Jorge Rossy Vibes Trio with Jeff Ballard and Robert Landfermann


Puerta, Jorge Rossy’s first ECM recording as a bandleader, is also his first release of a trio recording in which he plays vibes and marimba. When he began to perform as a vibes player 7 years ago, Jorge focused on playing in larger ensembles and arranged his compositions in ways that did not necessarily feature the vibes as the central instrument. In this recording, he puts the vibes and the marimba front and center and in this sense, too, the CD represents his evolution as a vibes player. The compositions are not new but the role of the vibes and marimba and the overall rendering of the tunes are completely fresh and distinct.  

Jorge is accompanied by Jeff Ballard on drums and Robert Landfermann on bass. With such strong players and in a trio setting, the compositions allow for an intimacy and a space that give all three musicians an equal musical presence. The transparency of the sound enhances this sense that each musician takes an equal role in shaping the character and mood of the tunes. It also reveals a deep aesthetic affinity between the three musicians.

Jorge and Jeff Ballard have known each other for years. They developed their musical voices largely in the same community of musicians around the New York jazz scene of the early ‘90s, and they have continued to play with many of the same people over the past three decades. Their deep complicity in style and language comes as no surprise. Jeff’s polyphonic approach to the drums provides a dense and very rich texture to the tunes. It is rooted in a deep understanding of different folk drumming traditions.


Robert Landfermann is from a younger generation of Europe-based jazz musicians. Jorge first played with him just a couple of years ago when he was invited to play vibes as a guest with Pablo Held’s trio, of which Robert is a core member. Robert has a deep understanding of the music of Jorge’s generation but he also brings different points of view and sounds to the table. His imagination and array of sounds on the bass expands the sonic, conceptual and expressive scope of the band. He alternates between an austere approach that anchors the foundation of each tune and an incredibly skilled and imaginative voice that weaves its way through each composition.

Each musician finds something very different and unique to contribute to each tune, creating out of each one a very different musical landscape. Most of the tunes crystallised within the recording context within just one or two takes. Both Robert and Jeff had played in Jorge’s Vibes Quintet so they were familiar with some of the tunes already. However, this was the first time that they had all played together in trio so the demands on them as musicians were completely different.

Jorge’s approach to the recording was to focus on storytelling in order to convey the meaning and essence of each composition while exploring the new sonic territory of this trio setting with Jeff and Robert. He created a context within which Robert and Jeff were able to contribute their own vision of each tune and their own sound. In this musical context, the role of each musician in creating the whole is completely clear and reveals aspects of each of their playing in a completely new light.

booking: Helen Kontos, United World,

Artist Biographies:

Jorge Rossy, vibraphone & marimba. Jorge Rossy, also known as Jordi Rossy, was born in Barcelona, Spain, on August 21, 1964. Over his musical career, he has mostly played drums but has also performed and recorded on trumpet, piano, and vibes & marimba.  As a vibes/marimba player, he has played or recorded with musicians including Mark Turner, Pete Bernstein, Joe Chambers, Al Foster, Joey Baron, Doug Weiss, Jaume Llombart, Joshua Redman, Adam Cruz, and Pietro Tonolo. Puerta is his third album as a vibes/marimba player, the previous two being Stay There (2016) and Beyond Sunday (2018).

Jeff Ballard, drums. Born on September 17, 1963, in Santa Cruz, CA, USA, Ballard’s past and present recording sessions and touring associates read like a who’s who of jazz. To name a select few: Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Brad Mehldau. His present work continues with the Brad Mehldau Trio, as co-leader of collective group FLY (featuring Mark Turner, Ballard, and Larry Grenadier) and with his own groups The Jeff Ballard Trio and Jeff Ballard Fairgrounds.

Robert Landfermann, contrabass. Landfermann was born in Oberwinter, Germany, on May 28, 1982. He has played and/or recorded with musicians such as John Scofield, Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano, Barre Philipps, Yo-yo Ma, John Taylor, John Hollenbeck, Joachim Kühn, Chris Potter, Tomasz Stanko, Django Bates and Dave Liebman. In 2006 he founded his first band as a leader: the trio Die Freundliche Übernahme and since 2006 he has formed part of the Pablo Held Trio.


«Playing his instruments in much the same way B.B. King played the guitar, he hits only the right notes at the right time, which gives the arrangements an airy, open feel. It also lets his bandmates, bassist Robert Landermann and drummer Jeff Ballard, have plenty of space to fill, which allows the former to add his own frisky solos alongside Rossy’s, and for the latter to add color via his cymbals and clattering accents. Attuned to each other’s thinking, the trio acts almost as one voice, whether it’s with the bossa nova of “Adíos,” the balladry of “Cargols” (composed by sometime Rossy bandmate Chris Cheek), or the swing of “Maybe Tuesday.” Rossy’s writing and the band’s musicianship meld in near perfection on the late-album cuts “Ventana” and “S.T.,” both of which boast elements of blues, swing and film noir soundtrack music without sliding easily under any banner. And that’s what sets Rossy apart: in a jazz firmament in which vibes are represented by such head-turners as Bobby Hutcherson, Lionel Hampton and Stefon Harris, Rossy confidently, almost casually, defines his own section of the jazz vibraphone universe.»



booking: Helen Kontos, United World,
management: Berit Dencker, Musicbox Entertainment,