Jo Beyer, born in Essen in 1991, studied percussion at the jazz department of the Institute of Music of the Osnabrück University with Christoph Hillmann, whom he had met as a teenager through his father, the guitarist Andreas Wahl. In Osnabrück, the young percussionist co-founded Trio Malstrom with the guitarist Axel Zajac and the tenor saxophone player Salim Javaid – but without a bass player. Beyer, who now lives in Cologne, immediately knew how pieces without bass need to sound – played by a collective with three improvisational musicians meeting at eye level.
The fact that in his Quartett JO the bass position is also omitted opens up certain areas of freedom for the jazz-rock improvisational music his band produces: acoustically, when Felix Elsner dives down to the lowest ranges of the piano, Wahl adds an octave effect to his guitar or Sven Decker makes his tenor saxophone grumble in the bass range. But also metrically and rhythmically, when Beyer, for example, nonchalantly ignores the limitations of the bar line, thereby adding an element of tension to the rhythmical foundation.
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