New Days Ahead – The Music of Daniel Hofecker – special guests: Eva Bolba and Stjepko Gut
The collaboration of the well-established Budapest Jazz Orchestra big band with young lion Daniel Hofecker has yielded a very exquisite result. Daniel is one of the most talented young composers and arrangers of his generation, not to mention that he’d earned his BA as a jazz trumpet player at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, before transferring to the University of Performing Arts in Graz, Austria, where he graduated with a Distinguished MA Diploma in 2022 in jazz composition and arrangement. For this album he collected the pieces that he had penned in the last couple of years, especially the ones that he got a great number of accolades for at international competitions of jazz composition and arrangement (see tracklist for details).
The title of the album is New Day Suite, alluding to his four-movement suite, which depicts a full day from dawn, through daytime, sunset and night. According to Hofecker, the greatest challenge of this composition was how one could depict the different characteristics of changing times and moods of a day by letting a powerful big band blow and hit their instruments. The piece One for Beni is an exercise in style in which Hofecker pays tribute to Bob Brookmeyer, whose composing and arrangement technique he applied here. La Galérie Des Cotelles is a piece inspired by a place in the Versailles castle in France.
It has a historical significance for Hungarians, unfortunately a very tragic one, since the ending of the First World War was sealed by a very unfavorable peace treaty for Hungary. What the composer aimed to do was illustrating the gloomy state of mind that has haunted Hungarians thinking about the peace treaty for over a century. The peace Politics is thematically related as it tries to illustrate the tensions, dilemmas and the unpleasant moments of political debate which no one can be completely exempt from.
One of the most influential teachers of Hofecker during his years in Graz was trumpet legend from Serbia Stjepko Gut -Hofecker says. “It was such a great inspiration for me all the time how he produced the idiosyncratic and inimitable melodies, rhythm, phraseology and swing that he is known for” – says the one-time student. This is behind the track, Mr. S.G. obviously a tribute to his master who himself embellished the piece with a phenomenal after the theme had been put forward by Éva Bolba.
Something like an encore, showcasing Daniel’s arranging skills is a standard, the unforgettable Cheek to Cheek also recorded by the ensemble: it aims at a sound typical of New York’s Village Vanguard big band, blending traditional and modern approaches. To make all good things three, Hofecker’s trumpet playing is also featured on his debut album.
Tracklist: (Including awards and competition prizes)
- New Day Suite – I. Dawnin’ Big Band Composition Contest of the Hungarian Jazz Federation, Budapest, First place, 2016
- New Day Suite – II. Daytime Helsinki International Big Band Composing Contest, Finalist, 2019
- New Day Suite – III. Sunset
- New Day Suite – IV. Night
- One For Beni Big Band Composition Contest of the Hungarian Jazz Federation, Budapest, First place, 2018; Barga Jazz Festival and Competition (Italy), Finalist, 2022
- La Galérie Des Cotelles – Big Band Composition Contest of the Hungarian Jazz Federation, Budapest, 2nd Prize and Best Composition Prize, 2021; Karel Krautgartner’s Composition Contest For a Jazz Orchestra, Prague, 3rd Prize, 2021
- Politics Barga Jazz Festival and Competition (Italy), Grand Prize, 2021; Downbeat Magazine’s Student Music Awards, Outstanding Composition Award, 2022
- Mr. S.G. Helsinki International Big Band Composing Contest, Finalist, 2021
- Cheek To Cheek (I. Berlin)
Online stream: https://bfan.link/new-days-ahead