Thomas Heberer

Kill Yr Darlings

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Some of the music presented on this 2001 CD release was created as much as seven years earlier. Since it involves electronic keyboard and percussion overdubbing and sampling, it naturally picks up a bit of retroactive charm from how quickly these types of devices have gone from sounding modernistic to quaint. The same sort of process has breathed new life into recordings that were once thought to be ridiculous, including the '80s overdubbed electronic drum jams of the well-dressed Alphonse Mouzon. Thomas Heberer, who played all the trumpet and keyboard parts on Kill Yr Darlings, also looks quite sharp in the black-and-white photographic portrait featured in the CD booklet. Perhaps the delay in the music's release was necessary simply to assemble the artwork: this is lavishly packaged, including two firm cardboard envelopes as well as a booklet, illustrated with varied and tasteful artwork. The performer's work is impressive throughout. By 2001, he had established a reputation as a fine modern jazz trumpeter. Here, he maintains interest throughout 40 minutes of instrumental music in which not so much the sound of keyboards but their essence filtered through various gimmicky mechanisms dominates. There is a strong influence of both classical music and, in turn, film soundtrack music. In both these fields just about anything is possible, much more so in the imagination of a composer than on the printed page of a film script that is often measured only in $10,000 expense units. Heberer wanders all over the place during the program, a traveler with a free pass to go anywhere. The album title hints at a kind of pop subversion but a super dose of classical inspiration gilds the edges of construction, organ patches suggesting the ruminations of someone inside a cathedral, perhaps even one in Heberer's hometown of Köln, Germany. Other parts of the CD seem to take place at a card game in New Orleans. Heberer's powerful trumpet soloing is featured on tracks such as the suggestive "Buy This Record."

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