Aphorism Quartet

Michael Beck (p), Domenic Landolf (ts, bcl), Jorge Rossy (vib, dr), Arne Huber (b)

Aphorism Quartet

Beck, Landolf, Rossy and Huber play a distinct, undogmatic yet melodically and emotionally authentic variety of modern Jazz, always looking for the core of the melody and following the intuition of the moment. The uncommon and also challenging ensemble lends itself to a large variety of colours and structures from a chamber-music-like transparency to almost orchestral density while leaving space for spontaneous interplay.

All four players assume the role of the soloist, accompanist and rhythm section, drawing on their vast experience as instrumentalists, band-leaders and composers. The repertoire consists mainly of original compositions with the addition of selected compositions by Monk, Mingus, Weill and others.

The collectively led quartet formed first as the Beck/Landolf/Rossy trio in 2013 and since then the trio has performed concerts in Switzerland and Spain. In March 2014 their first album «Aphorism» was recorded in Begues, Spain, and appeared in 2015 with Unit records.

The trio became a quartet with the addition of bass player Arne Huber in 2020. In late 2021 they recorded their first album as a quartet, «Portrait», which was released in 2023.

For more information, please visit www.michaelbeck.ch.

Albums by Beck/Landolf/Rossy:

Jorge Rossy – vibraphone, marimba & drums

Rossy, who went to Berklee to study trumpet when he was already an accomplished drummer, has co- written a piece of Jazz history as the drummer of the ground-breaking Brad Mehldau Trio from 1994- 2004. The list of his collaborators in the last 25 years reads like a who’s who of Jazz and includes Chick Corea, Paquito d’ Riviera, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Wayne Shorter, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow and Mark Turner. Since his return to Barcelona Rossy, who has always seen himself as a musician who plays drums as opposed to „just“ a drummer, has dedicated himself more to the piano and to composition. More recently the vibraphone plays a more and more important role. On this instrument he can unite his astute rhythmic and percussive talents with his profound sense for harmony and melody.

Domenic Landolf – tenor saxophone and bass clarinet

Landolf is an important figure in the Swiss jazz scene since his years as a student at the renowned Swiss Jazz School. His enormous competence as an instrumentalist and improvisor and his great artistic integrity make him the saxophonist of choice for many Swiss but also for touring international artists, such as Bill Carrothers, Bill Holman, Joe Haider, Hans Feigenwinter or Joe Lovano. He is a professor at the music academy of Basel and has released several highly acclaimed albums as a leader.

Michael Beck – piano

Michael Beck studied at Swiss Jazz School before receiving a scholarship for Berklee, where he got degrees in piano and Jazz composition. After graduation he spent two years freelancing in New York’s vibrant Jazz scene. Since his return to Bern he has had an active career as a performer in Switzerland and neighbouring countries. Michael has played with many internationally renowned musicians like Anat Cohen, Nat Su, Bänz Oester, Susanne Abbuehl, Michael Zisman, Antonio Sanchez, Jaleel Shaw or Mark Turner. Besides his activity as a Jazz pianist and teacher he has dealt intensively with contemporary classical composition and electronic music and produced many soundtracks and stage-compositions for modern dance companies. Among his recordings as a leader, his trio albums (2001 and 2007) have received particularly high praise.

Arne Huber – bass

Huber, who grew up in Windschläg, Germany, studied jazz bass with Thomas Stabenow at the Musikhochschule Mannheim from 1997 to 2001. From 2002 to 2006 he completed classical double bass studies at the Musikhochschule Freiburg. Huber became known in the international jazz scene as a member of the quintet L14,16, which won the international jazz competition in Hoeillart, Belgium. This band was also awarded the quarterly prize of the German Record Critics in 2002 and 2007. Huber recorded his debut album as band leader of the Arne Huber Quartet, Jordan, in 2011 and released two further albums in 2015 and 2017. The other members of his quartet are Domenic Landolf, Rainer Böhm and Jochen Rückert. He is a member of the Trio Böhm-Huber-Daneck and bands led by Axel Schlosser, Christoph Stiefel and Volker Engelberth. Huber has also played with Ingrid Jensen, Johannes Enders, Tony Lakatos, Randy Brecker, Adrian Mears, Julian Argüelles, Paul Heller, Ack van Rooyen, Bob Degen, Nils Petter Molvaer and Julien Lourau, among others. 




Anyone who knows Michael Beck, Domenic Landolf and Jorge Rossy knows about some similarities in their characters: modesty and restraint, for example, or the careful choice and effectiveness of their words. They don’t put themselves in the spotlight unnecessarily. In words and music they say what they have to say, and their aesthetic articulation is clear and authentic at every moment. Musically they share a lot of common ground; they are not looking for flashy effects or for newisms for their own sake. Rather, with „Chromophilia“ the trio continues, consistent with what they started with their first record „Aphorism“, that which is common to the three musicians and is also stated in that album’s title.

Chromophilia could perhaps be translated as “peculiarities of coloring“; it is a chamber-music Jazz with strong contrasts and a sometimes spartan and dry, but always relaxed and dynamic reduction to the essential: timbres, light and shadow. Here, Beck, Landolf and Rossy complement each other perfectly; they play in the same spirit and in common purpose. Everyone in the trio is able to shine as a soloist as well as in accompanying the others, and the putative simplicity grows in interplay, a well-dosed to and fro towards varied, tonally finely-balanced sound images.

The melodies and rhythms the trio combines are reminiscent of brush- or pencil strokes by Cezanne, hinting at creating and opening spaces or geometric bodies but never fully divulging everything. That which inhabits its spaces remains the secret of this art, and it is precisely what the trio doesn’t adorn to the fullest that evokes joy and tension from music and the fantasies it triggers.

It is characteristic of this bass- and drum-less trio that each of the three musicians is rhythmically inspired and therefore the bass and drums are never really missing. Multi-instrumentalist Jorge Rossy, a world-acclaimed drummer and an accomplished pianist, sets beautiful accents on Vibes and Marimba in solo parts as well in accompaniment and with his timing just as Domenic Landolf does on tenor saxophone and, most notably with the dark timbre of his bass clarinet and the well balanced use of its large range of registers. On the piano, Michael Beck provides not only the warm primer for this music, but he also, with his particular color palette, his chiaroscuro and his concise solos, creates tasteful contrasts, enhancing the impact of the other instruments.

The music of this trio makes do without any bombast and is almost in its entirety very lyrical, sometimes quite dreamy, flowing and swinging. The album contains compositions by all three musicians as well as «The Newcomer“, a song by Mercedes Rossy. Mercedes, Jorge’s sister, was an accomplished pianist and composer who sadly passed away in 1995. Like on Aphorism, we also find a composition by Kurt Weill: «Alabama Song“, here in an adaptation by Domenic Landolf. This tune has been interpreted by pop musicians, most notably the Doors, whose 1967 cover version became world-famous.

Chromophilia: 15 titles, simple and unpretentious but for that very reason both enthralling and mysterious

Tom Gsteiger / Landbote