My Everything

Ole Seimetz

Albums by drummers, to say the least, can be somewhat difficult. Too much emphasis on rhythm, too little melody, unwieldy compositions without a clear line. Just not flattering to the ear. Ole Seimetz, the Hamburg drummer shows that it can be different. In My Everything his début album, he offers pieces that are groove oriented, but also exceedingly melodic.

For Seimetz, such a production was a completely new experience. In the years following his Jazz studies in Hilversum he was a sought after side-man for amongst others Herb Geller, Roger Cicero and Paul Kuhn. Now living in Hamburg, he is in the limelight for the first time. It is a role that appeals to him. At last he can present himself and his music as he has for so long wished.

“When I hear music, feet must tap and fingers click. And after two minutes at the latest it should bring a smile to the face of the listener”, Seimetz explains. He fulfils these requirements brilliantly in the nine songs that he presents in his début album. Seimetz appears alongside Max von Mosch, one of the most creative new German composers. Seven of the titles come from the pen of the Berlin saxophonist. Von Mosch gives Seimetz the basic ingredients: wonderful groove ideas, chords and melodies, which together they newly arrange.

So the title song My Everything comes across in a completely new guise, “to make a pop song out of the composition – I’d never have had the idea, it’s great!”, von Mosch is highly delighted with the new arrangement. The warm, crystal clear voice of the Hamburger Ulita Knaus makes the song a perfect encore, a true foreign body in an otherwise more Swing and jazz oriented album. Seimetz explains, “The disc includes so much, which for me as a musician is important: its own sounds and grooves”. In the process he deploys his drums in a balanced way. The melody stands to the fore. Occasionally he intersperses a short solo, in which – as in Kahuna– he really goes for it.

The different voices in the pieces are striking. Strides lives from the unison effects of Ulita Knaus‘ voice and Mosch’s soprano saxophone. Whether – as alluded in the title – the steps of a predator or another living creature are meant, is left to the imagination of the listener.

Kazakhstan is very sound-track like. A journey through the Caucasian republic inspired von Mosch to write this ballad. The thoughtful, wonderful melody that he plays on his saxophone awakens longings in the listener. “The somewhat melancholy mood fits to the way I then experienced the trip. A country with a beautiful unspoilt and at the same time forbidding quality. And in the towns, the somewhat dismal Soviet building style – dirty and totally grey from smog,” von Mosch has thoroughly ambivalent memories of his Kazakhstan journey.

On the other hand, Ole Seimetz has only positive feelings towards his adopted home. The cover motif shows him sitting cheerfully at a bass drum on the bank of the Elbe. So the album title fits in a double sense. “My Everything means that the Album perhaps not totally, but very much reflects what music means to me”, explains Seimetz. “And, although I was born in Kiel, Hamburg is really my home town, my pearl, I love it dearly. That is the best combination that I can imagine.”

More from Ole Seimetz