Zen-like concentration. Meticulous execution. Tight grooves that, inexplicably, lie way back in the pocket while simultaneously pushing incessantly forward. Nik Bärtsch’s Swiss jazz quartet MOBILE uses these basic musical concepts within a ritualistic framework to produce a sound that is sometimes funky, sometimes ambient, and always obsessively charged.
Recording for ECM since 2006, bandleader and pianist Bärtsch has quickly become a respected figure for his mixture of funk, new classical music, as well as elements of Japanese ritual music. Along with drummer Kaspar Rast, reed player Sha, and percussionist Nicolas Stocker, MOBILE belongs to the new generation of modern musicians who naturally combine a competence for classical interpretation, improvisational dexterity, and the ability to groove.