Volker Holly Schlott – ss, c-melody, perc, keyb
Falk Breitkreuz – b-cl, alt-cl, perc
Sander de Winne – voc, beatbox
founded in 2009
Newest project and smallest grooving band of Berlin
Transparent chamber musical sound with an unbelievable impact.
Program: transcriptions of e.g. Piazolla, The Beatles and own compositions
2010: big african tour
- The Journey Home 
- FAVO 3 
- Aloha Oe 
- FAVO-Riten204 
FAVO – by Josef Engels
In the German-speaking part of the world, there are curious distinctions. For example between U- and E- Music, that desperately tries to separate the entertaining part in art from the serious part.
The same separation takes place between a musician and a minstrel. The former is able to play at sight and not only very reputable, but should also be taken very seriously.
Latter however, are said to be lightheaded people and naive nature-boys, they dangerously tend to have the will to entertain and, in the worst case, are even funny.
To prevent misunderstandings: Volker Schlott, soprano saxophonist and Falk Breitkreuz, bass clarinetist, are very reputable musicians, who, under the name of FAVO operate the smallest working groove unit of Berlin.
Educated at the prestigious Academy of Music Hanns Eisler in the eastern part of the former city wall, asked as a fellow musician from celebrities such as Cecil Taylor, Mikis Theodorakis, Jocelyn B. Smith, Chaka Kahn and Udo
Lindenberg, proven in countless serious music groups, from big Band to symphony orchestra.
Nevertheless, Schlott und Breitkreuz do not mind being called minstrels. Quite the opposite is true: “The connection between us is the minstrelness. I am saying that very consciously”, explains Volker Schlott,
who is responsible for the higher notes at FAVO. “We never needed a lot of words; we just started to play together. Nothing is missing, although we are only two people.”
The wordless understanding and the intuitive constructive consonance between the two equal partner and their instruments, is what the magic of this duo is all about. Once you hear how naturally the soprano saxophone and
the bass clarinet are in dialogue with each other, how they complement and complete each other, one might think this combination of instruments is one that always existed in Jazz or chamber music. But that is not the case.
Additionally this duo was born under a lucky star: Schlott and Breitkreuz, these souls that sound in a way related to each other, are having their birthdays at the exact same date, so the music industry might start to
consult an astrologer before getting a new band together.
The development of FAVO, however, has nothing to do with destiny or some other strange entity. It actually was pretty obvious. Schlott und Breitkreuz have been working together for a decade in another band, which is worldwide
known thanks to touring and also the Goethe-Institut.
The FUN HORNS, founded in 1986, who are calling themselves the “first reunited wind quartet of Berlin”, did show that it is possible to make any kind of music with humor, wits and soul, without a percussion section,
but with a long breath. The FUN HORNS are the godfathers of FAVO in a way. The duo came to life during a tour of the quartet through Siberia. While the brass player made a break after sound check, Schlott and Breitkreuz
discovered the power of wood in the empty concert halls. Since then they both show the audience that half a wind quartet can provide double the fun, by having fun and pleasure in pure music making.
You can hear it on the first record of the duo “FAVO Riten”. Taking the title by the name, it assembles many favorite songs of the musicians. The range is wide. It goes from The Beatles via Astor Piazolla via standards of the
American Songbook via Giacamo Puccini through to self made compositions, out of the pen of the two woodwind player. Nothing seems fake, insincere or highbrow. The slight spotted and free floating melodies of Volker Schlott are
facing the firm lines out of the depth of the harmonic sound box of Breitkreuz. Sometimes the roles are reversed and sometimes they create delightful percussive effects by using the valve flaps.
The question might come to mind: Is that Jazz, because a lot of it develops in the moment? Or is it classical music, since the two used instruments are commenting each other contrapuntal, like in the fugue? Is it chamber music?
Let’s call it vibrations. “I think, this is the magic word”, says Schlott. “I myself haven’t yet analyzed, what exactly is going on there mathematically, but the frequencies of these two instruments fit together so well,
blend into each other so perfectly. I’ve never before experienced something like that in my life. There must be a secret. Like the vibrations between the two instruments, but also the vibrations in the room and in the ears of the
audience. There’s nothing more to explain. It’s just music.”
