Joe Dinkelbach - Lowland


Jazz has a tradition in Germany since a long time. There are hundreds of gigs and events every year. Many labels are selling and releasing jazz albums and one can also find a lot of websites about this genre. On the other hand Smooth Jazz is still a niche product. Artists like Christoph Spendel, Anisha Cay, Wolfgang Mitschke, Wolfgang Haffner, Harmonic Obsession, Matt Claus, Curtis McLaw (Dancing Fantasy, Blue Knights), Yulara, Dirk K or Ca-RoH elucidate the Smooth Jazz culture in Germany. But there is certainly no mainstream movement.

Joe Dinkelbach is one of the new upcoming artists earning his merits in Smooth Jazz. He worked together with artists like John Aebercrombie, Dave Liebman, Charly Mariano, Bill Ramsey, Inga Rumpf, Allan Harris, Uli Beckerhoff, Detlev Beier, Sylvia Droste. 

Together with saxplayer Paulo Pereira, bassist Marc Ebermann and drummer Ralf Jackowski Joe recorded in 2002 the CD " Lowland" which is a mixture of Smooth Jazz, fusion and some electronic songs. Unusual is the way his debut album came into being. 

 "Originally this CD was recorded as a demo for filmmusic, but however it became more and more jazzy, so I decided to record some tunes with "real" instruments," comments Joe his album. 

The first track Funky Stuff sounds familiar. Joe plays brilliant improvisations on keyboards, which are rooted in fusion and funk. 

Lovesick Seahorse is the curious name for a slow Smooth Jazz tune featuring Paulo Pereira on tenor sax. The theme raised a loan of Quincey Jones ' "The Secret Garden". This hooking stuff is burned into many musicians and non-musicians mind. Very dense atmosphere.

Lowland starts with an gingerly adaption of an American traditional but soon Joe develops his own view of melody on his piano.

Snoopy is breezy and flimsy. Flute and light keyboard sounds based on drum programmed pattern together with some hammond B3 improvisations are giving this tune a laid-back energetic structure.

Joe's solo piano interpretation Moonlight reveals his classical and dreamy side.

On Zynchro Joe showcases his bluesy style and chops in piano play. Joe is a teacher for Jazzpiano at the Hochschule für Künste (university of arts) Bremen. His mastership his incontestable.

Latin jazz influences are audible on Laranjada. This is the swing of Copa Cabana.

From the coast of Brazil to the Amazonas. Wooden drums (xylophon) are the main instrument of this original piece. The sound of the jungle is here.

Marc Ebermann 's start to Surfin' reminds me of bassists like Victor Wooten or Marcus Miller. Very impressing Paulo Pereira's sax play and Joe's keyboards work. This would be a good tune for smooth jazz radio-stations.

Some more sentimental piano play is on Back Home. A tune for late night sessions.

With "Lowland" Joe Dinkelbach takes his stand in the first row of Germany's Smooth Jazz avantgarde.