Return of the Shrooms
Do you love music, or does it love you?
What’s the kid in first grade who stole your lunch doing now? And what about Peggy? Are things twice as much fun with two saxophones?
Who’s mouth breathing over there?
When a band gets together again after almost five years of separation, there better be a good reason. Perhaps they’re a former boy band wanting to top up their savings before the grey hair really starts to show. Or the front man just got out early on parole. Or perhaps the reason can be found in the depths of the music itself. Deep underground, where tubers and moles are bedfellows, and bass lines are within hand’s reach; where the saxophone warbles and the trumpet oozes like magma: behold! there it still lurks, unforgettable — the fungal sound of “Die Pilze”! Who are these fun guys, and where have they been buried all these years? The album “Wer Sind Die Pilze” was originally unearthed by a trained pig in 2008, and for the next three years the group gave dozens of concerts in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Belgium, including Suisse Diagonales, Carinthischer Sommer, Jazze Onze Plus in Lausanne, Jazz & The City in Salzburg, BeJazz Winterfestival in Bern, and at the Jazzwerkstatts in Bern and Vienna. Thereafter, the winds of change scattered all six musicians to distant climes: Vienna, Henzenried and Nairobi. But now things are different. Monreaux, Sion and Bern are separated by just a hop, a skip and a jump (give or take a mountain or two). There was nothing to stop the long-overdue comeback of the Shrooms. And the answer to (nearly) eternal question of who are these fun guys? can now finally be found on the new album “Return of the Shrooms” featuring the Berlin singer Francesco Wilking. Thusly:
“Die Pilze” have nothing to do with nature. They were born on the throbbing streets of New York. At the very least. Perhaps by the Williamsburg Bridge, over where Sonny Rollins once tried to out-honk the seagulls and car horns. Or on the corner of 54th and 6th, where the blind Viking, Moondog, played his homemade instruments and sold poems for 25¢.
“Die Pilze” breath. They eat well, and often, and go weak at the sign of a pear crumble.
“Die Pilze” play as if they were searching for the hidden life of jazz, its joyful core, the allure that makes you drop out of school and sit on a red wagon like Monk.
“Die Pilze” have returned to walk the earth, like Snow White’s dwarves — minus one. Each wearing a pointy hat. High ho!, and where will they go…?