Taiko Saito – vibraphone
Jan Roder – double bass
Michael Griener – percussion

01 Ghosts of the Midnight Wood  12:4302 Hoarfrost Tree  6:2903 Typhoons and Windbreaks 6:0504 Snow Monster 13:04

SKU: TITE REC- 029 Category:


all compositions by Saito/Roder/Griener
cover design by Simon Rummel
recorded by Olaf Rupp on November 4, 2021 at Au Topsi Pohl in Berlin. mixed and mastered by Alex Huber – www.sonarrec.ch
With the kind support of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe

Trouble In the East REC 029

The collaboration of Taiko Saito, Jan Roder and Michael Griener in the trio WALD has produced a truly captivating album that showcases their exceptional talents in the vibrant Berlin jazz scene. Their first meeting took place at the legendary Berlin club Au Topsi Pohl shortly before its closure, resulting in a spontaneous and magical musical experience. With a unique flow and an enchanting atmosphere, their improvisations allowed each musician to reveal previously unexplored aspects of their musical personalities. In this moment of musical alchemy, a profound connection was formed and it was abundantly clear that this trio was destined to continue their artistic journey together. Fortunately, the concert was expertly captured by acclaimed guitarist and sound engineer Olaf Rupp. The recording was then expertly mixed and mastered at the renowned Swiss studio Sonarrec, ensuring that the essence and energy of this extraordinary performance was faithfully preserved. The resulting album, an exceptional offering entitled “WALD”, takes listeners on an unparalleled sonic journey that seamlessly blends the spontaneity of free jazz with intricate structures and fearless experimentation. Each track on the album serves as a testament to the trio’s exceptional musicianship and unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of their respective instruments. The interplay between Saito’s mesmerizing vibraphone melodies, Roder’s rich and resonant double bass lines, and Griener’s dynamic and nuanced drumming is nothing short of extraordinary. Their collective musicianship intertwines in a symbiotic dance, with each member instinctively responding to and complementing the others, creating a tapestry of sound that is both awe-inspiring and deeply moving. The album WALD is a testament to the trio’s artistry, showcasing a collection of work that brims with unparalleled intensity, emotional depth, and artistic integrity. It is an essential addition to any discerning listener’s collection, offering an immersive and transformative experience that transcends genre and speaks directly to the heart and soul. The captivating sounds of WALD invite you to embark on a musical odyssey unlike any other, where the boundaries of expression are pushed and the beauty of improvisation and collaboration shine through. Prepare to be enchanted by the mesmerizing melodies, intricate rhythms, and boundless creativity of Taiko Saito, Jan Roder, and Michael Griener as they paint a vivid musical landscape that will captivate and inspire.

Taiko Saito is “a remarkable and rare artist in whose music one does not feel any boundaries between jazz and classical.” (Naoya Takayama, Ongaku no tomo). She was born in Sapporo and studied with marimba virtuoso Keiko Abe and classical marimba and percussion at the Toho School of Music. In 1997 she began to improvise and towrite music, and moved to Berlin to study vibraphone and composition with David Friedman at the Universität der Künste Berlin.In 2003 she co-founded Koko, a marimba/vibraphone-piano duo with German jazz piano player Niko Meinhold. She is a founding member of the Berlin Mallet Group, which also includes her former teacher Friedman. She is a co-founder of Futari, a duo withpianist-composer Satoko Fujii, and also performs with Fujii and drummer Yuko Oshima in Trio San. In addition, Saito has performed and recorded with the Trickster Orchestra, Silke Eberhard’s Potsa Lotsa XL and Daniel Glatzel’s Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra. As a soloist, Taiko has appeared with the Sapporo SymphonyOrchestraandwithOrchestradÁuvergneinFrance.Asacomposer,shewonthe originality prize in the International Marimba Competition 2004 for “Landscape IV.”Her new solo album Tears of a Cloud, out April 28, 2023 via Trouble in the East Records, is earning critical acclaim including 4-stars in All About Jazz which cites her “uncompromising originality.” She was awarded Jazzpreis Berlin 2023 from the Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) and the Land of Berlin. www.taikosaito.net

Jan Roder is a recognized representative of the “middle” generation of improvised music and has made his contribution to the free jazz scene of the last decades. Roder studied jazz double bass for several semesters with Detlef Beier at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, where he met Michael Griener and Rudi Mahall in the early 90’s. In 1995 he moved to Berlin. There he quickly met musicians like Axel Dörner and Alexander v. Schlippenbach, with whom he has been working together ever since, among others in “Die Enttäuschung” and “Monks Casino”. His musical home is in (post-)free jazz or “improvised music”, always in the tradition of jazz.His flexible but very personal way of playing makes it possible to play in different contexts like in a duo with the Romanian singer Maria Raducanu or with Anna Kaluza on saxophone, in a trio with Olaf Rupp and Rudi Mahall or with Brom, on electric bass with Derek plays Eric or the Dicken Fingers, giving life to the music with an always recognizable voice. He has played all over the world with many great musicians and can be heard on numerous releases on various labels such as Intakt, Relative Pitch, Jazzwerkstatt or Trouble in the East Records. www.janroder.de

Michael Griener, a self-taught drummer, has established himself as one of the most versatile musicians on the jazz scene. He began his freelance career in 1988, working closely with Günter Christmann in Hannover. Since moving to Berlin in 1994, Griener has worked with such esteemed artists as Mal Waldron, Butch Morris, Tal Farlow, Evan Parker, Aki Takase, and Tony Malaby.His rhythm section partnership with Jan Roder is prominent in bands such as DIE ENTTÄUSCHUNG, ULI GUMPERT QUARTETT, and MONK’S CASINO. Griener’s musical style navigates the boundaries between jazz and free improvisation, as seen in his trio with Ellery Eskelin and Christian Weber. He is also a respected educator, teaching jazz percussion at the Dresden College of Music since 2002. Griener’s talent has been recognized with awards, including “Most Creative Soloist” at the 2006 New German Jazz Awards. His extensive discography on labels such as Intakt, HatHut, FMP, Jazzwerkstatt and Moers Music features collaborations with renowned musicians from various genres. www.michaelgriener.de