keys & screws

► new CD "some more jazz", released May 2020, Nobusiness-Records NBLP 133

"(...) shows the musicians of Keys & Screws to be artists of the first order, making music that comes from an increasingly sophisticated attitude to rhythm and musical time – in fact, a marriage between the pastoral and the urban/mechanical. (...)
A truly memorable set, captured in the beautiful warmth of this recording."
~ Raul da Gama, 12'2020,

"It will take much more than a ‘Washington read’ of Thomas Borgmann’s résumé to experience the breadth and scope of his dedication to modern music, his grasp of tonal colour, the vivid timbre of his saxophones and his gift for both the vigour and gentleness of the rounded note.
However, it only takes a few bars of ‘One for Cisco’ for a listener – not just the trained ear – to marvel at all these qualities as the notes in question emerge from the bell of his saxophone, rise as if they are lighter than air, pirouette like an ensemble of dancers executing a complex, balletic choreography of his own making.
(...) The result is a masterful workout of modern music both composed and improvised by three marvellous musicians."
~ Raul da Gama, 9'2016,

"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


keys & screws, live July 2020, Kulturbrauerei Berlin


jan roder / willi kellers / thomas borgmann

»new "some more jazz" nobusiness records

"(...) On their joint project "Keys & Screws Some More Jazz", we get a nice and clear communication between the three, where you would think they had never done anything but play together. Borgmann is a saxophonist who has the melodic touch, and who layers fine melodies out of the loosely composed "ideas", thus becoming the most important voice in the trio.(...)
This is the trio's own version of modern jazz and improvisation, and a version of that form of jazz I really appreciate. There's something about the intensity, creativity and interplay of the trio that makes this a delightful record.(...)
This is glorious jazz that opens up most senses, and that you should have the opportunity to hear in concert once."

~ Jan Granlie @ salt-peanuts, June-8th-2021



joel grip / willi kellers / thomas borgmann


max johnson / willi kellers / thomas borgmann

»new "One for Cisco" nobusiness records


maybe uncommon but that's the next future:
based on the strong relationship with drummer Willi Kellers and the fact
that there are three great, fine basses around we like to play with...
and the fact we love them all...we decide to play with them all.

just listen the new voices in the trio:
joel grip      jan roder       max johnson

keys & screws double bass
w/ willi kellers, joel grip, jan roder

»live @ b-flat,Berlin, june 2017

...and if the world would be easy to play...
We would love to go around with the last version.


~ Christoph Dieckmann about Festival Peitz 2017



"...Vielmehr basiert die Musik des Trios auf Prinzipien, die der große Sonny Rollins schon in den 1950ern über das Musizieren im Dreieck ohne Harmonieinstrument gesetzt hat.

Leicht können die Sounds dabei ein wenig zerbröseln, so gut wie in Ulrichsberg gespielt, birgt das andrerseits die Chance auf ein wunderbar ausbalanciertes Gleichgewicht von Dichte und Transparenz.
Der Einstieg ist sanft, fast bluesig, verbindet Leichtigkeit mit Tiefe, die Klänge stellen Bezüge zur Jazzgeschichte her, konfrontieren sich mit den Fragen der Moderne und sind dennoch von zeitloser Schönheit.... "

"...Rather, the trio's music is based on principles that the great Sonny Rollins had already set in the 1950s about making music in a triangle without a harmony instrument.

The sounds can easily crumble a little bit, as good as played in Ulrichsberg, but on the other hand it holds the chance for a wonderful balance of density and transparency.
The entry is gentle, almost bluesy, combining lightness with depth, the sounds make references to jazz history, confront the questions of modernity and yet are of timeless beauty..."
~ OÖ-Nachrichten, 16. Dezember 2019



Schule der freien Geläufigkeit
"Das in Berlin ansässige Trio Keys & Screws vereint mit Thomas Borgmann, Jan Roder und Willi Kellers gleich drei Haudegen des deutschen Free Jazz.
Nun war man am Grazer Jakominiplatz zu Gast und improvisierte zwei Sets, fast immer in Free Time, stets im Rahmen eines freien Jazz-Zugangs.

Saxofonist Borgmann wählte zunächst weitgehend tonalmodale Bereiche für eine Herangehensweise, die an kleinen, unter anderem auch pentatonischoder Blues- basierten Motiven orientiert war; Motive, von denen ausgehend und um die herum er mit beträchtlicher Geläufigkeit seine Girlanden auswarf; im weiteren Verlauf war er dann auch in ungebundenerer Fasson zu hören.

Angetrieben wurde Borgmann von einem steten rhythmischen Fluss, ausgehend vom lebhaft-sensiblen Schlagzeugveteranen Kellers und von Kontrabassisten Roder, der mit Offenheit und Dichte, ausgezeichnet mit seinen Partnern abgestimmt, agierte.
Mit erheblicher Energie und Intensität erspielte man sich manch kraftvolle Höhepunkte, vermochte aber auch in leiseren, zurückgenommenen Passagen zu überzeugen, in denen Borgmann selbst am Tenorsaxofon eine beachtliche Piano-, ja gar Pianissimokultur an den Tag legte."

school of free fluency
Keys & Screws: Three warriors of free jazz

"The Berlin-based trio Keys & Screws unites with Thomas Borgmann, Jan Roder and Willi Kellers no less than three warhorses of German free jazz. Now they were guests at Graz's Jakominiplatz and improvised two sets, almost always in free time, always within the framework of a free jazz access.
Saxophonist Borgmann initially chose largely tonal modal ranges for an approach that was oriented towards small motifs, including pentatonic and blues-based motifs; motifs from which and around which he threw his garlands with considerable fluency; later on he could also be heard in a more unbound form.
Borgmann was driven by a steady rhythmic flow, starting from the lively and sensitive drummer veteran Keller and double bass player Roder, who played with openness and density, excellently coordinated with his partners.
With considerable energy and intensity, Borgmann played many a powerful climax, but also managed to convince in quieter, more restrained passages, in which Borgmann himself displayed a remarkable piano-, even pianissimo culture on the tenor saxophone."
~ Robert Tendl, Kleine Zeitung Steiermark, 15. Dezember 2019



...great set of 233 fotos by Peter Gannushkin
 Thomas Borgmann Trio w/ Max Johnson, IBeam, January 31, 2015 






© thomas borgmann | impressum