Nils Kugelmann – Stormy Beauty (ENG review)

ACT – Available June 30th
Nils Kugelmann

On the website of the ACT label, you can read: “Stormy Beauty clearly shows why Nils Kugelmann is already, at a young age, one of the best German bassists. As promised by the album title, he is interested in the most important things that music can convey: beauty, tension, passion. A strong debut album, full of power and passion.”
However, the reality is even more impressive. This trio, composed of Nils Kugelmann on double bass, Luca Zambito on piano, and Sebastian Wolfgruber on drums, is simply breathtaking, drawing deeply from classical music. All the tracks are true masterpieces, written in a “jazzified” style, with influences from artists such as Philip Glass, which seems to be a current artistic inspiration among young composers. Throughout the album, everything revolves around rhythm, melody, and silences, with surprising progressions that lead from one surprise to another, gradually building up the rhythms.
With this production, we find the originality that has characterized the ACT label since its inception. Kugelmann’s persuasive power in his music is largely due to the fact that he is much more than just a bassist. He is a jack-of-all-trades, a universal musician and composer. He experimented with singing, clarinet, piano, and synthesizer from a young age, then focused mainly on the bass. Even as a teenager, Kugelmann juggled between composed and improvised music, academic and pop music, craftsmanship and electronics. He started his education with classical clarinet and composition theory, even writing orchestral pieces and musicals. This eclectic approach was highlighted during his bass studies with Henning Sieverts at the Munich University of Music. Renowned colleagues such as Benny Golson, Johannes Enders, or the Trio Elf have already taken him under their wing.
The maturity of this artist can be felt through the quality of the compositions and the truly breathtaking production, to the point that one sometimes feels like they are listening to a pianist’s album, so precise is the writing for this instrument. Then we are brought back to reality with incredible double bass solos. This album is a must-have, which the editorial teams of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move classify as “Essential”.

Thierry De Clemensat
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, April 30th 2023


To roder the album: HERE