Wollie Kaiser – bass saxophone
Andreas Kaling – bass saxophone
Jan Klare – bass saxophone
Dirk Raulf – bass saxophone
Seven Songs by Hanns Eisler
Lake of Fire
Lost Keys (Blame Hoffmann)
Careful With The Spirits
Three Songs by Franz Schubert
Dark Side Suite
Poise edition 24
Disclosure: I’m a long-term fan of Deep Schrott’s obsessive mono-instrumental madness; their version of Black Dog from debut album “One” is still my ringtone. No surprise then that I’m going to tell you to listen to this fourth album by the world’s only bass saxophone quartet.
This is the second volume of DS’s self-proclaimed ‘dark side’ and while the first focused on tracks from Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, and The Doors et al., this one includes AC/DC, Tool, and Meat Puppets (whose Lake of Fire is transformed into a swaying mood piece). So far, so heavy. But there are also suites comprised of Schubert, and Eisler, well-suited to the dirge-like capacities of the instrument. And if you’re here looking for something ‘jazzy’, how about the opener, a solemn, slow-build version of Ayler’s Our Prayer?
Four discs in, we’ve gone way beyond the risk of Deep Schrott being labelled a novelty act. In reality, this project is born of a deep love for an oft-neglected instrument and a desire to showcase its possibilities to the world. That showcase tends to take two forms: 1) unlikely cover versions; and 2) the sly inclusion of original tunes by each member of the quartet. I say “sly” because while the covers get the curious listeners through the door (Led Zep, The Beatles, Kylie… filtered through four bass saxes?!?!?) the originals are seamlessly interspersed through the track listing, carrying the same engaging immediacy as the more familiar riffs. Particular standouts here are Kaiser’s Dark Side Suite, and Kaling’s bowel-rattling Buried Alive. In fact, compositional prowess and four knacks for a good tune might well be Deep Schrott’s best-kept secret.
If you want to be surprised by where the bass saxophone can go, Deep Schrott are your willing guides.
Oh, one more thing, audio obsessives will appreciate being given the stereo picture: from left to right, Raulf, Kaling, Klare, & Kaiser.