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Johannes Mueller JAZZ MILE invites us on a historic musical excursion to one of most impulsive places in jazz. It is 9:48 PM and we saunter through the smoky Frenchmen Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Faraway, you can hear the sound of a saxophone, carrying the melody and being rhythmically supported by the contrabass and the drums. More sides appear, this time a trumpet and a piano. As we arrive in front of Snug Harbour, a very traditional jazz bar, we recognize, through the gloomy light, Johannes Mueller on the saxophone with his band JAZZ MILE on stage in his favourite bar. It could have been occurred this way or in a similar way.


At the first listen of the new album of Johannes Mueller JAZZ MILE - Gloomy Smokey Light, one immediately feels the emotional deepness of his music. A well mixed compound of traditional pieces in a modern and fresh guise. Indeed, who closes their eyes will be carried away into the Snug Harbour. The particular energy of the jazz in such a city can literally be felt, as well as the spiritual, Creole passion that nowadays is still deeply buried within the music. Whether it is a never ending night in one of the many bars in the French Quarter or the unique carnival during the weeks of Mardi Gras; join the journey.


Through his compositions and arrangements, Johannes Mueller bridges the gap between Jazz, Blues, Salsa, Swing, Soul, and Bossa. A classical quintet, which is contemporary, young, but also deeply rooted in the tradition. It mirrors the musical ease of an entire generation and still manages to connect to the 21st century through pieces as “Happy” and “Every Breath You Take”. As simple as that might sound, the implementation is valuable and detailed. “Every track on this album tells its own story. Therefore, the music shall not lose its groove and soul, the audience shall be enthralled, that is our goal”, this is how Johannes Mueller describes Gloomy Smokey Light. The different cast is aligned to the diversity of the songs. The distinct focus on the saxophone and the trumpet in “A Dogwalk” shows the band leaders and Carlo Nardozza playful refinement. “Back To Mardi Gras” transports the feeling of the New Orleans carnival in such a well way, that one would like to believe, that he is even there himself. Especially, Chris Strik on the drums literally draws the streets of the French Quarter with his instrument. Likewise, on “Loss Of A Tooth”, Volker Engelberth on the piano demonstrates the deep Blues feeling in a contemporary way. Also, Philipp Schug and Gautier Laurent shine on the trombone and the contrabass.


In general, the cast of the band Jazz Mile could not be more colourful. Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and America are united in one band whom has committed itself to traditional but modern Jazz. Since already over 12 years, the formation has been a well-received guest on national and international jazz festivals. From Germany to Morocco, back to Spain and across all Europe. Even with their first two albums, the artists have demonstrated how jazz shall sound.


With their new album Gloomy Smokey Light, Johannes Mueller JAZZ MILE creates an absolutely pure and honest kind of jazz. The title of the production delivers more than it promises, and the listener can look forward to a modern, musical expedition, that he will definitely join more than only one time. 


Johannes Müller – Saxophone
Volker Engelberth – Piano
Gautier Laurent – Bass
Chris Strike – Drums
Carlos Nardozza – Trumpet

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