German trumpeter/composer Frederic Rabold is at home with the jazz idioms of Dixieland and swing, the modernisms of Gil Evans and the Avantegarde explorations of Gunter Hampel. Influenced by trumpet icons Chet Baker, Clifford Brown, and Booker Little, he has worked with Lester Bowie, Albert Mangelsdorff, and Tony Oxley. Ribold’s Crew was popular throughout the 70’s, and with the addition of American singer Lauren Newton, this edition of the crew was particularly successful. A founding member of Vocal Summit and the Vienna Art Orchestra, Newton is as comfortable singing Schoenberg and Webern as she is exploring the improvisational edges. This unusual mix of trumpet, voice, sax, clarinets and rhythm section works as a small ensemble with a unique big band sound. There’s Argentine artistry, flamenco passion and free-form fire in Funky Tango. The minor-keyed melancholy of Nina’s Dance pivots around Newton’s vocal pirouettes, and on Newtones Newton & Rabold explore the melodic borders. Goblins is a vocal tour de force, what the noted writer Joachim E. Berendt called “one of the most thrilling vocals of any type of music whatsoever”. Patience features the dark warmth of bass & contrabass clarinet along with an impressionistic piano solo, while Fingerfarben features a colorful mélange of relaxed modes, ‘kaput rock’, disarrayed harmonies and crazy rhythms. Sophistication, humor, and a bit of madness coalesce in a thoroughly enjoyable album.