Marc Brenken - Christian Kappe Duo/Quartet



brenken kappe duo   



“What creates the charm of their music are the almost pictorial songs: thanks to the simple, yet concise motifs, the listener is repeatedly asked to stay on the ball. And you are happy to comply with this requirement, because it creates little stories in your head.”
Jörg Heyd, WDR

"Honest jazz, rooted in tradition without quoting it without reflection (...) an exciting musical journey on which there are many discoveries to be made"
jazz podium

“Delightfully beautiful poetic dialogues”

Trumpeter Christian Kappe and pianist Marc Brenken met at a jam session, first played as a duo and then released the albums Eight Short Stories (2006) and More Short Stories (2012) as a quartet (together with bassist Alex Morsey and drummer Marcus Rieck). ). Own compositions form the backbone of their varied repertoire, which is also expanded with selected standards.


kappe brenken4tet 1


It started as a duo – then Christian Kappe (tp, flgh) and Marc Brenken (p) got two top jazz musicians from North Rhine-Westphalia on board for their quartet: Alex Morsey, with his fantastic wealth of ideas, virtuoso technique and humorous scat solos, one of the most sought-after double bass players Deutschlands and Marcus Rieck, a sensitive and enormously swinging drummer with a wealth of experience. In twos and fours, they mainly explore their own compositions, ranging from lyrical-romantic ballads to pointed short stories and gripping grooves, always with the courage to take risks and enjoy improvisation. A varied and exciting concert experience, which also convinced numerous concert organizers (including the International Jazz Days Münster with recordings from DLF and WDR, JOE Festival Essen, Philharmonie Essen, International Jazz Festival in Romania and Lebanon) and the editors of the WDR, what to the live presentation on WDR television, and also on WDR 3 in the culture magazine "Resonanzen".

The music of the Christian Kappe - Marc Brenken duo / quartet is characterized by a refreshing way of playing, which is characterized by beautiful and gripping compositions, enormous joy in playing and experimenting, a lot of humor and a great willingness to take risks. The idea for this band project between trumpeter and flugelhorn player Christian Kappe and Essen pianist Marc Brenken came about spontaneously. This is what Christian Kappe says about Marc Brenken:

“Marc is an amazing pianist and musician. His approach to music, his compositions and his creativity fascinated me from the first meeting, which was coincidental at the time".

It was important to Marc Brenken and Christian Kappe to put together or to develop a balanced and varied program that variedly combines many tones, moods, the most diverse grooves and styles, original compositions and standards, "so that the actually quite "manageable" duo formation , or the "classic quartet formation" never gets boring." The result can be heard on the highly acclaimed CD "Eight Short Stories".

The fact that Christian Kappe and Marc Brenken do not shy away from excursions into other realms is proven by the two CD productions recorded live in concert with the actor/speaker Andreas Ramstein from the field of "Lyrics & Jazz", which deal with the works of Reinhard Döhl and August Deal with it tightly (CD series "Live on the cultural property", Museum for Westphalian Literature Cultural Property House Nottbeck).

Christian Kappe studied flugelhorn / trumpet in the Netherlands and the USA, is a member of the Barbara Dennerlein Band and Jasper van't Hof & Hotlips and teaches at the Musikhochschule of the University of Münster, among others. In addition to tours in Europe, North and South America and Africa, including with the Florian Zenker - Christian Kappe 4tet and the "Bujazzo"/ Peter Herbolzheimer, Christian Kappe has won international competitions (e.g. best soloist at the International Jazz Competition in Spain '99), made a name for himself through various CD recordings, live and studio productions (including 2 CDs with the group of pianist Jasper van't Hof, the Griese - Kappe quintet "Floating" and "Lyrics & Jazz, including with Peter Rühmkorf).

Marc Brenken has been playing the piano since he was 8 and names Erroll Garner, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Jacky Terrasson and Brad Mehldau as influences. After studying at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen and attending workshops with Richie Beirach, Kenny Werner and Fred Hersch, he was involved in the film music for "Sonnenallee" (1999, directed by Leander Haußmann) and the CD production by Paolo Dinuzzi "Kleine Big Banda" involved.(

Alex Morsey (double bass) also studied in Essen and is simply one of the most accomplished and original jazz musicians around. Anyone who has seen him on stage will not forget his breathtaking solos so quickly. You can often see your fellow musicians standing by in amazement at concerts.

Marcus Rieck (drums), a graduate of the Cologne Music Academy, played with the crème of the German jazz scene at a young age: Silvia Droste, Werner Neumann, Martin Sasse, Matthias Schubert - just to name a few. He understands like few others how to get a band to sing and swing.

CD-Review "eight short stories" 

It's actually amazing how unpretentious "eight short stories", the CD release of the Marc Brenken - Christian Kappe Quartet, comes across. While elsewhere the next long-legged reincarnation of Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday is celebrated with a lot of blatant noise and everyone seems to believe that that pop hits in a moderate jazz guise could be sold indefinitely like hot cakes, the quartet around pianist Marc Brenken and trumpeter Christian Kappe simply recorded a damn good jazz album. The quartet's debut album features honest jazz, in rooted in tradition without quoting it without reflection.

