Swiss artist Lukas Traxel releases his powerful debut album One-Eyed Daruma on We Jazz Records, March 10. The trio features Traxel on double bass, Otis Sandsjö on sax and Moritz Baumgärtner on drums. Compact, deep, and organic to the bone, Traxel & co's sound echoes the innovations of rhythmically driven avantgarde jazz while keeping things moving at all times. There's both drive and freedom to this sound.
One-Eyed Daruma features eight new compositions by Traxel, who crafted the outline for the album while dealing with the loss of his father. The group came together after an open invitation from the Zurich jazz club Moods to present a new group. The trio of Traxel, Sandsjö and Baumgärtner creates a full, symphonic, and powerful body of sound despite the instrumentation without a harmony instrument. The trio functions as a collective where the boundaries between composition, melody, and accompaniment are in flux, while keeping the common goal of creating new music together in sight at all times. Traxel reports that after playing bass in various groups with guitar and/or piano, he wanted to create a counterpoint of sorts with his new group and specifically go about it with a more sparse setup. As One-Eyed Drama proves, the idea behind the trio dynamic is a strong one and the unit makes use of their extra space in creating evocative, moody, swinging creative jazz with a distinguishable fingerprint of its own.