new release

NoBusiness Records
Thomas Borgmann / Jan Roder / Willi Kellers album "Some More Jazz" LP.
released May 2020

Recorded on 16th May, 2017 at at SAE Studios, Berlin by Robert Oeser
Mixed by Olaf Rupp and mastered by Arunas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Design by Oskaras Anosovas
Produced by Danas Mikailionis

"Stunning, amazing, I have no words...Apparently traditional, but deeply avantgardist!!!"
~ Maciej Lewenstein

From the prosaic title on, a casual vibe pervades "Some More Jazz" which belies the depth of artistry involved in its execution. On each of the three cuts on this 47-minute LP, the seemingly random start progressively comes into focus. Notice of the naturally evolving unfolding arrive thick and fast.

On “The Other Morning In The Park” the pulse gradually coalesces from drummer Willi Kellers’ clanking steel pans, bassist Jan Roder’s discursive pizzicato and saxophonist Thomas Borgmann’s sweet soprano musings.
And then Roder drops out, leaving Kellers and Borgmann in tandem, so that when they pause he can return to initiate a new direction. Such shifts occur with so little fanfare they can be barely discernible.

Kellers and Borgmann go back a long way, already in partnership back in 1995 under the continuing moniker Ruf Der Heimat, and subsequently further documented on Boom Box (Jazzwerkstatt, 2011) and One For Cisco (NoBusiness, 2016), on each occasion with a new bassist completing the trio. The addition of Roder heralds a new brand: Keys & Screws.

And so palpable is the group feel, with Roder such an integral part in the proceedings, through his melding of rhythmic impulse with melody in an assertive counterpoint, that differentiating the threesome with a distinct name seems entirely appropriate.

Kellers similarly plays a key role. Like Louis Moholo-Moholo, he prompts, cajoles and almost sneaks in the beat, all the while without imposing himself, the architect of a transparent sound in which everyone can be clearly heard at all times.
He supplements that dexterity with another talent: the easy way in which he moves between haphazard clatter and relaxed propulsion.

On “Broadway Birdy” (split across the two sides), Kellers’ thumb piano, Roder’s strum and Borgmann’s toy melodica create a bucolic scene, briefly alluding to the hymn “Abide With Me,” before the reedman wields his tenor saxophone, outlining a wavering dirge which at times combines echoes of Trane’s “Alabama” and the free flow of legendary Chicago saxophonist Fred Anderson.
But even at his most hectic, Borgmann never loses control, building coherently and soulfully, sounding both familiar yet newly minted.

As with those previous albums, although each of the three tracks is credited to a different band member, the uncomplicated melodies could as well be extemporized. But the apparent simplicity is no obstacle to fulfilling and expressive invention. At the outset of “Chatham Bellbird” Borgmann uses tonal distortion to vary an incantatory tenor phrase, ultimately peaking in falsetto cries and hoarse shrieks, before later winding down on soprano with a slightly melancholy poppy lyricism.

Certainly the spontaneity with which each piece develops suggests three finely attuned sensibilities at work, or perhaps that should be at play.
But work or play, it’s an outstanding release.
~ John Scharpe @ Point of Departure

...deutsche Übersetzung +/-

Tom Hull's (village voice) strong vote gave a A-
" Nice, edgy free jazz, backing smartly away from the abyss."
"Schöner, kantiger Free Jazz, der sich geschickt vom Abgrund entfernt"

"The first record we've seen under the name of Keys & Screws, but a set that features work from reedman Thomas Borgmann – a player who always catches our ears, and who turns out some wonderful music here on tenor, soprano sax, and a toy melodica!

Borgmann has this way of delivering a line that's spacious and soulful when his bandmates might be moving in a slightly different direction – creating this personal spirit of hope and redemption amidst the darker tones of Jan Roder on bass and Willi Kellers on drums and percussion – often blown with a sense of confidence that never has him pushing too far or too fast – standing his own beautifully, and really delivering a great sense of message."
~ dusty groove, Chicago

* * * *
"(...) Ignoring the different band name and the change of bassist, the essential feature of Some More Jazz is that it adheres to the principles which underpinned Jazz; namely, it is jazz in which the players take recognisable solos, sympathetically listening to one another and responding appropriately whilst retaining their trademark sounds and styles. (...)
In particular, Roder eloquently shows that he is not just the latest bassist rotated in to join Borgmann and Kellers but a vital musician in his own right, bursting with creative ideas.
Yes, Keys and Screws is a trio of equals in which three distinct individual voices meld together into one collective voice.
Some More Jazz is not just the follow-up to Jazz, it is its equal...which is praise indeed."
~ John Eyles ©

