webzine Jazzflits on our CD Freshta

With the CD “Freshta,” flutist/composer Mark Lotz has created a musical pamphlet that makes you think. No cover text, no explanation, just a little hint. Behind each title on the CD cover is a name. Just take the trouble to look up those names. The pieces written by Lotz turn out to be a tribute to the many strong, sometimes rock-solid women who stand or have stood for justice and human rights; strong, steadfast women from Mexico, Kenya, Afghanistan or Iran. Often at the risk of their own lives, as in the case of Isabel Cabanillas de la Torre, a protest leader against feminicide who was murdered at the age of 27. And you probably remember Malala Yousafzai, the brave girl from Pakistan who survived an attack by the Taliban and now, as a Nobel Prize laureate, travels around the world to fight for women’s rights. Mark Lotz honored these heroines with eleven specially composed pieces.The musicians who, with Mark Lotz, transform these tributes into catchy music are not the first of their kind. Pianist Jeroen van Vliet and cellist Jörg Brinkmann, as well as clarinetist Claudio Puntin and drummer Dirk-Peter Kölsch are sounding names from jazz and improvised music. They play Lotz’s pieces with a great sense of atmosphere, partly through the use of “special effects. Special effects’ sometimes evoke a different experience. For instance, while listening to the song ‘Mahbouba’, I was really caught off guard. The sun was shining through the window, so where did the rain come from? Or was there a leak? The pieces on ‘Freshta’ are varied; sometimes reflective, sometimes combative, but always with a strong melody line. Even without the aforementioned context, the album is a fine musical trip around the globe.
The stories behind the compositions, referring to all those advocates for a better world, give the music an extra charge.

Sjoerd van Aelst

Set:Mark Lotz (flutes), Claudio Puntin (clarinet, bass clarinet),Jeroen van Vliet (piano), Jörg Brinkmann (cello),Dirk-Peter Kölsch (drums).