Mark Koch

piano keyboards composition

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Ambient groove jazz

The pianist Mark Koch has been an integral part of the Swiss jazz scene for nearly thirty years now. As stylistic compartmentalisations have always been a complete anathema to him, he has not been averse to also letting himself be heard occasionally in a spectrum of genres including fusion and Latin music. In 2005, he formed the Mark Koch Trio with whom he has performed around 50 concerts to date. After their first CD "Red, Blue and Green", released at the start of May 2006 by the renowned Swiss jazz label 'Brambus Records', met with widespread acclaim, their second CD "Soundscape" has now also been released.

The trio is garnering ever-greater recognition nationally and internationally, which their concerts in the Q4 Rheinfelden, one of Switzerland’s most famous jazz clubs, in the spring of 2011 and in the Budapest Jazz Club in the forthcoming autumn attest to.

The musicians forming the trio are Mark Koch (piano), Sarah Zaugg (electric bass) and Peter Fischer (drums). Previously, Mark Koch and Peter Fischer toured with the legendary funk-jazz group "Twice a Week", amongst others. Sarah Zaugg plays with :Stefan Schroff Trio (instrumental Rock), Tellit (Singer-Songwriter), BigMatt BigBand (Soul-Funk-Jazz), The Catamaran (Stoner Rock). Since Spring 2011 she has her own Project "Dance Now, Think Later!".

The trio masterfully blends jazz with ambient sounds, and combines hard-bob elements with fusion rhythms. A listening instantly makes one thing clear: this is an exchange between three equally-talented individualists who understand each other implicitly and complement one another perfectly. The result: a vibrant tapestry of sound based on a straight groove that propels the three musicians forward.

Original compositions constitute the music played by the trio. Lyrical melodic lines intersperse with cascading sound figures, free improvisations follow complex harmonic sequences. The aim of the group is to give every musician the greatest possible latitude in his playing, without detracting from a dense and unique overall sound.

„Straightahead jazz, hard bop, funk-lite, freely improvised music, the occasional burst of rackety street-beats: all are wovon into an accessible, alternately hard-swinging and coolly contained set of originals in which Koch seems able to range freely between sparkling lyricism and bluesy funk at will, enlivening the mix occasionally with robust, splashy passages of entirely free playing or cascading, percussive romps faintly reminiscent of Don Pullen or D.D. Jackson.“( The Vortex).

“Koch has no stylistic limitations and his freedom in this regard is one of his strengths. In every musical foray, he is accompanied with dexterity and sensitivity by his equally adept trio members. The beautiful ballad “Open Mind” in particular possesses the qualities of being unforgettable”. (JAZZ’N’MORE sge Silvano Luca Gerosa)

“Track 3 on the CD is an essential listen; all the compositions were penned by Mark Koch who intimately ploughs the expansive field of jazz inspiration and brings forth the entire soundscape of the trio in just over 4 minutes.” (Concerto)

„Ce groupe dénote d’une belle maturité, et sait donner à sa musique une ouverture totale dans un genre tout à fait actualisé. Les rythmes donnent de bien belles couleurs à la fusion proposée. Koch mérite toute notre attention car en plus ses mélodies sont agréables.“(Jazz Notes.)  

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