A native of Salzburg, Austria and a sought-after drummer on the New York jazz scene since 2010, Brooklyn-based Peter Kronreif unveils an inspired book of original compositions on Aeronautics — his follow-up to 2010’s Gloaming, also featuring his talent-rich group Wayfarers. These close-knit colleagues set out on a memorable journey, carried by strong tailwinds of melody and rhythm, with the paired alto/tenor sax frontline of Andrew Gould and Lucas Pino interweaving complex yet lyrical parts, giving the music shape. Joining Kronreif in the rhythm section are pianist Addison Frei and bassist Martin Nevin. Together the three function almost as a band within a band, interactive and colorful whether immersed in subtle trio passages or united in purpose with the full ensemble.

In calling the album Aeronautics, Kronreif evokes the atmosphere of the title track, which, as he writes in his liner notes, “was developed in various airports, where musicians spend a lot of their time. The rhythmic illusion created by overlapping time feels after the introduction also invokes a feeling of musical lift-off.” That is indeed what Kronreif and Wayfarers achieve, on this piece and throughout Aeronautics. Kronreif’s compositions brim with fresh and unexpected compositional moves, effortless transitions, captivating solos and interplay, and rhythmic ideas as precise as they are elastic in their groove and swing.

Guitar enters the picture on two tracks: Matthias “Pedals” Loescher contributes an almost synth-like textural haze at the outset of “Obeisance” and solos with raw feeling toward the track’s end. Alex Wintz joins the horns as a melodic voice on “Nodoc” and takes prominent place as the leadoff soloist. Even with just one track each, the guitarists exert a strong influence, widening the album’s sonic horizons.

Lurking within Aeronautics is a sociopolitical and environmentalist theme. “Obviously Oblivious” is Kronreif’s musical comment on “the vast number of humans going through life, making decisions and defending positions that are against their own interests.” “Late Premonition,” the intricate miniature, takes inspiration from “the distressed feeling I had from a terrible nightmare about environmental catastrophe.” “Verdura,” the one piece to feature Frei on electric piano, is a plaintive ode “to everything green in this world.” And “Trees” is Kronreif’s homage to “my favorite living beings (excluding some humans). The main theme of this tune always felt old, like it had been around much longer than I have — as have most trees as well.”

Along with his output as a leader and composer, Kronreif has worked with the Le Boeuf Brothers band, vocalist Thana Alexa, the Ricky Rodriguez Quartet, Christos Rafalides’ Manhattan Vibes, Allan Harris and many others, in a range of settings from jazz to hip-hop and R&B. When Wayfarers came together initially, the group featured pianist Florian Hoefner, bassist Linda Oh and saxophonist Mike Rivett along with Andrew Gould and the leader. The Gloaming session from 2010 introduced Nevin on bass and Matt Marantz on tenor, but with the arrival of Frei on piano and Pino on tenor the current Aeronautics lineup took form. The group has been praised by BayernKlassik Online as “truly a discovery,” and Kronreif as “a drummer of great refinement.” Concerto magazine has remarked on Kronreif’s “sensitive compositions, in which he doesn’t push himself to the fore … [and] conveys a certain feeling of serenity.”

RELEASE DATE: February 5th 2021

LABEL: Fresh Sound New Talent