"really a fantastic album. playful elements, flutes & steel drums, then almost seamlessly a great emotional depth. work on motifs until they fly up, without redundancies, loose grooves, moments of casual beauty. already a hot candidate now: i will still be able to listen in 5 or 10 years."
~ Jan Künemund




one for cisco

thomas borgmann trio: one for cisco

NoBusiness Records
thomas borgmann | max johnson | willi kellers       album "One for Cisco" LP

Recorded live on 31st January, 2015 at the New York Tenor Sax Festival 2015, Ibeam-Brooklyn by Randy Thaler
Mastered by Arunas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Design by Oskaras Anosovas
Produced by Danas Mikailionis
Co-producer - Valerij Anosov

* * * * ½
"Borgmann carves out his insistent motivic and timbral variations with a broad breathy vibrato. However far out he goes, with falsetto asides and false-fingered bleating, there remains a melodic core to his work.
One of the masters of European free jazz drumming, Kellers rarely settles into a regular rhythm, but there's always a pulse. His repeated phrases mesh well with the hornman, while the steady contrapuntal stream from Johnson's big-toned bass means he fits right in.

On tenor Borgmann plays as if he has some old spiritual at the back of his mind, never explicitly stated, but always informing his choices.
(...) they've set out a strong manifesto and an argument for sustained collaboration."
~ John Sharpe @

"One long piece, recorded live at the New York Tenor Sax Festival in 2015 – which must have been a very good place to display the bold talents of Thomas Borgmann!
Yet in addition to some strong tenor work at the front of the improvisation, the record also features Thomas on a bit of soprano sax, and toy melodica too – and some passages seem to have him stepping back entirely, to allow for stronger focus on the beautiful bowed work of Max Johnson on bass, and the complicated patterns of Willi Kellers on drums.
The work's steeped in the best traditions of free improvisation – from the ESP generation through FMP and all the best contemporary underground work – almost all bases that seem to get touched in the extended performance!"
~ Dusty Groove, Chicago

"A lovely set, artfully presented by treasured Lithuanian label NoBusiness."
~ Stewart Smith, 'the Quietus'

JazzRightNow: Best Live Concert 2015

"The great German free/jazz saxist, Thomas Borgmann, had not played in the US since the turn of the century, so Mr.Cisco Bradley invited him back and set up a handful of gigs.
To make things even better, another legendary figure, German drummer Willi Kellers also was invited to play in the US for the first time, considering that Kellers is in his sixties.
The ubiquitous NY bassist, Max Johnson, completed this trio, so the set was even better that one might imagine.
I attended this set and it was one of the magical sets that you don't forget.

This LP-only release captures that set in all of its glory. The set began quietly and built to a grand conclusion. Both Mr. Borgmann and Mr. Kellers are on the same wavelength, moving together while Mr. Johnson also knits a tight tapestry between them.
Much of the first side is restrained yet consistently enchanting. There is an extraordinary soprano sax solo towards the end of the first side but most of the real fireworks takes place on the second side and they are equally amazing! It doesn't get any better than this so dive in today and catch a wave of dynamic, free spirits."
~ Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, New York





bmn trio: live in poland

bmn trio: live in poland

nottwo records
thomas borgmann | wilber morris | denis charles album "Live in Poland" CD

this is the rerelease of the sold out Vinyl onto Sagitarius A-Star two years ago with a bonus track.
"In sum, great music, great fun, great audience."

(...) Au Nasty & Sweet du BMN Trio, on pourra comparer le Nasty & Sweet du BMC – dans une version légèrement plus courte que celle consignée plus tôt sur vinyle.
Là, c’est une demi-heure qu’ouvre un archet funambule, concentré et tendu, dont le saxophone ténor empruntera l’intensité : sombre, ramassé, c’est un jazz de texture que rehausse l’ardente frappe de Charles. Plus tôt, le trio passa de jazz en folk comme en souvenir des belles heures FMP : avec plus de décontraction, les musiciens élaborent une musique qui ne craint pas les ruptures, voire les moments de flottement.
Heureusement, la progression est ascensionnelle, qu’emportera Borgmann au soprano. Evoquer, enfin, ces solos – disséminés sur les deux premières pièces ou subtilement imbriquées sur One by One – auxquels le public s’empresse toujours de réagir.
~ Guillaume Belhomme © Le son du grisli

DAF - deutsch-amerikanische Freundschaft. Die eine sehr befruchtende war. Auf dieser CD nachzuhören. Der Berliner Saxofonist und die beiden, mittlerweile verstorbenen afroamerikanischen Jazzgrößen, die bei der Positionierung des „New Thing" wesentlich beteiligt waren, bildeten ein kongeniales Trio.

