Reviews

2018

“You could say that Monika Roscher is head of the most insane and virtuoso brass band around.”
“Since quite some time now the 33 year old composer, singer, guitarist and conductor is part of the German Jazz spearhead.”
“You couldn’t wish for a more electrifying season opening than this incredible Big band concert.”
Nürnberger Nachrichten, September 2018, Steffen Radlmaier
“It’s her unpretentious, narrative vocals, the interchange of melodies, curious details and sweeping musical arcs that account for their unique position among big band ensembles.”
Jazzthetik, June 2018, Norbert Krampf

2017

“Jazz composition studies aside, Roscher is well on her way towards a modern classical aesthetic without discarding her Jazz roots. She can be mentioned alongside Gershwin and Antheil.”
“The song “Full Moon Theatre” left the audience holding its breath in amazement, witnessing Roscher’s and her musicians cabilities. Roscher doesn’t only play guitar, she also sings her own lyrics, bringing to mind Björk, Laurie Anderson and Daft Punk among others. Readjusting all this into her very own personal style, her music equals a musical revolution.”
“From then on you could only marvel at a perfect musical performance revolving around a glowing and glittering and at the same time singing entertainer, pulling the strings perfectly. There are no words.”
“It’s not surprising at all that this band already played at Elbphilharmonie and hopefully this is just the beginning of a sizzling career.”
Rems-Zeitung, October 2017, Reinhard Wagenblast
“There are moments the tension in the room becomes palpable und sometimes your dancing feet start twitching.”
“Nothing about her music, which at one point is mutating into a performance of light, is arbitrary or calculated for effect. Roscher’s compositions are well-thought-out and coherent, her ability to match lyrics with melodies is arresting.”
Schwäbische Post, 25. October 2017, Richard Färber
“Monika Roscher and her big band, we should state right from the start, is one of the most exciting and insane things German music has on offer right now.”
“Cerebral tendencies notwithstanding: fun reigns unequivocally, which never escapes you when you’re watching these young and across the board excellent musicians.”
“The next female multimedia Gesamtkunstwerk is on its way!”
Nürnberger Nachrichten, 25. September 2017, Peter Gruner
“The Monika Roscher Bigband successfully passed the acoustic challenge posed by the Elbphilharmonie.”
“The guitarist and singer Monika Roscher and her fablous crew played an unconventional big band sound with a piercing brass section and Leonard Kuhns distinct electronically generated sounds. This experiment of Indie pop, Rock and improvisation is an all around success.”
“At the end the audience was giving standing ovations.”
Jazzzeitung, 29. August 2017, Thomas J. Krebs
“The Franconian Independent musician ignites an emotional rollercoaster ride between birdsong imitations and psychedelic effects. Gripping, bewitching, demanding for all the senses – and above all unpredictable.”
Hamburger Morgenpost, 28. August 2017
“The all crowning pinnacle of female musicality is Monika Roscher’s closing concert. She’s a paragon of exuberant passion and her band offers a panoply of styles, rocky rythms, danceable grooves, punk energy, psychedelic Pop and other soundscapes.”
Unser Lübeck, 3. July 2017, Hildegard Przybyla
“There was a fulminant exclamation mark at the end of this years Jazz Baltica, struck by the Monika Roscher Bigband. A concert buzzing with creative energy that shook the audience from their seats for frenetic ovations two times in a row.”
“Her musical magic bag is filled to the brim with ingenuity, as if Björk, Frank Zappa and the Flaming Lips started a big band.”
“A brilliant concert, one like there hasn’t been before at Jazz Baltica.”
Kieler Nachrichten, 26. June 2017, Thomas Bunjes
“The 33-year old and her young ensemble unleash a musical force of nature with complex compositions that ensnarl you, because they are Indie rock pieces at their core.”
“Jazz couldn’t be more varied in shape and form.”
Stuttgarter Zeitung, 18. April 2017
“Singer, guitarist, conductor and creative oddball genius: Monika Roscher as a Gesamtkunstwerk.”
Burghauser Anzeiger, 27. März 2017

