Tobias Haug’s Awakening, a Sonic Journey Beyond Tradition

Written by | New Releases, News

This autumn, young Swiss saxophonist, Tobias Haug is set to release his latest album, “Awakening,” on October 27th via Mons Records. Following his 2021 release, “Empty Streets,” Haug returns with a captivating quintet formation, featuring the remarkable Jakob Bänsch on trumpet, adding a fresh layer of sonic depth. Joining this musical expedition are Renis Mendoza on percussion, Simon Seidl on piano, Caris Hermes on bass, and Felix Ambach on drums.

In conversation with Haug, he shared his motivation behind transitioning to a quintet setting, stating, “After the quartet album, I was looking for a change. I no longer wanted to be a one-man horn section; I wanted another player up front that I could interact with and try out different voicings.” This quest led him to Jakob Bänsch, a rising star on the German jazz scene, whose playing had left a lasting impression on Haug since their first encounter when Bänsch was just seventeen. As Haug enthusiastically puts it, “I love his playing so much that I knew I just wanted to form a band with him.” Pianist Simon Seidl, another young raising talent on the Cologne scene, became another natural addition to the ensemble. Haug had heard him perform a few years ago at a concert and knew that Seidl was the pianist to bring his evolving vision to life.

“Awakening” is not just an album title but a declaration of the musical journey within. While rooted in jazz tradition like its predecessor, Haug’s latest offering seamlessly blends a wider spectrum of influences into its compositions. Haug confesses to drawing from a diverse palette, inspired by the likes of Bela Bartok and Erik Satie. This infusion of contemporary elements breathes new life into his compositions, enriching them with a unique depth and sophistication.

The album begins with “Vibes in the Neighbourhood,” setting an enigmatic tone reminiscent of Bartok’s harmonic world. Haug’s saxophone prowess takes center stage against a moody backdrop, setting the stage for the immersive auditory experience that follows. “Awakening,” the titular track, bursts forth as a high-energy swinger, encapsulating the thrill of embarking on a new adventure. With a dynamic interplay between Haug and Jakob Bänsch’s trumpet, it’s a captivating musical journey where the rush of awakening is palpable. Haug’s exploration extends further, introducing instruments like flute and soprano sax in “Montalin,” addressing urgent global issues in “Time Runs Out,” and culminating in the lighthearted “Sunny Dream.” Throughout, Haug’s quintet delivers virtuosic performances, solidifying “Awakening” as a testament to jazz’s enduring vitality and innovation.

Tobias Haug’s “Awakening” shows that the future of jazz in in good hands with the coming generation of young players, pushing boundaries while remaining grounded in tradition. With its diverse influences, masterful performances, and a lineup of exceptional musicians, this album is destined to awaken the senses of jazz enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

The album is set for release on October 27th and will be available on CD and all streaming platforms through Mons Records.

Prior to the release Tobias will drop two singles, the first “In the Moment” was released on the 29th of September with “Sunny Dream” following on the 13th of October. You can hear “In the Moment” on our new release Spotify playlist here or directly on Spotify below.



Last modified: October 6, 2023