Welcome to drummer Jochen Rueckert's site
frothing with information on his activities as a drummer and band leader, his work in electronic music under the alias "Wolff Parkinson White" as well as his long running book series "Read the Rueckert- travel observations and pictures of hotel rooms"
You might have heard Jochen play drums in the last 12 years of the Marc Copland trio, the mid-2000 Kurt Rosenwinkel New Quartet, all of Nils Wogram's Root 70, or the Melissa Aldana trio
JOCHEN RUECKERT QUARTET
"Charm Offensive" in Paris April 2016
"Saul Goodman" - track 3 from "we make the rules" from a gig at Smalls in NYC in 2014
" An exceptionally fine album" Jazzbreakfast
" a rarely heard warmth from the drums, that perfectly fits this timeless modern music"- Rondo
"It’s perhaps most engaging as a postbop soloists’ album, and the improv is very good indeed." The Guardian U.K.
"Playful yet profound..... you'll want to hear this invigorating sound over and over again" Classicalite
"radiates an understated warmth and sophistication which is so very appealing." AP reviews
"Just outstanding. Highly Recommended." wonderingsound
"....a fluid, open-minded, post-bop record that is pretty much state of the art as far as contemporary improvised music is concerned." Irish Times
"A drummer and bandleader remains a relative rarity. Jochen Rueckert , however, adds an extra dimension." some dutch blog
An absolute delight, and without a dull moment, We Make The Rules gets my highest recommendation" Stuart Kremsky
"This is music that's contemporary - in the best sense of the word. The guys play with a technique that isn't misused, a technique that stays true to tradition ... yet still reaches out to the unknown." bebop spoken here
unfassbar, dass das hier erst das zweite Album ist. jazz thing
"Das Ganze swingt angenehm unaufdringlich - er will bei aller Virtuosität und allem Facettenreichtum niemandem etwas beweisen" freie Presse Chemnitz
Here's a long ass interview with french magazine DJAM
Jochen Rueckert Quartet technical rider ( English and German .pdf)
Jochen Rueckert Quartet high resolution press pictures and Bio (English, German, .zip)
This will take you to a google drive page. On the top right corner will be a downward arrow which will start the download of the .zip file containing 4 pictures and one pdf.
WOLFF PARKINSON WHITE
Wolff Parkinson White is Jochen's programming alias. The music is mostly programmed on the road on a laptop, contains none of his own drumming and concentrates heavily on confusing rhythms and the quarter-tone scale.
So far, WPW has released 3 full albums, 2 EPs as well as remixes for Kudu, Ilhan Ersahin, Nils Wogram, and the Leboeuf brothers
a music video Jochen made for a song off "forlorn"
a new 6 song EP for detund , October 2014
Wolff Parkinson White's latest self-release "Gonaïve", a 6 song EP with a slightly more Dub feel. The novelty of Jochen using samples of his own drumming on each song sets this one apart from the other releases. Features a song named "Uncalled for minor 9th" March 2014
Wolff Parkinson White's latest album "forlorn" from 2012
featuring everybody's favourite songs " Ben Street loves drinking Yellowtail" and "tranny surprise"
Wolff Parkinson White's previous album "rest from what" from 2010
featuring everybody's favourite song (including Ben Street) "Ben Street plays strings made from outer labia reduction surgery waste" and "anal Jesus"
a remix for the leboeuf brothers 2013
READ THE RUECKERT
This series of ebooks has hundreds of self-timer pictures of Jochen in his hotel room du jour and dozens of little anecdotes about the inanities of traveling as a jazz musician.
Volume 1 and 3 feature a beautiful foreword from Hayden Chisholm, comparing Jochen equally to none other than Thomas Mann and Elvin Jones.
Paul Hum writes in his top 10 jazz for bookworms list of 2013:
"Rueckert’s is a must-read, if rambling, reality check. His marvelously aware, painstaking accounts of shabby treatment at the hands of airline staff, promoters, baristas and the like, told in a second-person stream-of-consciousness, evoke sympathy and schadenfreude in equal amounts."
With the reign of social media, a fair amount of people contact me with questions- here are the most frequently asked ones:
Where are you from/ Where did you grow up?
I grew up on the outskirts of Cologne, Germany.
When did you move to New York?
I moved around 1995, when i was about 19, after realising Germany wasn't for me, musically.
Did you go to music school?
After quitting high school in 1992, i went to the music conservatory in Cologne for about 2 years, I didn't learn all that much there. I didn't go to school in the US, I had a few private lessons in NYC.
How was it moving to New York that young?
It was a little rough, I didn't have much work and had visa trouble. It took me quite a while to get a real gig, about two years. I was lucky enough to have enough work in Europe to keep me going. Eventually I got settled with an O-1 visa, then a green card and now citizenship.
How long has your Quartet been playing ?
I started the band in 2009 and we've been playing consistently since then, with Brad Shepik at first,now with Lage Lund and sometimes Mike Moreno. We released an album called "somewhere, meeting nobody" in 2011 on Pirouet records in Germany. It was my first album with original songs.
How do you write your songs?
Usually, on the piano, after some wine. My piano skills are close to zero, so it takes a lot of time and imagination; I try to avoid using computers.Often, I write after studying/transcribing.
Who books your band and how much do you play and rehearse?
I do all the booking myself ( firstname.lastname@example.org) and it sucks.We play roughly 2 two-week tours in Europe a year, do the odd Goethe Institute tour in weird places as well as a few gigs in New York at Smalls and the like. Initially we rehearsed twice for the first album, now we do it during sound check for new songs since everybody is familiar with the older songs.
You program a lot of fairly crazy electronic music under the alias "Wolff Parkinson White"- how did you start and does your jazz music and your programming influence each other?
I always have been fascinated by "Venetian Snares", who programs a lot in confusing odd meters, some amazing stuff, but maybe not the most interesting melodically/harmonically. I felt like I can bring those aspects to the table, so i started programming in 2005. The jazz part does influence the electronic part a fair bit, but not really the other way around.
Do you have plans to move back to Europe ?
What's with the Ben Street slamming song titles on Wolff Parkinson White albums?
Nothing, it's a joke, he loves the attention, the racist fatso.
What kind of Equipment do you use?
Drum-wise I still use my late 60's Ludwig kit I bought in 1995, bebob sizes, I now play a somewhat deep 6.5" 1930's WFL snare drum. Haven't really looked at other drums since i got these. Cymbal wise, I use some old K Zildjian, some Craig Lauritsen and Spizzichino cymbals, all 24" and 22", I recently started using a very thin 24"old A Zildjian somebody lathed and hammered. I use 15"old K Zildjian and 16" old A Zildjian hihats. I have a 26" 30th anniversary Agop i play accoasionally. For sticks, i play mostly Vater maple bebop 550 or "super jazz models", I use Otis' "Bomber" fluffy bass drum beater and coated Remo Ambassador heads.
Programming-wise I am in Ableton live plus anything I can get my my hands on. I generate a lot of the sounds used in plugin-synths, most of the songs use 24 notes in an octave and a comprehensive list of metric analysis can be found in the album description on the albums' bandcamp sites.