Linernotes CD "Better days' When Heinz-Dieter Sauerborn asked me a while back if I would write the liner notes for this CD, I felt quite honored. I have been a huge fan of s-h-s ever since I first listened in on a demo about 2 years ago. It was love from the first, and since then I have been anticipating the trios debut CD. In the middle of writing the liner notes it occurred to me: why on earth did these musicians consider a (part-time) drummer and musical arranger - who normally enters a studio with no fewer than 15+ musicians - in a position to write liner notes for a drummer-free trio? The answer lay in the numerous discussions over the last few years between Heinz-Dieter and myself as members of the hr Big Band, which often centered on the meaning of color, sound, time und expression in music. This is what 'Better Days' means to me: These musicians play in perfect time, but swing and groove like crazy - but wait a sec: this is still big band talk. Everything with s-h-s happens in 'pocket-size,' or better yet, like 'chamber music,' if these were politically correct feature pages: but politically correct is just what this music is not, nor sterile. There is deep expression behind every note, virtuosity, oddtime signatures, and subtle blending: all means to an end - behind every tone is exquisite abandonment, each piece describes a unique story, and a sound scape arises airy and elegant - even in the face of ingenious instrumental precision. What fascinates me most, however, (probably speaking as musical arranger again) is the colorful palette these 3 ('three'!) instrumentalists have created. To further my point, listen in on 'Bemsha Swing'. Each of the first 4 chorusses sounds worlds apart, yet the main theme intrinsically ties them together. From one moment to the next the saxophone takes the lead, retreats, then blends with all the other instruments in a harmonic web - all the while still leaving time for a phenomenal guitar solo. Finally, at the point where one would normally expect a simple reprise, a canon begins, only to flow into a 'fresh' coda: thus a resounding 'bravo!' from this musical arranger all feverish from the overwhelming originality! These musicians are instrumentalists of the highest order. Few saxophonists in this post-Coltrane era play tenor with the subtile sound and dynamic mastery of Heinz-Dieter Sauerborn. The agility of Hanns Höhns Bass, who leads you to completely forget the absence of any further rhythm-section member on the CD, is finally clearly heard during the theme of 'Thangs / All The Things.' Any doubts whether (hessische) 'white country boys' should be allowed to play the blues are abated during track 6: a resounding 'Yes, absolutely!' when they play like Bernhard Sperrfechter, whose dazzling chords magically illuminate throughout the entire CD. Like in all other liner notes: in the end - once his opinions are all laid out on the table for the listener to see - the clever writer scrambles to come up with a light bit of criticism with an eye on what the future might hold, thus rescuing himself on the shores of professional objectivity. With 'Better Days' it is difficult, because to my ears it's all fine and perfect as is - exactly, as it is .- perfect as perfect can be ... but just in case ... only in the highly unlikely prospect that during some future project ... - regardless of how insignificant - ... they should require a (part-time) drummer or musical arranger for 15+ musicians - Jörg Achim Keller, August 2005, translated by Patricia Lauter, Miami.