Jazzchor Freiburg delivers a fresh, modern take on jazz, and they do so with creativity as the first ingredient in their sonic recipe. Their most recent studio album is a project titled Infusion. As the title might imply, the release features a wide variety of musical influences, tastefully blended in together, like a really nice infusion, where all the nuances and flavors are so balanced.
The album features 12 studio tracks, including the beautiful opener, “JÃ²ga.” This song immediately sets the mood for the entire release to unfold, and it feels like an amazingly dreamy choral arrangement. The track also features a collaboration with Torun Eriksen, who set out to add something truly magical to this one. The second song features a whimsical title: “When God Created the Coffeebreak.” It tantalizes the audience with a fresh, upbeat jazz arrangement. The choral ensemble is so ethereal and melodic, perfectly complementing the vibes of the band. The following song, “Cantaloupe Island,” sets the bar higher in terms of harmonic complexity, going for a truly mellow and emotional vibe.
The lead vocals in particular are truly astonishing, making me think of Golden Age artists such as Harry Belafonte, only to mention but one. “Pool” follows right along with a modern jazz vibe. The arrangement is smooth and melodic, with a killer double bass performance, adding some beautiful accents, and wonderfully complementing the drum pattern. “Maiden Voyage” is a collaboration with Joo Kraus, and it features a really big introduction, with cymbal swells and a massive a wall of sounds of vocals, before giving way to a more intimate piano-driven arrangement, while still retaining the full-range of the choral performance. There is room for a collaboration with Olivia Trummer on “Precious Silence,” which is perhaps one of the most introspective and intimate songs on this release. “Are You Going with Me” follows along the same line, going for a more extensive use of vocals as harmonic pads, almost like instruments rather than lyrical lines. “Goodbye” and “Helios” are two of the most astonishing songs on this release, and I love how the band always use vocals in creative ways. However, “Birdland” is one of my favorite songs on this one. I love the warmth of the production and the way it all unfolds! “Like Sand in My Hands” and “Last Train Home” are the perfect closing pair, giving the album a worthy conclusion.