The acronym CROssover Modular Ensemble already shows the main idea of the ensemble. CROME combines classical colours and improvised music, folk inspirations and polyphonic textures. The leader, composer/arranger and saxophonist of CROME, Sam Urscheler, prefers not to label his project's style of music. He believes that music is only alive if it develops, if it moves forward, regardless of its style. The group consists of a string quartet (2 violins, viola, cello) and a saxophone. This unusual combination allows for a multitude of colours to be explored, where the missing rhythm is replaced by playing techniques.
The 'Modular' part of the acronym has not been explored since the founding of the ensemble: CROME has not yet modulated its formation, but will soon be enriched with a jazz trio (piano, bass, drums), for the first time. This will allow for more interplay during solos, and the trio will provide a rhythmic and harmonic foundation on which the 5 "veteran" members can build. More news on this new line-up soon!
With its eclectic style and deeply acoustic formation, CROME performs in jazz clubs as well as at classical festivals and in cultural centres. Amongst the venues CROME has played are the Weekend Musical de Pully, the Radio Suisse Romande, the Palace Lausanne, the Concerts de Villeneuve amongst others. The record release party of the Komorebi CD is planned at Chorus Jazz Club.
2020/2021: « Komorebi »
The period marked by the covid saw the release of CROME's first album which was produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Julien Podolak, alumni of the CNSM's sound engineering class in Paris. It was released on the Swiss label Unit Records and distributed by Orchard/Membran. The cover photo was taken by photographer William Tan, the graphic design was done by Rahel Tonini.
Sam Urscheler about the first album:
"With our first album Komorebi, we especially want to make our unusual music and ensemble available to a wider audience. Komorebi is Japanese and translates as 'light passing through the trees' and symbolises one of the different moods that CROME wants to evoke on this album. The tracks – 7 compositions by Sam Urscheler, two adaptations and a dedication – were written to closely suit the band (string quartet and saxophone): chamber jazz meets fully written parts, improvised solos alternate with polyphonic textures of classical or folk inspiration. For lovers of beautiful melodies, I recommend listening to and watching Tides , fans of solos will choose Crossroads or Time Capsule, those who prefer the groove side will first listen to Die neue Wellenlänge or Yalla (wild solos included), and if you want to discover an overview of the different sonic ambiences we seek to create with CROME, take an ear to the eponymous piece, Komorebi."
Summer 2021: « Oneiroi »
After a day of recording at the Flon 4 studio of the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne, CROME is preparing the release of three new tracks of a suite called Oneiroi, named after the Greek gods of sleep. This suite explores, still with the basic formation, quite distinct colours: Introduction is marked by almost Wagnerian leitmotivs, in Morphée, a one-note ostinato is wrapped in warm and somewhat nostalgic harmonics culminating in a soprano saxophone solo. Phobétor highlights the rhythmic precision that CROME has developed over the years. Bar changes, solos in 5/4, a shout chorus on a Latin clave and motuño ... an energetic firework!
As mentioned, CROME would like to further expand and vary its line-up. Ideas in this direction include the addition of a jazz trio and/or a female singer. To this end, CROME is invited to a residency at the abpi foundation in 2022 in order to realise these ideas.