Robert Landfermann © Patrick Essex for Monheim Triennale
Photo: Robert Landfermann © Patrick Essex for Monheim Triennale

Robert Landfermann (DE)

‘Robert Landfermann plays every day of the year and is a constant traveler. He lives in his car, and when I go to concerts with him, I always have the feeling that the station wagon is at least as much a part of him as his double bass,’ begins Christian Weidnerhis article on Robert Landfermann for the Monheim Papers. This should hardly come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the Cologne musician's oeuvre. For more than a decade, Landfermann has been one of the most sought-after jazz musicians in Germany and beyond, touring worldwide as a sideman, collaborator, and initiating bandleader, in addition to being a bass professor, collective founder, and jazz venue board member. And all this with full commitment, seriously and consistently, emphatically and with soulful dedication, as Christian Weidner notes.

Robert Landfermann is a person who always wants to go further and who readily and openly admits his fear of repeating himself and standing still - nevertheless, this concern does not seem to slow him down. He has always been consistent on his path –change in music and the discovery of new scope are familiar to him and seem to come easy to him. His musical language is clear and mature, and his playing points to the infinite with agility and curiosity. And when you hear him or play with him, you feel how deeply he is with himself and at one with himself, and how much it fulfills him as an improvising musician to be in the moment, in the ever new moment of music ‘found’ together with the others.

Robert Landfermann's work for Monheim bears the title ‘Rhenus’ - and is thus a reference to his homeland and to a constant of his life's path: the Rhine. Landfermann grew up in Oberwinter - 150 meters from the Rhine, then moved downriver to Cologne, where he matured as a musician.

Cologne has always had an internationally renowned scene for jazz languages within form and chord progressions as well as for more experimental approaches and free improvised music. An ideal environment for Landfermann. As an eye opener, he describes encounters with his teacher at the Musikhochschule Dieter Manderscheid: ‘Objective, matter-of-fact, someone enabling possibilities and a mad player full of passion and curiosity.’ Also formative: a concert by bassist Barre Philips in Cologne at the Loft.

‘Rhenus’ is Landfermann's most extensive project to date in terms of instrumentation and a reservoir of all his musical traits. The whole spectrum of his artistic personality will be visible and multiplied into the potentially orchestral by the immense expressive depth of his fellow players.

Read more