Who: Martin Krusche’s Magnetic Ear is a five-piece band that runs the jazz gamut. A native of Munich, Germany, tenor saxophonist Krusche has been here since 1995 with a couple years away playing in New York City. The group started off as a trio before Katrina, but since then Krusche has added musicians. He has recruited some of the best players in the city including Jeff Albert on trombone and hard-working Dan “The Diesel Rocket” Ostreicher on baritone saxophone. Krusche does the writing and the arranging for the band, whose rhythm section varies, but it has included Matt Perrine, Kirk Joseph, or John Gross on sousaphone and Kevin O’Day or Endre Landres on drums.
Where: Sunday, January 28 at Bacchanal (600 Poland Ave.), 6 p.m.
Why: This band has a dynamic sound and a variety of tunes and rhythms. Krusche’s philosophy is “to do different things,” he says. “I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. I want the music to be swinging and funky and free and wild.” The band balances being inspired in the moment with arrangements that go to the extremes of each instrument’s range. Krusche likes to write and always brings something new—whether a new tune or voicing—to each gig. Sometimes he brings out an effects pedal and doubles his saxophone to add to the groove.
The Magnetic Ear’s debut record, After The Rain, has original tunes such as “Phoenix” and “Handsome Ransom” that show great energy, especially live when Ostreicher, Albert, and Krusche start playing off each other. On the other hand, his covers of Billy Strayhorn’s “Isfahan” and “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing” are pretty and deliberate.
What You Need To Know: Krusche pushed himself to make the CD to prove to the INS that he is a working musician and deserves his artist’s visa. It worked. Now he doesn’t have to leave the country within 60 days.