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Marieke Wiening - Future Memories (Greenleaf)

12 November 2021

Drummer/composer Marieke Wiening was born in Germany, raised in Norway and lives in New York City. While it would be disingenuous to stamp her music with the label “cosmopolitan,” Future Memories – her second LP – is definitely informed by her life experience. The jazz she creates doesn’t feel beholden to any certain tradition, weaving in elements of American fusion and post bop, European chamber and avant-garde jazz, so seamlessly that the songs come from everywhere and nowhere.

She’s also a canny and generous leader, understanding exactly when and how to throw the spotlight her bandmates’ way. For example, the hard bopping “RiChanges” was clearly composed with saxophonist Rich Perry and pianist Glenn Zaleski in mind, as they both hit their solos hard. “El Escorial” gives a handsome portion to guitarist Alex Goodman, a post bop stylist bursting with ideas. While not having a ton of solo space, bassist Johannes Feischer locks in with Wiening’s scene-setting percussion layers, swirling around the root while never slipping out of sync. The leader focuses the entire band like a laser on the angular ballad “The Other Soul” and the swinging closer “Dance Into July,” making them an expression of her musical will without quashing any individual expression. Wiening may be young and still at the beginning of her career, but by proving herself worthy of the triple crown as an accomplished musician, writer and leader on Future Memories, she’s set up for a bright future indeed.