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Lochs Balthaus Herskedal are:

Bert Lochs flugelhorn, trumpet
Dirk Balthaus grand piano, fender rhodes
Daniel Herskedal tuba

The European idea, long before it was politically implemented, manifested itself in Jazz. Cross-border Jazz compilations already existed from the early 1950s and overseas guests (mainly from the USA) were involved. Global thinking played an early role in the development of Jazz.

This is still the case with the Trio Lochs Balthaus Herskedal. The trumpet and flugelhorn player Bert Lochs is Dutch, the pianist Dirk Balthaus is German and the tuba player Daniel Herskedal comes from Norwey. The trio invited an US-American guest, Michael Moore, to play in three pieces for its new, second Album “Choices”. He has lived 25 years in Amsterdam and is truly europeanised.

The Dutch metropolis, in any case a port of call for musicians from many different countries, is also the hub for Lochs Balthaus Herskedal, even though Daniel Herskedal lives in Oslo. Dirk Balthaus settled in Amsterdam having finished his studies at the Hilversum Conservatorium.

Dirk Balthaus has played together with Bert Lochs since the 1990s in many different formations. He has released numerous CDs together with his trio, and can also be heard as sideman in many other albums. Bert Lochs studied under Ack van Rooyen, the legendary Dutch flugelhorn player (also known from the “United Jazz & Rock Ensemble), and the Dutch pianist Rob Madna. Lochs runs his own trio, and has also played in many different groupings. Daniel Herskedal studied at the Trondheim & Copenhagen Conservatoriums, works together with the renowned Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, and has also released an album with his own quintet.

CHOICES (2012)

Cover Lochs Balthaus Herskedal

The Loch Balthaus Herskedal line up consisting of trumpet, piano and tuba is somewhat unusual. Not only do they do without drums, but the arrangement of the three instruments is also exceptional. One recalls Mikhail Alperin’s “Moscow Art Trio”. Alperin’s trio combine Jazz with east European folk, whereas the musical departure of Lochs Balthaus Herskedal is decidedly middle European, including a Scandinavian element full of singing melodies. The trio enjoys playing with mysterious motifs, as heard in the opening track “Zany”. At first it chirps, bubbles and whispers, then Bert Lochs pitches in with a lucent yet gentle theme on the flugelhorn. It is piece annotated with intricately rhythmical passages. Bert Lochs has composed most of the music, five of the new tracks are his, Dirk Balthaus and Daniel Herskedal have each contributed two. The tuba player also wrote the second piece „De sluwe heks“. Its Dutch title means something like “The Cunning Witch”, yet it has an eminently northern manner, with almost the melodic feel of a hymn.

Michael Moore intervenes here with clarinet and alto saxophone, and his lyrical ideas fit perfectly to those of Lochs Balthaus Herskedal. Throughout, the trio enjoys developing  idiosyncratic rhythmical components: now a South African echo, now a loose Latin American section – interspersed with the effortless growling tones of the Tuba, the staccato piano (Dirk Balthaus also plays a Fender Rhodes piano) and the lyrical trumpet cantilenas. “Choices” is a CD full of surprises, lyrical, ironic and simple beauty, as in the final track “Julesangen”, a piece not just to be heard at  Christmas.

Concert Reviews

Schelde Jazzfestival, 2 Juni 2012 in Porgy & Bess, Terneuzen
"An unusual ensemble is formed by trumpeter Bert Lochs, pianist Dirk Balthaus and tuba player Daniel Herskedal. They deliver subtle music you have to listen to. Lochs' tone is mostly soft, lyrical, and he incorporates crazy sounds in his playing. Funny were his explanations for his inspiration: the wind or a heroic blackbird, which he transformed into beautiful compositions. Herskedal comped, like a bassplayer, and coloured at the same time. And Balthaus, he tapped little percussive patterns on the Fender Rhodes or muted pianostrings, improvised clever outside the given chord progressions or launched out  on the complete register of the grandpiano ..."
Mischa Beckers in Jazzenzo, June 2012

Int. Jazzfestival Enschede, 27 Mei 2012 in de Tor.
Sunday 23.45. The line up is very unusual, but the result is this unbelievable beautiful and adventurous music... This was not music you could talk to. History was written here, than you shut up.
Ton Ouwehand in Over uit, Mei 2012

Jazznight Lüneburg, 21 Mei 2011 in Kulturforum
“We want to enchant people with our music” claims Bert Lochs. The result is magnificently: Lots of personal and spontanious freedom, the sound mostly soft and balladesque. A creative band that stimulates the Jazzscene with its inspiring contribution.
Landeszeitung (D), May 2011

CD Reviews "Choices"

Stern (D), May 2012
'Unusual the line up, unusual the result: What the dutch/german/norwegian trio Lochs Balthaus Herskedal on their album "Choices" are doing with trumpet/flugelhorn, piano and tuba sounds exciting - regardless if the musicians get lost in melancholy or dangerous outbreaks. But, dangerous? No, they don't harm anybody, they just want to play.'

Ton Hammero in Jazznytt (NO), May 2012
'... The sequel CD is even better. The tunes are, without any exceptions, beautiful, very melodic, different approaches and the interaction in this trio is on an exceptionally high level. We know Michael Moore from several bands as one of the most exciting modernists in Europe, but on this recording he tells us that he has a big palette to pick his colours from... This new meeting is an enjoyment from one end to the other. The choices which they made, were all correct ones.'

Coen de Jonge in Jazzism (NL), May 2012
'... This is the second cd of this eccentric trio, that gets support from Michael Moore on three tracks... Dedicated and honest music, not recoiling from authentic beauty, melodious hymns and wide explorations....musical conversations, that tell us about melancholy and desires as well as about vitality and lust for life. The music of this trio has undeniable an own identity. Beauty that doesn't burn it's face.'


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