The contemporary sound is strong in this sparkling, eponymous debut from new European quartet Scopes, led by Austrian drummer Mathias Ruppnig and German bassist Tom Berkmann. Originally meeting up when based in New York for several years, performing there in various projects with French pianist/keyboardist Tony Tixier, they created the basis of a striking collaboration completed by acclaimed Dutch alto saxophonist Ben van Gelder.
Formed as recently as 2018, the quartet has already begun to make an impact, touring across Spain, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Their roots in jazz tradition are evident, yet Scopes’ quest for a “sense for the pulse time” has shaped a young, sleek sound world incorporating wider influences – a melting pot of original, melodic composition and improvisation infused with textural synthscapes and liquescent sax. It’s a confidently joyous partnership, Tom Berkmann describing their band name as “a frame inside which we can be endlessly creative – a ‘musical playground’ where we are able to open up in different ways.”
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