2016

“The music on Of Monsters and Birds is, again and again reminiscent of Jazz due to heavily and intelligently deployed brass, it unfurls modern carnivalesque qualities, it’s danceable and satisfies the demand for contemporary entertainment, and always holds some surprises up its sleeve.”
“Of Monsters and Birds is a challenging Indie album with the know how of Jazz and elements of Minimal and modern concert hall music.”
“Together they are creating the prototype of an unorthodox genre: the Indie-Big band sound.”
Jazzthetik Coverstory, July/August 2016, Jan Kobrzinowski
“Unexpected rhythm changes and minimalist sound layering coin a completely new type of music that continually subverts usual listening habits while staying thrilling and infectious throughout. Complexity and compositoric consistency join together with sanguinity and esprit.”
“Many things can happen to you during a Monika Roscher Bigband concert, save one: being bored. “As good as it gets,” many Jazzfans reported upon leaving the theatre.”
Schwarzwälder Bote, 25. Juli 2016, Wolfgang Brandner
“The classic big band sound gets stirred up and is significantly expanded with influences from Rock, Pop, electronic and Latin American music.”
“Monika Roschers band is impeccable. Listening to them evokes the images of a fictional cinematic score.”
Jazz’N’More (CH), July/August 2016, Reiner Kobe
“This is precisely calculated madness.”
“She’s skillfully moving between Jazz, Indie Rock and electronic music, has no fear of crossing over boundaries and draws from the repository of would-be opposites.”
“There’s a competent and original songwriter at work here who is thinking bigger sonically. “
Concerto (AT), June/July 2016, Martin Schuster
“… just as remarkable as her terrific and much noted debut.”
“Overwhelming in every way.”
Jazzpodium, June 2016, Tobias Böcker
“It’s been a long time that I heard a record where you could so clearly hear the fun that went into making it.”
konkret, June 2016, Ulrich Kriest
“Extraordinarily dynamic, rhythmically refined and in parts highly poetic, Of Monsters and Birds is raising the bar for every big band, worldwide.”
“… crushing waves of psychedelic sounds, catapulting Pink Floyd into the 21st century, cheerful Singer-songwriter Pop, smart brass voicings, exquisite solos all around and formidable Big band arrangements, culminating in inimitable jazzy Prog rock experiences.”
hifi&records, June 2016, Sven Thielmann
“There are so many ideas here other musicians would draw from over the course of five records. And best of all: everything works together, seamlessly.”
Westfälischer Anzeiger, 7. June 2016, Ralf Stiftel
“… the boundaries between electronic music, singer songwriter and Jazz are beginning to melt.”
“… the serendipity of Jazz and song oriented improvisation are up front and equals on stage.”
Westzeit, June 2016, Karsten Zimalla
“Probably the most intriguing music conductor in the up-and-coming Jazz arena.”
“Put on Of Monsters and Birds and you can experience cinema for the ears. The ensemble acts like a chameleon, continuously changing its tinge.”
“A surprise coup”
SWR2, 20. May 2016, Georg Waßmuth
“The sophomore album is said to be the most difficult. Apply this to Monika Roscher and all you can say is: hats off.”
Silberhorn, May 2016
“Quirky and colorful like a Wes Anderson movie.”
Klenkes, Mai 2016
“On their second album Monika Roscher and her musicians succeed in uniting piano solos, exhilarating brass parts and stupefying melodic arcs into Big band arrangements, without succumbing to frumpy Swing or Hardbop.”
“A surprisingly mature effort.”
BR5, 25. April 2016, Markus Mayer
“An album like a jazzy road movie: restless, searching, a vivid cycle of melodies, steep falls and soaring flights, popcorn and red wine. Meet monsters and birds in its twilight zones, dreadful terror and the divine spark. Pop suspense a la Hitchcock.”
“The soundtrack for a yet unfilmed grandiose movie.”
Deutschlandfunk, 20. April 2016, Andi Hörmann
“After the surprise success of Failure in Wonderland you could rightly ask: will this singing newcomer, tagged as a “Rising Star” by Downbeat, accomplish another record with her Big band? Now we know: she did it – and surpassed its debut in many respects.”
Jazzthing, April/May 2016, Artur Freimann
“Of Monsters and Birds ist not Jazz in its classical sense but in its natural sense: freedom as the founding principle, presented by a young Big band with a charming Avantpop appeal.”
DRadio Kultur, 11. April 2016, Manuela Krause
“… a day for the annals of music history. At least if I could write them.”
“Most importantly, despite all its technical prowess and theoretical finesse, the Monika Roscher Bigband never succumbs to sophistry. Emotion is on display here, not mathematics.”
“Deeply honest, deeply humane.”
laut.de, 15. April 2016, Manuel Berger