Der hier enthaltene Konzertmitschnitt aus dem Jahr 1998, der bereits als Doppel-LP auf einem italienischen Label erschienen war, kocht und bebt vor unbändige Passion.
Von einem packenden Bluesthema, mit stämmigem Bass-Ostinato und geradem Vierer-Beat ausgehend, erklimmen die Erzmusiker eine ekstatische Ebene, die siebzig Minuten währt und den „klassischen" Free Jazz-Impetus aktuell artikulierte.

Trotzdem der modernen Jazzgeschichte gewahr. Was alle drei behände immer wieder aufblitzen lassen. Das Spannungspotential ihrer Musik inszenierten sie wahlweise mit hymnischer Inbrunst, orgiastischer Expansionskraft, swingender Eleganz oder afrikanischer Rhythmusobsession.

Ein schönes Erinnerungsstück an den Echtzeitbann improvisatorischer Gefühlsdarlegung in einer Jazzverortung.
~ Hannes Schweiger © FreiStil 06/14





nasty & sweet

NoBusiness Records
Thomas Borgmann / Wilber Morris / Reggie Nicholson album "Nasty & Sweet" on double LP.
released January 2013

live at Tampere & St. Ingbert
Mastered by Arunas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Design by Oskaras Anosovas
Produced by Danas Mikailionis
Co-producer - Valerij Anosov


Tom Hull's (village voice) strong vote gave a A- [advanced]

From the first few notes, it's apparent that something special is happening on Nasty & Sweet.
Perhaps it's the way bassist Wilber Morris and drummer Reggie Nicholson sound so assured in their placement of the merest splashes of color.
Completely unafraid to take their time, creating a powerful tension which isn't released even when German reedman Thomas Borgmann joins with his breathily majestic tenor saxophone smears.
There is a story here. (...)
~ John Sharpe ©

(...) The chemistry of this unit is unbelievable, the strenghth of their voice overwhelming, the excitement of creation palpable.
(...) Rarely a title expresses that well the music but between the gritty and uninhibited passion and spiritual pensieveness the music is exactly that : nasty and sweet.
A monumental performance from a brilliant trio - I daresay this one should be on any jazz fans must have list this year.
~ @ Jazz Alchemist

(...) En 1999 (...) Borgmann, Morris et Nicholson étaient du Tempere Jazz Festival. La mise en place prend son temps, celui nécessaire à la déposition d’une texture qui démontre déjà la cohérence de la formation.
Selon qu’il intervient au ténor ou au soprano, Borgmann instille ensuite – Sweet puis Nasty, alors – une improvisation aux reliefs abrupts ou verse dans un free autrement précipité.
Morris modifiant avec subtilité les couleurs du décorum et Nicholson battant la mesure en hachant toutes secondes, voilà que les quatre faces ont passé avec force et rapidité. En supplément, trouver deux autres pièces improvisées le 25 avril 1998 : Wilber’s Mood et autre Nasty & Sweet.
L’idée est la même, qui persiste et signe : il est temps de faire plus ample connaissance avec l’art de Thomas Borgmann.
~ Guillaume Belhomme © Le son du grisli

By now, the movements in a work like Nasty & Sweet should have commonly used names.
While unmediated dynamics still seems to deny This Music consideration by “real” scholars and critics of “real” music, the structural organization throughout Nasty & Sweet is a familiar one that spans all music.
Nasty & Sweet Part I starts as so many pieces of music involving 3 musicians have and will, as there are only so many ways for a trio to go from silence to sound in any music.
It is a sprawling alap setting the level of musicianship for the rest of the recording.(...)
~ Stan Zappa @ freejazz blog reviews

(...) The recording is quite nice sounding and you get plenty of music.
I am sorry I didn't get a chance to hear this trio in person, but the next best thing is an expansive recording such as this, freebopping its way into your inner musical mind.
It's a big pleasant surprise that will renew your faith that good music is all around
~ Grego Applegate Edwards © Gapplegate Music Review





boom box

boom box - jazz   jw106
w/ akira ando & willi kellers




Sirone Sextet - Live In Berlin – Ballhaus 1987 (180 gram vinyl)
w/ Sirone, Jason Hwang, Anthony Brown, Nick Steinhaus, Jacques Nobili, Thomas Borgmann

"A lost live set from bassist Sirone – recorded in Germany – but every bit as compelling as his rare American albums from the 70s!
There's a nicely loose feel here – a mix of loft jazz with some harder free improv modes – and the lineup includes Sirone on bass, Jason Hwang on violin, Thomas Borgmann on soprano sax, Jacques Nobili on trombone, Nick Steinhaus on alto, and Anthony Brown on drums.
Tunes are quite long, and move very organically – and Sirone's bass has this powerful energy that seems to direct things even more than usual – helping bring a good sense of soul and structure to the tunes "Getting It Together" and "Illusions Of Reality".
~ (Dusty Groove, Chicago)








© thomas borgmann | impressum