There are no obvious nods to role models or any epigonism in the work of the Philip Zoubek, who lives in Cologne but hails from the small, Egon-Schiele-famous town of Tulln an der Donau in Austria. He has made a name for himself as a soloist, especially with preparations of the grand piano. The subtle sound studies developed in this way are poured into Slowfox, a trio including Sebastian Gramss (bass) and Hayden Chisholm (saxophone). With clarinetist Benjamin Weidekamp and bassist Christian Weber he dedicates himself to Jimmy Giuffres' music in a trio without drums, with a synthesizer, saxophonist Philipp Gropper, bassist Petter Eldh and drummer Moritz Baumgärtner he delves into fields as far as rock. And so on.
Philip Zoubek is a carefully thorough player who integrates spontaneity, always more inclined toward free improvisation. His consistency is admirable. He founded his acoustic piano trio with double bass player David Helm and drummer Dominik Mahnig. The fun grew ever more during rehearsals as a common sound developed.
For years, Zoubek had put his noise exegeses at the centre of his music to distance himself from academic jazz. And now the traditional format afterall, where sound manipulations inside the grand piano give way to individualisation? "That's what happened during the work, but it doesn't have to stay that way. What will remain - hopefully soon also on big festival stages - is this dazzling trio-based mixture of intensity and control, of close interlocking and soloistic furorr, of the lyrical, rough surface and romanticism.


Philip Zoubek Trio »Outside«

Philip Zoubek Trio

2018 WhyPlayJazz (WPJ042)
CD + MP3 Album Download

Track listing

  1. Scanning  7:34
  2. Rhetorics  5:21
  3. Now Then  2:45
  4. Sketch  4:56
  5. Spaces in Between  5:26
  6. Der König  4:21
  7. Gambit  4:49
  8. The Clearing  4:35
  9. The Long Fade  6:02
  10. Distorted Chants  5:02


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Tutto ciò si riverbera nei dieci brani che compongono questo Outside, indistintamente a firma del pianista, per quanto scrollarsi di dosso tutta la pesante tradizione, la letteratura, che una formula trafficata come il piano trio si porta appresso sia impresa da far tremare i polsi a chiunque. Qui la volontà di battere itinerari personali è in ogni caso largamente avvertibile, con risultati anche egregi.

All About Jazz, Alberto Bazzurro

Shadowing each other’s every movement Helm and Mahnig make the perfect back-up to Zoubek’s compositional and keyboard flights.

Ken Waxman, Jazz Word

Die drei blieben in ihren Interpretationen harmonisch nah an den Kompositionen und konzentrierten ihre Gruppen- und Solo-Improvisationen auf Melodie und Rhythmus mit nahtlosen Übergängen zwischen Komposition und Improvisation. [...] Dieses Trio bietet eher Modern Jazz als Avantgarde und schreckt erfreulicherweise nicht vor melodischer Schönheit zurück.

Hans-Bernd Kittlaus

Zoubek states briefly the restless themes but then the whole trio articulates it, clashes with its fragments and together abstracts the theme in a manner that blurs the boundaries between the composed and the improvised parts. [...] Maybe in this way Zoubek trio, suggests a new realization of the possibilities of a piano trio in the 21st century. Leaving behind the past, far too common aesthetics of the chamber jazz trios as a prey to the lurking beast.

Eyal Hareveni, salt peanuts*

Die meisten Stücke sind permanente Formwandler, ein Kaleidoskop hüpfender Melodien und subtiler Rhythmus- und Stilveränderungen, strukturell zusammengehalten und kontrolliert durch den phänomenalen Sinn für Tempo, den die drei Musiker hören lassen.
Eine formatbildende, außergewöhnliche Einspielung: Für mich das Album des Jahres!

Achim Doppler, CONCERTO

Immer wenn man meint, den Sound „einordnen“ zu können, wird man eines Besseren belehrt, weil das Philip Zoubek Trio aus dem gesamten Fundus der Piano-Trio-Tradition schöpft.

Ulf Drechsel, kulturradio vom rbb

Rich, colorful, expressive and enchanting musical language is created by using synthesis of experimental and traditional musical decisions, sound experiments, special effects, expansion of instruments technical abilities, open form and spontaneous free improvisation. All these elements make an effort to creation of remarkable, expressive and great sound of this album.

Avant Scena

Philip Zoubek Trio‘s newest album, Outside, is a magnificent album of modern, at times avant-garde jazz. Each composition is interesting in its own right and played to near perfection by the three talented musicians on record.

Can this even be called music

Zoubek hat das Rad auf musikalische Weise neu erfunden – auch dort ist in der Bewegung alles mal oben, unten, vorn oder hinten.

Stephan A. Dudek, Allgemeine Zeitung

Ein Kollektiv im besten Sinne des Wortes, alle 3 sind wunderbarere Musiker, mit kluger und zupackender Musik.
Das beste Klaviertrio seit langer Zeit !

Henry Karl, radiohoerer