June 04, 2022 | Album Release Concert: Johannes Wallmann & Precarious Towers | $20

We’re hosting this album release performance from quintet Johannes Wallmann & Precarious Towers at Cafe Coda!
The album will be released on June 3 and is available for pre-order at https://sym.ffm.to/precarioustowers
Sharel Cassity, alto saxophone
Mitch Shiner, vibraphone
Johannes Wallmann, piano / composer
John Christensen, bass
Devin Drobka, drums
German-born and Vancouver Island-raised pianist/composer Johannes Wallman’s output over the past decade has been varied and prolific, including last year’s “Elegy for an Undiscovered Species”, an album for jazz quintet and string orchestra named as a “Best of 2021” album by several music publications. On this new release, Wallmann leads a high-octane quintet that hails from Chicago, featuring alto saxophonist Sharel Cassity, vibraphonist Mitch Shiner, drummer Devin Drobka, and bassist John Christensen.
Wallmann and co. first premiered the new group in October 2020 on a live-streamed concert from Madison’s Union Theater. “It could have been a weird experience to play a concert for eleven hundred empty seats and just a couple of cameras,” Wallmann explains, “but the moment we started playing the first tune, it was so much fun! We all had a huge pent-up need to be creative with other musicians, but it was also instantly clear that this band had great chemistry. We had close to a thousand folks watching the live stream, and they were feeling it, and we were, too! So we just wanted to keep playing.”
Inspired by their inaugural performance, Wallmann booked the group into a recording studio in February 2021. The album’s pieces cover a wide range of moods, but most were written in the summer of 2020, with inspiration for the session based around the various challenges everyone faced during the pandemic, ranging from increased family playtime while schools were closed, to coping with the existential dread and social isolation of the pandemic.
There’s a lively, engaging feel to the whole album, with all five musicians making valued contributions. The album also boasts one of the best track titles I can remember: “Never Pet a Burning Dog”. One might expect something of a dark, harrowing tune, but not so, the tune itself is a rather joyful experience. There’s a great balance to the album, with some very nice soloing, especially from vibesman Shiner, saxophonist Cassity, and of course the main man himself on piano.
Other highlights include the wonderful “McCoy”, a homage to the great McCoy Tyner, a piece that embraces and acknowledges the inspiration the great man gave over a lifetime of musical contributions. I also particularly like the three “Pandemic” pieces, all of which offer keen originality. “Pandemic 1: Quiet Out There” was the first piece Wallmann wrote during the initial lockdown, when streets were empty and nearly everything closed, and the slow, edgy pulse of the music echoes the sentiment of the piece. “Pandemic 2: Unreliable Narrator,” revels in its own quirkiness and concludes with a raucous musical protest. “Pandemic 3: Defeat and Imprison the Conman Strongman” grooves and shuffles its way through the challenges of life.
All in all, “Precarious Towers” is another solid album from Wallmann, with some fine performances throughout from this expressive quintet.
Show dates and time:
June 4th at 7PM
Tickets: $20 cover ($15 for students)
Production: Cafe CODA
*Masks are not required but encouraged.
* Do I need to print my ticket?
No, but will help. Due to different systems, some people might not get the second email of tickets with QR codes. You can either print your email receipts or simply show them on your phone upon arrival.


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Johannes Wallmann & Precarious Towers
$ 20.00
96 available
Johannes Wallmann & Precarious Towers
$ 20.00
99 available