Exposé Online banner

Kraan — The Trio Years
(Bassball 36073, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-11-23

The Trio Years Cover art

Kraan has been going strong since their debut in 1972 around the core of bassist Hellmut Hattler and brothers Peter Wolbrandt (guitar) and Jan Fride (drums), and although their studio work has had its ups and downs (mostly the former, save a few albums in the 80s) their live releases have always been a sure bet, from their original Live in 1975 (when the band featured Johannes Pappert on sax), to 1980’s Tournee, this time with keyboardist Ingo Bischof, then out to Live 88, when Joo Kraus (trumpet, keyboard) was the fourth man in the lineup, to Live 2001 when Bischof had again returned to the lineup on keys. Across all of these, Kraan was always a four-piece unit. But at the end of 2007 when Bischof left the second time, they decided not replace him and go forward as a trio, and thus we have the latest Kraan album, The Trio Years that was recorded at various dates between 2008 and 2017, although for each of the dozen cuts here, no detailed information is given as to when and where it was recorded, instead relying on engineers Thierry Miguet, Juergen Schlachter, and others to join everything together so it sounds like it was all taken from a single concert. Indeed many of the cuts here, like the side-long “Nam Nam,” “Hello Ja Ja, I Don’t Know,” “Holiday Am Matterhorn,” “Andy Nogger,” and “Jerk of Life” have featured on most of Kraan’s previous live offerings, and it’s fun to listen to the various live recordings back to back to note the differences, and it’s hard to come away with any other conclustion that this is probably their best live offering since the original in 1975. Some of the tunes here were culled from the last few studio albums, like “Club 20,” “Silver Buildings,” and “Akuda,” and “Wintruper Echo” that made it’s first appearance on the Nachtfahrt album back in 1982 gets the live treatment after all. For those that don’t know Kraan’s music, it’s basically a funky helping of rock, jazz, and a bit of fusion, mostly instrumental, with occasional dadaist lyrics, stretched out into a jam band format. And of course, they do another version of the masterful “Dinner for Two,” essentially a duel between Wolbrandt and Hattler 100% on fire, every version slightly different throuh the years. Longtime fans and newcomers alike will find plenty here to get excited about.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Kraan

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jean Pascal Boffo - La Boîte à Musique – On La Boîte à Musique, guitarist Jean Pascal Boffo demonstrates yet again why he’s France’s answer to Steve Hackett. With every album, he reinvents himself into something new and yet familiar....  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues