Matthias Schwengler – trumpet
Matthew Halpin – saxophone
Reza Askari – double bass
Philip Bremswit – guitar
Trumpeter Matthias Schwengler founded Soulcrane in 2015. He himself graduated from the University of Music and Dance in his home city of Cologne, after which his musical journey continued to the Amsterdam Conservatory and the Music Institute in Osnabrück, leading to his master’s degree from Volkwang University. For two years he was part of BuJazzO (National Youth Jazz Orchestra), based in Bonn. Then came the meeting with bassist Reza Askari and guitarist Philipp Bremsvig, and that’s how Soulcrane was formed (along with a sextet that bears his name). Matthias Schwengler continues to play in the Subway Jazz Orchestra and in the Munich-based Bamesreiter Schwartz Orchestra, and for a while he was also a trumpet player in the WDR Big Band and the Concertgebouw Jazz Orchestra.
Gradually, however, Soulcrane has taken an increasingly important place in his so saturated concert life. In 2017, their first album was released, which made them “synonymous with atmospheric chamber jazz of the highest level”. The three met playing in the aforementioned Subway Jazz Orchestra. They are united by a common musical aesthetic and their desire to perform their own original compositions. Critics in Germany immediately noted the speed with which the three bright musicians found a common creative direction and how the brilliant improvisational skills of each of them created a “bright and lively musical tangle of sounds that come together in a common musical language that cannot be mistaken “. Their musical pursuits are constantly renewed in harmony with their new ideas, everyone enters the composition with their history and skills, which enrich the overall musical picture. Here we have to add the name of the saxophonist Matthew Halpin, who was invited for the second Soulcrane album “Another Step We Take”. His participation gives a new nuance, slightly changing the balladic soul of the first album with new harmonic layers.
The heart of Soulcrane continues to be Matthias Schwengler, and the magical sound of his trumpet “as if you could physically feel it floating in space”, but the four (based in Cologne) continue to carve their musical identity together, bringing their performances to audiences , which are like “elegant reminiscences of communication between good friends, both intimate and enthusiastic”, and recall how powerful the effect of musical revelations masterfully presented, but without unnecessary drama, can be.