With their roots as drummer Jörg Wähner’s solo project, Shramm have recently grown into a full-fledged jazz organism. Wähner had been appearing as Shramm occasionally since 2017, usually with EPs, singles, and remixes, most of which were built around the drumkit placed in various electronic soundscapes, an acoustic backbone to a colourful and varied array of sounds. Since pianist Florian Kästner and bassist Philipp Martin joined, Shramm no longer understand themselves as Wähner’s soloistic playground, but as a unified trio.

This newfound congruence is evident in their hot-off-the-press EP November Blues, and especially so on the title track – while initially the piano is in the foreground, it quickly becomes clear that all three players are taking turns to speak, and are being heard by the other members of the trio. Solos are hinted at, but never made explicit; phrases draw the attention for a second, before another instrument becomes the focal point. This creates a lovely meandering feeling despite the song’s rhythmic drive, as if the listener is a bystander to a conversation between close friends.

Even when Shramm play contrasting phrases, as in the song’s tumbling, lurching bridge, they appear to be playing off and with each other rather than against each other. The rhythms diverge, but are held together and woven tight by the trio’s expert craftsmanship. They step around each other in a light-footed, self-assured choreography, which feels natural despite its complexity – as impressive as it is beautiful.

Today’s video premiere for “November Blues” places Shramm in a comfortable, everyday setting – a living room, perhaps, with an open-plan kitchen, dark wooden floors, a cowskin rug, soft, cool light filtering in through the windows. They sit with their instruments, facing in, and just playing – again with that amiable ease. The video, like the music, is understated in the perfect way. It makes me think of relaxed Sunday mornings, a time to just sit and soak in the simplicity of being. As the viewer, one feels again like a bystander, invited to appreciate but not participate, a fly on the wall – watching, and enjoying simply being there.

November Blues was released on September 15 through Edition Dur and features two previously unreleased tracks as well as two live recordings. Make sure you wander over to Shramm’s website and Instagram.

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