mean? You'll just sit awash in music that soars far above the lyrics.

This album isn't for everyone, but if you like light jazz or you like Germans singing — or have gotten really tired of Baby Shark and Bruno — you should visit Bredemeier and friends making a joyful noise to the world with Lauter Wind.


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 5
Innovation / Creativity 5
Soloists 5
Sound / Production 5
Repeat Listenability 5
Tracks
1 Die Affen rasen durch den Wald 5
2 Was macht der Fuhrmann 5
3 In einen Harung (jung und schlank) 4
4 Komm, lieber Mai, und mache 5
5 Hopp, hopp, hopp, Pferdchen, lauf Galopp 5
6 Jetzt fahr'n wir über'n See 4
7 Hejo! Spann den Wagen an 5
8 Das Glück 5
9 Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer 5
10 Es schaukeln die Winde 5

Lauter Wind features ten songs and clocks in at just under thirty minutes. These German-language songs are mostly traditional or classical in nature, exquisitely sung, cleanly produced, and highly enjoyable.

No song here is longer than 3:20, and as a result no song ever lags or drags. Each song is engaging and sounds different from the others, and there are so many amazing details here that make each song so captivating. The whispered segment in Was macht der Fuhrmann is perfect, the slowly building crescendo on Hejo! Spann den Wagen an will make listeners hold their breaths, and the delicate Es schaukeln die Winde sounds like a music box. The horn section in Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer adds compelling texture, and even super short Das Glück has more detail than a typical brief throwaway track.

But my favorite track is the bouncing Hopp, hopp, hopp, Pferdchen, lauf Galopp. It is impossible for this to be background music; this song is so bouncy and precisely-delivered that you can hear the singers having fun through the speakers.

Joshua Bredemeier has assembled quite a group of talented singers on Lauter Wind, and the album, while brief, does not have a weak link. It's a beautiful, fun, and compelling listen.

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Ordering Information

Physical copies are available at http://hoerbaend.de/shop. This album also streams on Spotify.

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