The Berlin-based Broede Schrimer Unit – a new quartet featuring harmonica player-pianist Mat Broede, clarinetist Tobias Schirmer (of the Kokotob trio), prolific double bass player Jan Roder and drummer Brend Oezsevim – recorded its debut album live, on one single afternoon in February 2020 shortly before the first Covid-19 lockdown at Tito Knapp’s Zentrifuge. As the title of the album suggests, the six pieces are love homages to the vibrant city of Berlin.
The unique instrumentation of the quartet, with harmonica and clarinet in the frontline, leads to a chamber kind of post-bop, but with a strong nostalgic aroma, and sometimes even tinged with cabaret-like colors. The dynamics of the quartet keep the tension between the composed parts and the improvised pieces, and the front line of Broede and Schrimer have developed an organic, conversational interplay.
The Broede Schrimer Unit is at its best on the extended pieces, where there is more room for the spontaneous and urgent interplay. The dramatic, dense fast-shifting «Prominent Promenade on Planufer», «Sommerfrische Humboldt» and «West Ending» present the quartet as a real working band with an identity of its own, true democratic dynamics. And all six pieces offer imaginary landscapes of Berlin.
Brend Oezsevim (dr), Jan Roder (b), Tobias Schirmer (cl), Mat Broede (harm, p)