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“An insightful and versatile guitarist” - All About Jazz

“He has found a sound that is his own - and is always imbued with both
beauty and excitement” - Süddeutsche Zeitung

The responses to Munich-based guitarist Philipp Schiepek’s 2019 debut album marked him out as a musician of real sensitivity and one to watch. Born in Dinkelsbühl in Southern Germany in 1994, Schiepek first played piano and accordion before taking up the guitar at the age of 12. He has that most important attribute of a musician, his own individual voice. The word about quite how good he is started to get around fast: he had only just completed his studies at the conservatoires in Würzburg and Munich when he played with bands such as Mulo Francel’s and also alongside internationally known artists like Richie Beirach and Klaus Doldinger. In early 2020 he won the BMW Welt Young Artist Jazz Award. With ‘Cathedral’ he now makes his debut on ACT.

Alongside Philipp Schiepek is pianist Walter Lang. Originally from the Stuttgart region and based in Munich, Lang, 59, has been known as ‘the poet’ and ‘the romantic’ among German jazz pianists. He grew up surrounded by classical music, folk music and the Beatles. Chance led him to Berklee College of Music in Boston and into jazz. The constants with Lang are a love of melody and a remarkable economy of expression and it is a shared instinct for the power of simple melodies which brings the two musicians together on ‘Cathedral’. They complement each other ideally, with Lang’s delicate touch and the range of his pianism enhanced by Schiepek’s refined technique and frequent ornamentation, evoking the world of the Spanish classical guitar.

‘Cathedral’ is a touching and enchanting dialogue between piano and guitar, between young and old, classical and jazz, form and freedom. We eavesdrop on a musical conversation which through its depth and intimacy speaks directly to the times we live in. It can sometimes be sustained and calm, with hints of oriental meditation - as in the opener ‘Sumniran’ or in ‘Kamo’, evoking a time-honoured river which flows gently through the Japanese city of Kyoto, or hymn-like, as in the title track, or expressing the allure of a setting off on a long walk, as with ‘Pilgrimage’, composed by Schiepek. Or melancholic, as in ‘The World Is Upside Down’, which feels like an ode to the sorrow and sadness of the pandemic. But we find comfort and consolation too, as in the final track ‘The Encourager’. ‘Cathedral’ is an album that lives up to its name: as an act of devotion, as sounds that rise into hallowed space.

Estrela Cadente
Meditation in Ten
Gliding over Meadows
Prelude To the World Is Upside Down
The World Is Upside Down
Light at the End of the Tunnel
The Encourager