Gerwin Eisenhauer's Booom

Gerwin Eisenhauer's Booom

Glasgow Art Club

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Rob Adams

Jazz musicians find inspiration in all sorts of locations, situations and even denominations. German drummer Gerwin Eisenhauer may be the first, however, to realise credible jazz compositions from the micro-melodies that signal progression through various stages of video games.

Eisenhauer is clearly a connoisseur of this market, although having children with game-playing enthusiasms that have followed and indeed enlarged upon his own hasn't hindered his ongoing survey of the jazz potential of eight-bit motifs.

His pleasure in creating what has been mistaken for an obscure Thelonious Monk tune from a 1980s PacMan jingle or transforming a sliver of Super Mario's soundtrack into a calypso that Sonny Rollins might have revelled in during his Caribbean pomp is palpable and actually quite sweet.

Some of his creations worked better than others - vocalist Marcus Engelstadter's introduction of electronic effects, oddly enough, didn't especially enhance the quartet central to Eisenhauer's aims and a jazz ballad courtesy of Nintendo became a mite laboured.

But there was much strong musicianship.

Not least that came from from Eisenhauer's Scottish guests, the habitually searching and excitingly creative guitarist Graeme Stephen, and pianist Peter Johnstone, who sat in admirably at the eleventh hour.

Eisenhauer has something of our own Tom Bancroft about him, in build as well as artistic temperament and in an ability to merge musical freedom with propulsion and steer the ship with a sure sense of shape.

His understanding with bass guitarist Uli Zrenner-Wolkenstein, although not perhaps forged over sixty years as mirthfully claimed, also played a big part in giving the music a certain charm as well as, at times, a slow-building, Pat Metheny Group-style momentum