Jacob Manz – The Answer (ENG review)

ACT – Street date January 26th 2024

Jacob Manz is a young German saxophonist and composer, who arrives here with his fourth album on the ACT label. His music sometimes flirts with funk, world music, and other influences that are often hallmarks of contemporary jazz, particularly in Europe. The new album, “The Answer,” is something different. It marks a return to his original foundation, the Jakob Manz Project. He reunites with a group of loyal and supportive friends and kindred spirits. “The Answer” is a rediscovery of the fearless enthusiasm of youth that originally brought them together. It’s the group where it all began, a lineup that engages with all their heart and mind – and yet continues to evolve.
The group consists of Jakob Manz on alto saxophone & recorder, Hannes Stollsteimer on piano & keyboards, Frieder Klein on electric bass, Paul Albrecht on drums, Karl-F. Degenhardt on percussion, and some prestigious guests: Lionel Loueke on vocals & guitar on track 2, Matthias Schriefl on alphorn & trumpet on track 5, Alexandra Stollsteimer on violin on track 6.
In Jacob Manz’s artistic journey, there’s a musical culture that encompasses everything that makes up a European jazz musician today. Indeed, all the great jazz musicians or jazz groups that have performed in Europe since the post-war era have brought strong inspiration. Beyond the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, even into the ’90s, they infused melodic or rhythmic inspirations anchored in each musician’s creative force. Among the most inspired European musicians, in addition to Jacob Manz, you find personalities like Nils Landgren, Médéric Collignon, Nguyen Le, Céline Bonacina, Ludivine Issambourg, Yann Cléry, and a few others. It’s these musicians who drive this musical style in various directions.
The guests on this new album by Manz aren’t there for appearances. Lionel Loueke’s performance is, as always, extraordinary – proof that over time, Lionel Loueke has risen to the highest level of artistic creation. He, like Nguyen Le, brings his original culture to elevate his own art or that of others. Jacob Manz skillfully uses all musical genres, blending them into his work, and the arrangements are both energetic and of high quality. Undoubtedly, this will be one of the great albums of 2024. Since the age of fifteen, Jacob Manz has been gracing German and international stages with very enthusiastic receptions, rubbing shoulders with the greatest artists who have also contributed to nurturing his art. When I hear the groove of some of the tracks on this album, I dream that Nils Landgren invites Jacob Manz to his funk unit and produces an album that would unquestionably be a success.
The editorial team at Bayou Blue Radio has been playing this album on repeat in their office for three days. Therefore, it’s the little elf in our office who took charge of slipping this album onto our “Essentials” stack.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, January 3rd 2024


To buy this album


01 The Answer (Hannes Stollsteimer) 4:23
02 Voyage Suréel feat. Lionel Loueke (Jakob Manz) 5:03
03 When Weasles Fly (Frieder Klein) 4:32
04 Ade (Jakob Manz) 5:02
05 Keep on Burning feat. M. Schriefl (Hannes Stollsteimer) 3:47
06 Le Rêve Du Papillon (Jakob Manz) 3:44
07 Isla Sorna (Jakob Manz) 5:50
08 Einsatz Live (Frieder Klein) 5:05
09 Prospering (Hannes Stollsteimer) 6:37
10 Crossroads (Hannes Stollsteimer) 1:49

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Nico Raschke
at Hansahaus Studio Bonn, March 28-31, 2023