CD Review: Tobias Altripp, We Bring Some Horns

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German pianist Tobias Altripp recently unveiled his latest album, “We Bring Some Horns,” through the German-based label Mons Records. Originally established as a trio in spring 2019, featuring Altripp on piano, Moritz Koser on double bass, and Micha Jesske on drums, the ensemble expanded its scope for this release.

The addition of Marc Doffey on tenor saxophone and Gabriel Rosenbach on trumpet and flugelhorn enriches this dynamic album, showcasing Altripp’s evolving compositions inspired by the hard bop soundscape. Recorded in Berlin in January 2022, “We Bring Some Horns” not only represents a compelling chapter in Altripp’s ongoing artistic development. This release follows his 2020 debut, “Experimental Blues.”

Hailing from a musical family, Tobias initiated his musical journey at a young age, recalling, “We had a piano at home, and, honestly, my fascination with music predates my earliest memories.” The entry into the world of jazz was guided by his initial piano instructor, who exposed him to the sounds of Little Richard. While initially drawn to Boogie-woogie and Rock & Roll, Tobias’s musical path shifted when his teacher introduced him to the music of Oscar Peterson. This introduction marked a pivotal moment, steering Tobias into the realm of jazz.

“We Bring Some Horns,” is no doubt firmly rooted in the neo-bop style and presents a collection of six tracks, all composed by Altripp himself. Opening the set is “A Waltz Nobody Wants To Dance To,” a trio feature. An extended piano intro sets the stage, leading into a medium-tempo jazz waltz where Altripp showcases his tasteful piano skills. Bassist Moritz Koser follows with a robust and melodic solo.

The tempo picks up with the second track, “The Bash Lords with the Slash Chords,” introducing Marc Doffey on tenor saxophone and Gabriel Rosenbach on trumpet.


Altripp’s impressive solo is complemented by a standout contribution from Doffey on tenor saxophone. “How’s it called” transitions to a medium swing feel, offering notable solos from both Doffey and Rosenbach. The ballad “So Close” serves as a showcase for trumpeter Gabriel Rosenbach, inspired by Matt Rollings’ arrangement of “Someone to Watch Over Me” as interpreted by Willie Nelson. Altripp reflects on the irony of composing the tune in around the middle of the pandemic, noting the sense that this craziness must be nearing its end. We all know know that it wasn’t even close. Rosenbach’s blues infused tone and long lines are beautiful and reflect a longing for closure and at the same time a sense of serenity.


The title track, “Is It Still A Thing?”, poses a question about the relevance of the Neo Bop style today. Altripp’s composition pays homage to the “Young Lions” of the early 1990s, and he concludes that, yes, it indeed remains relevant however leaves the final decision to the listener. Based on the performances on this set, in my own opinion I would have to agree. Closing the album is “Daa-Hee-Yaa-Hee-Yaa,” dedicated to fellow musician Max Strauch. This homage to early BeBop and vocalese features saxophonist Marc Doffey delivering a standout solo in the neo-bop style.

All said and done, “We Bring Some Horns,” is a wonderful set and I truly enjoyed it from start to finish. The performances are strong throughout and the material, while rooted in the neo-bop tradition, is diverse and engaging. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. A Waltz Nobody Wants To Dance To | 2. The Bash Lords with the Slash Chords | 3. How’s it called | 4. So Close | 5. Is It Still A Thing? | 6. Daa-Hee-Yaa-Hee-Yaa.

Tobias Altripp, piano | Moritz Koser, double bass | Micha Jesske, drums | Marc Doffey, tenor saxophone | Gabriel Rosenbach, trumpet.

Release Date: 23 February 2024
Format: CD | Streaming
Label: Mons Records

Last modified: March 5, 2024