My story with Achim Kaufmann started when I discovered Paul Heller’s great albums “Kaleidoscope” & “Little Songs” as a teenager. I listened to them a lot, and Achim played piano on both. I really liked his playing, so I started to check out his own stuff. I started with his first album “Weave” — and it changed me forever! To this day it is one of my top 5 piano trio albums and I still listen to it quite regularly. The compositions, Achim’s chemistry with bassist Ingmar Heller & drummer Jochen Rückert, their playing, the sound — this record has inspired generations of musicians since it came out in 1998.
To understand his journey better, I worked my way through Achim’s records in the order they were recorded. Next up were the amazing quartet records “Double Exposure” & “Gueuledeloup” . I got obsessed with them and totally loved the music but had some difficulties following it. I couldn’t tell what was improvised and what was written. So I got in touch with Achim to take a lesson. I asked him lots of questions about these records and he graciously explained his process to me, showing me the leadsheets while listening to the music together. He showed me other records that I didn’t know before and we played together a little bit, me on piano and Achim on Wurlitzer. After this lesson I was full of inspiration!!
In the follow-up to that we exchanged e-mails and I asked Achim how he dealt with writers-block… I still look at his advice whenever I don’t feel inspired or I’m at a loss for ideas.
When I l finally left my hometown Hagen to study in Cologne, I went to see Achim whenever he played in town. Every time I was in awe and I always tried to talk to him after the gigs, to ask him what he was working on or listening to lately.
Many years later, after I started this series of interviews, Achim sent me a nice note, telling me that he enjoyed watching them. Naturally asked him if he would be interested in participating. Today I’m happy to share our conversation with you. Hope you enjoy!
… OK, now I feel bad for not mentioning some other records that have been very influental to me so here’s another list:
Robert Landfermann – Topaz
all the records with Grünen
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