The eight compositions by Marc Brenken, whose music has already contributed to the success of the film Sonnenallee, playfully play with references and cross-references. Here you think you can hear a hint of Richie Beirach, there Erroll Garner and Osacar Peterson peep out of the notes with a broad grin and Wynton Kelly, John Taylor, but also Pat Metheney and John Scofield have left their mark, and yet that's what as can be heard, always unmistakably Kappe-Brenken. Trumpeter Christian Kappe - a permanent member of the Barbara Dennerlein Band and Jasper van't Hof's current project "HotLips" - brings the relaxed handling of the stylistic elements of the jazz greats to the catchy formula of the "well digested tradition". What he means becomes clear when listening to the "eight short stories". Of course, the musicians master all forms of expression of the main stream and use them quite naturally as design elements of their own style.

In addition to the two namesakes of the quartet, the double bass player Alexander Morsey, who really needs no introduction in Münster, and the drummer Marcus Rieck belong to the formation. A rhythm group that couldn't be more different and maybe that's why they harmonize perfectly with each other. Morsey's gripping humor - notorious for his deleted scat solos - meets Marcus Rieck's sensitive drumming. The drummer from Cologne has mastered the art of making the music ring out with well-dosed, economical use of his enormous technical possibilities and swinging like hell at the same time.

Musical thoughts can be excellently developed over the strong foundation of this rhythm section. For example, when the four of them let the pianist's wooden train, which he loved as a child, drive away again during the "Toy Train Song" and you can almost hear the rattling of the train to follow Flüsschen's "Strumyk", only to stab the "Wasp's Nest" with a nervous, hectic pulse. Marc Brenken's compositions tell little stories to the listener. The title of a CD and what can be heard on it are rarely right The "eight short stories" by the Marc-Brenken - Christian Kappe Quartet take the attentive listener on an exciting musical journey on which there are many discoveries to be made.

Stefan Herkenrath, Westfälische Nachrichten

"And however pianist Marc Brenken played around the well-known source material, varied it or improvised over it, it was captivating."

Buersche Zeitung


"Fabulous keyboard magic: Marc Brenken from Essen at the JOE Festival in the RWE Pavilion (...) ...and Alex Morsey, for example, unmistakable and original in his own way, could hold his own brilliantly compared to US stars. What Morsey proved it twice over. First, in a team with drummer Marcus Rieck (great!), he supported Marc Brenken's fabulous keyboard magic, who led delightfully beautiful poetic dialogues with trumpeter Christian Kappe. (...)"

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

"In a quartet with trumpeter Christian Kappe, the pianist from Essen brought the long night to a close. With expressive modern jazz compositions that, being lyrical, often had a gripping bite."


"The short stories that the pianist and composer Marc Brenken tells in the Hot Jazz Club are as unusual as his body language is (...) short stories that consistently identify Marc Brenken as a highly entertaining author."

Münstersche Zeitung

Kappe, Brenken, Jazz Great duo at the start
Christian Kappe (trumpet) and Marc Brenken (piano) have joined forces. Their brand new duo is appropriately called Christian Kappe - Marc Brenken Duo and proved at its premiere on Saturday in the "Jazzschiene" of the Kulturschiene that the duo in jazz enables unique forms of musical conversation. The repertoire of the two extremely accomplished musicians includes compositions that belong to the standards of a short jazz century. But in addition to pieces by Kurt Weill, Dave Brubeck and Kenny Wheeler, there were also original compositions that complemented the given style mix of ballads, swing and Latin American pieces very nicely. After a brief presentation of the themes, they allowed themselves enough freedom for improvisation, which developed into a fiery dialogue of harsh phrases as well as melody lines running side by side. The pieces were arranged in an original and imaginative way - which was not least evident in the often concisely short endings. Too often one has heard musicians who also have to produce themselves on final chords that have been strained for a long time. The mostly soft touch of the pianist Marc Brenken harmonized very well with the lyrical sound of the trumpeter and flugelhorn player Christian Kappe, whose tone lost none of its warmth even in faster passages. In general, the focus was on mutually supporting each other in the musical conversation. The Kappe-Brenken duo was less concerned with provoking radical tensions in dialogue. But even if two don't argue, the third party is happy in the end - namely the audience.

Westfälische Nachrichten, October 13, 2003

Article about the concert "Jazz defi(t) Karneval" on February 5th, 2005 in the Consol-Theater, Gelsenkirchen:

(...) The flugelhorn player and the pianist immersed themselves in high-quality, intertwined dialogues, which showed a lot of humor in the imitation of train noises in the song "Toy Train". This duo played wonderfully delicate balladesque, but also bold tones with elegance and high playing culture.

NRZ, February 07, 2005