Baby’s Party (Intakt Records)

Günter Baby Sommer / Till Brönner

Released August 17, 2018

Allmusic Favorite Jazz Albums 2018




Günter Baby Sommer is at the height of his musical career. After ‘Song for Kommeno’ (Intakt CD 190) and his Solo masterpiece ‘Dedications’ (Intakt CD 224) he presents at his 75th birthday a duo recording with german trumpet player Till Brönner. The listeners will
notice quite quickly how relaxed Till Brönner and Baby Sommer correspond, the chosen musical material included. We experience the meeting of two musicians who have found a common language despite their personal distinctness; who do not need to prove anything to anybody. That is why their very first ever recording is
fed by a basic calmness. Had Baby’s Party not been chosen to become this CDs title, the last piece – the Duke’s ‘In a Sentimental Mood’ – would have made an equally well fitting title. Not in the sense of a yearning retrospection but – according to the two musicians’ natural disposition – in the sense of an invincible preview of what is ahead of them.

Track Listing:

1. Apéro Con Brio (Günter Sommer) 06:01

2. First Shot (Günter Sommer) 03:43

3. Special Guest No. 1: Danny Boy (Frederick Edward Weatherly) 05:52

4. Flinke Besen (Günter Sommer) 04:37

5. Second Shot (Günter Sommer) 03:00

6. A Soft Drink in Between (Günter Sommer) 06:49

7. Inside-Outside-Trip (Günter Sommer) 05:44

8. Third Shot (Günter Sommer) 02:06

9. Little Nap in Between (Günter Sommer) 06:35

10. Special Guest No. 2: Der alte Spanier (Günter Sommer) 06:34

11. Party Over: In a Sentimental Mood (Duke Ellington) 04:38


Günter Baby Sommer: drums, percussion

Till Brönner: trumpet, flugelhorn

Recorded December 5 – 6, 2017, at Hardstudios Winterthur, Switzerland

Produced by Günter Baby Sommer

Recorded by Michael Brändli

Mixed by Michael Brändli

Cover art and design: Jonas Schoder

Photos: Francesca Pfeffer and Tobias Sommer


In celebration of his seventy-fifth birthday, acclaimed German percussionist Günter Baby Sommer paired with trumpeter Till Brönner for this adventurous and surprisingly cohesive duo album, 2018’s Baby’s Party. At face value, Sommer and Brönner may seem like an odd match. A longtime exponent of creative avant-garde jazz and free improvisation, Sommer has played with such highly regarded luminaries as Wadada Leo Smith, Peter Brötzmann, and Cecil Taylor. Conversely, Brönner is one of the most recognizable German instrumentalists, whose albums often straddle the line between straight-ahead, and smooth jazz. That said, Brönner is also an immensely gifted soloist, as indebted to the harmonically rich post-bop of Woody Shaw as the warm lyricism of Miles Davis. Here, both ends of the trumpeter’s influences are redolent as he joins Sommer on a set of original (and one assumes largely improvised) songs as well as imaginative renditions of the standards “Danny Boy” and Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood.” What’s particularly compelling about the album is just how relaxed and beautifully counterbalanced the duo’s performances are, shifting from emotive melodicism one minute to atonal expressiveness the next. While the absence of a chordal instruments means there is an abundance of space to fill, Sommer’s inventive percussion choices, including trap set, drums, and what sound like sundry gongs, shakers, metal shards, woodblocks, and bells, more than makes up for the lack of piano or bass. Similarly, Brönner never sounds anything less than commanding, able to convey a song’s harmonic and melodic structure just as he leaps off into the oblivion with breathy growls, puckered chirps, and long, sanguine sighs. Baby’s Party is an organic, highly engaging conversation.

Matt Collar (AllMusic)