2015

“… loads of emotions, culminating in an exceptional musical crossover, exceeding boundaries at full speed.”
“… a magnificent evening, dedicated to musical freedom and youth.”
Der Bote, July 2015, Susanne Voss
“Her mix of Indie and Punk, fiery brass arrangements, rocking guitar licks and mystical voice offers delirious, sometimes psychedelic roller coaster rides.”
Schwäbische, May 2015, Babette Caesar
“… a sensational Big band project…”
“… a fully unique, surprising sound, challenging both heart and brain.”
“There’s not the slightest doubt about her composing and arranging skills.”
Nürnberger Nachrichten, January 2015, Steffen Radlmaier
“… while impossible to assign to a distinct genre and being miles away of the easygoing swinging nostalgia of many Big bands, it’s inventive above all else.”
“… the young musicians focus and energetic devotion can take a whole audience to a boiling point.”
Allgäuer Zeitung, January 2015, Veronika Pantel

2014

62nd Annual Critics Poll, Rising Stars, Big Band
Downbeat Critics Poll, August 2014
“Altogether inspiring and enthusing was Monika Roschers Big band and her timely rejuvenation of the genre.”
“… once more providing a festival highlight.”
Jazzpodium, July 2014, Godehard Lutz
“One of the most exciting concerts in the festivals two-decade history…”
“Her sinfonic crossover of Jazz and Rock had the audience raving.”
Rhein-Zeitung, June 2014, Erhard Hahn, Franziska Hill, Jörg Staiber
“revolutionay”
“Monika Roschers and her bands appearance was like an elementary force of nature.”
“It’s hard to believe just how inventive her compositions and colorful her arrangements are. Gil Evans sends his regards, just as Pink Floyd or John Zorn.”
“This Big band is a revelation in many regards.”
Allgäuer Zeitung, April 2014, Klaus-Peter Mayr
“The wild ride of the young Jazz goddess. “
“Ordinary Big bands do turn pale a bit when compared to the genre-hopping and style-breaking compositions, relishing in their musical imagery…”
“Orchestral Jazz in the here and now. Gorgeous.”
Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, February 2014, Michael Scheiner
Echo Jazz Newcomer National 2014 – Award
Echo Jazz 2014
“A high point came on the final evening with black-masked guitarist Monika Roscher…”
“…her electronics-treated arrangements told compelling, jagged, sad and frightening stories…”
“In her first major festival appearance, Roscher made an auspicious entry, fueled by her bare-bones lyrics, her effects-laden guitar riffs and her ability to imagine how an orchestra can bring full voice to her rapturous music.”
Downbeat, February 2014, Dan Ouellette

2013

“The surprise of the season in Germany is the Monika Roscher Big Band…”
“The technical level of the young graduates: unbelievable.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 6. November 2013, Ulrich Olshausen
“…formidable orchestre…”
“…une superbe découverte…”
“…une inventivité constante pour une musique de pleine expressivité.”
Le Monde, 30. April 2013, Sylvain Siclier
“…intoxicating sound…”
“…the immediacy and unpredictability of improvisation over the crystalline power of technical precision…”
“The band’s ability to shift from righteous clatter to spare instrumentation is impressive…”
“…could aptly accompany a car chase in a cinematic thriller.”
Downbeat Magazine, Editors’ Pick April 2013, Bobby Reed

2012

“This odyssey is one little miracle, chaos restructured…”
“…Monika Roscher plays brilliant Pink Floydian guitar solos…”
“…her splendid debut album is a fusion of contemporary pop smoothness and jazz nostalgia…”
“…like the impending doom of a psycho thriller…”
ZEIT Online, 28.11.2012, Jan Freitag
“…a big band like there has never been before…”
“…one of the crankiest funeral marches ever put to tape…”
“…she can hit hard like a rock’n’roll queen, then there’s blaring and howling as there would be at an indie concert…”
“…attackingly inventive…”
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 7.12.2012, Oliver Hochkeppel
“…defies classifications of genre and structure…”
“…a brass section like a rapid torrent…”
“…a cracking dose of inimitability…”
Jazz Zeitung