The best-known recordings in jazz history of piano-less jazz quartets with saxophone and trumpet were
undoubtedly delivered by the baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan along with trumpeter Chet Baker, as
well as by Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins who both worked respectively with Don Cherry. The more
recent ones by Mark Turner and Avishai Cohen are also noteworthy. There are of course countless further
examples which unfortunately aren’t particularly well known; for instance, the collaboration between Ernie
Henry and Kenny Dorham, and many aren’t even aware of Chet Baker’s meeting with Stan Getz.
The ENJ Society is formed by musicians Michael Erian (tenor saxophone, flute), Daniel Nösig (trumpet,
valve trombone), Milan Nikolic (double bass) and Howard Curtis (drums), and all four members of this
highly musical group contribute towards breathing new life into this piano-less sound.
In the nine compositions written predominantly by Erian and Nösig, the ENJ Society draws fine musical
threads together from styles ranging from bebop and waltzes to swing and presents elegant and intense
ballads. Whilst their 2018 album (The Ones Before Us / Quinton Q-1802-2) was reminiscent of the great
accomplishments of jazz history, they have put forward a production of their own with „Here & Now“ which
is just as masterful. What’s special about this recording is its high spirituality, which can be felt in a matter
of seconds and continues right through to the end. It’s not necessary to let the pieces get out of hand in
order to make the audience gradually more aware of the music’s power, no, the power is there straight
away, from the first note till the last with Coltrane-esque intensity and tension, and everything flows as if
spontaneously. Yes, this is jazz in its finest form!
Christian Bakonyi, Vienna, October 2022