Markus Rutz – Storybook (ENG review)

MARQ Records – Available
Markus Rutz – Storybook (ENG review)

This album by trumpeter Markus Rutz is primarily a concept that is listened to like reading a book; certain added atmospheres are there to bridge the chapters (the tracks of this album). The saxophonist is surrounded by saxophonist Sharel Cassity, pianist Adrian Ruiz, bassists Kurt Schweitz and Samuel Peters, drummer Kyle Swan, and guitarist Kyle Asche. Rutz presents superb performances of the group leader’s compositions as well as thoughtful arrangements of time-tested standards. Starting with a prologue, the album unfolds in three distinct chapters. “Storybook” begins in the present, delves into the past for a reflective pause, and then returns once more to the present. The album was composed with universality and unity as its foundation. “Storybook” celebrates the idea that our collective stories are all intertwined, and by highlighting Rutz’s musical education, it also tells the stories of his greatest influences, including luminaries such as Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Ellis Marsalis, Mal Waldron, and Lil Hardin.
At first glance, Markus Rutz’s music may seem straightforward, but the compositions are intricate, and the arrangements soften the structure. So, one settles in and listens in detail, even in depth; again, it’s all about the settings and dialogues between the instruments, decoding an inner world that is lively and joyful, that of Markus Rutz. How can one not be captivated by this music, which is the result of the artist’s passion? Rutz notes: “Even without knowing or meeting someone, we take cues and have influences that can be elements of our life stories.”
“Short Story” is certainly the track that amused me the most on this album, thanks to its rhythm and the way the instruments are placed on it. A musician to the last hair, Markus speaks little about his music; he plays it passionately, offering it here and there, and that’s the main thing. Undoubtedly, in concert, this trumpeter works wonders, and the same can be said for this album. The atmosphere is often subdued, like a club ambiance; everything here encourages listening, a delicate and subtle work to be enjoyed quietly.
An album that would make perfect sense on vinyl, unfortunately, only the download version is available, just missing the mark for the “Essentials” category for this album, which is therefore included in the “Editor’s Picks” selections of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move.

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

PARIS-MOVE, January 12th 2024


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