'A wonderful collection, each track is a gem! 'Echoes of Swing'
collectively presents an approach like no other quartet, while
individually each player is a master.'
'The Echoes continue to amaze and delight with their polymathic range
originality. They don't echo, but renew.'
Former chief editor of
'DOWNBEAT' magazine and multiple Grammy winner
'Seldom have I heard such perfection. I’m totally thrilled! A conscious
tradition, contemporary musical performance of the highest order.'
Jazz producer of Bavarian
'I've been listening to these guys for a few years now and they are
always full of surprises. This CD is their best yet. They all have a
deep understanding of the literature and they play from inside. How
they do it all with four instruments is beyond me.'
'This record has recently won the top awards a jazz record can win in
France and Germany and tell you what, it’s so cool I almost can’t
handle it. Anyone who ever dug Raymond Scott will get this set
immediately. It sounds like some old timey recording until you start to
pay real attention and hear that it has a today hipness that just
didn’t exist 70 years ago. Then comes the gotcha. Even the originals
sound like they could have leapt off Scott’s scratch pad. By defying
all convention, these jazzbos present the crème that rises to the top.
You don’t have to be hipster Eurotrash to dig this, you just have to
get off on killer players pushing the envelope in unexpected ways. An
absolutely welcome tonic from start to finish.'
MIDWEST RECORD (USA)
'…the group plays with absolutely impeccable time and a sense of swing
that is simultaneously dead serious and lightly, elegantly fun. On
'Message from Mars' they adapt classical melodies by the likes of
Chopin and Shostakovich(!), and take on respected standards like 'Don’t
Explain' and 'Spring Is Here' with new arrangements that are as
respectful as they are innovative. There are even a few originals slyly
thrown in, among them a very fine blues composition by saxophonist
Chris Hopkins playfully titled 'Twilightnin’ Hopkins'. This album is a
delight from beginning to end. '
MUSIC MEDIA MONTHLY (USA)
'There was a joke (I hope that’s what it was) about a young tenor
player who, when asked if he listened to the past masters of the
instrument, replied, 'Sure, man, I go all the way back to Coltrane'.
Regrettably, such historical innocence is not rare, so it is gratifying
to listen to the fifth recording by the German-based quartet Echoes of
Swing, who are quite familiar with the music’s history and do it honour
in recreating some of its styles…It should be emphasized that the
playing on this CD is far from dry, sterile museum fare. It is full of
vitality, actually transporting the listener’s imagination back to the
Swing Era. But lest one think these folks live exclusively in
pre-Modern times, Dawson’s two vocals sound a lot like 1950s Chet Baker
and at one point Hopkins quotes from Charlie Parker’s Bebop anthem
CADENCE MAGAZINE (USA)
'If this is the kind of music that's played on Mars, then book me on
the next rocket launch to the red planet. Put simply, the Echoes of
Swing get it on big time, with a distinct nod to the sound produced by
the John Kirby Sextet even though there are two fewer musicians.
However, it would be unfair to label the foursome a Kirby Quartet
Clone. Not when the quartet echoes an Ellington small group sound in
essaying 'Twilightnin' Hopkins' and turns to the classics for a
boogiebeat version of Shostakovich's 'Gavotte'... The band's program is
a hoot, beginning with the old Dixie dandy, 'Shake It And Break It,'
given a sleek treatment by Hopkins, and ending with the previously
mentioned 'Gavotte'. Between the salad and dessert, the musical
smorgasbord offers one delectable delight after another... '
THE AMERICAN RAG (USA)
'No, the aliens haven’t landed. And this isn’t a detour into NASA’s
territory or a nostalgic trip back to the Mickey Mouse Club (although I
haven’t been able to get one ancient 'The Martians come to New York'
joke out of my head*). MESSAGE FROM MARS is the name of a splendid new
disc by Echoes of Swing, a world-class band that lives up to its name
and more. While retaining its essential identity - flexible and
convincing - this quartet can sound like a much larger unit, and the
disc is characterized by a delightful variety in mood, tempo, and
approach. The players are superb chameleons who remain true to
themselves... The music produced here is both profound and hilariously
flightly, skittering from surprise to surprise... MESSAGE FROM MARS
offers a deliciously subtle and witty tasting menu of music - a disc
you could listen to all the way through without the slightest hint of
monotony, at the same time, you could savor each of the sixteen
miniatures for its own surprises without ever getting tired. '
JAZZ LIVES (USA)