In these times, when words are often misleading, music has the power to cultivate “deep” listening again. The jazz saxophonist, composer, music producer and orchestra leader Holly Schlott made the decision at the age of 60 to deal with the personal topic of `transgender in jazz`. “It became clear to me that I could contribute more to this dialogue with the remaining time in my musical life.”
Holly Schlott’s vision: The orchestra “Unique” presents a liberal sound in the best sense that celebrates gender identity & musical diversity. Artists who convey a clear message of acceptance, respect and support for minorities in society.
band members (work phase 23/24)
- Holly Schlott – lead/comp (D)
- Eric Leuthäuser – vocal/eletronic (D)
- Zuza Jasínska – vocal/electronic (P)
- Julie Sassoon – piano (GB)
- Benjamin Geyer – synth/electronic (D)
- Leah Phillips – guitar (GB)
- David Soyza – vibraphone (A)
- Tanja Becker – trombone (D)
- Olga Amelchenko – alto sax (RUS)
- Birgitta Flick – tenor sax (D)
- Orlando de Boeykens – tuba (US)
- Tilo Weber – drums (D)
Reinmar Henschke – p, keyb
Volker Holly Schlott – c-melody sax, ss, perc
Henschke / Schlott, who have a similar musical background, have been playing together in various lineups and projects for over 25 years and have collaborated on many CD productions. So far they have released 3 CDs in a duo. Their origin is jazz, their variety is a form of crossover. The basic musical material is structures, comparable to songs from the field of pop with which they improvise, sometimes intimately, sometimes ecstatically. In addition to the main instruments grand piano and saxophone, electronic sounds are sometimes used.
- FeinCost Plays Abdullah Ibrahim 
- AmbienTTronic 
- Cafe Thiossane 
- Influence 
Volker ‘Holly’ Schlott – saxophones, flutes a.m.m.
The Reeds Solo program exists since 1985 and is under a constant modification.
This is by far the most exhausting concept, both in persistence and condition.
A lot of playing techniques and sounds are created on reed instruments which you never know beforehand, since the creator himself goes on that journey. Most of it is improvisation, used are also self creations like the “Altosaxoflöt”
- Warming Sounds In Cold Days 
- The 12 Seasons 
The music of Volker Schlott is impressive, because hard to play music is made easy to listen to. He almost seems to be an artist on his saxophones.
He varies and improvises and he does that with ease, friendliness and quietness.
- Fun Horns X-Mas 
- Echos vom Müggelsee 
- best of 1984 
- Songs For Horns 
- Der Mond ist aufgegangen 
- S.A.D. 
- east / west 
- Mayfest ’94 
- live & latin 
- Weihnachtsoratorium & Choräle 
- Live in Southamerica 
- Surprise 
- Natural Music 
Jocelyn B. Smith & Band
Jocelyn B. Smith – voc
Volker ‘Holly’ Schlott – leader, arranger, producer, sax, fl
Since 1997, Volker Schlott is the sideman of the American soul- and jazz singer.
The first record together was “Blue Light & Nylons” K. Weil/G. Gershwin.
But the actual spiritual kindship began in the beginnings of the 90s, when I was called to West-Berlin to record a few saxophone solos for a singer – there SHE was.
A few years later, a dream came true to became a member of her band, and to play uncountable numbers of concerts together and meanwhile recorded over 10 records.
The recent five recordings I supervised also as the producer and arranger.
With her, I also work in other projects together like the founding of the association “Yes We Can-Berlin”, the “Zeitzeugen” Project with 65 singers and the DSO Berlin or the
development aid project in Lesotho in Africa, an educational program with music classes for children of three schools in Lesotho.
- Shine Ur Light 
- Sacred Heart / Vayikra 
- Heut & Hier 
- I Love With Greatness 
- Here I Am 
- Remember My Name II 
- Wir das ich in Dir! 
- Remember My Name 
- Expressionzz 
- Phenomenal Woman 
- The Faces Of Jocelyn B. Smith 
- Back To Soul 
- My Christmas Experience 
- Blue Light & Nylons 
Theodorakis - Trio
- Le Reve De La Nuit (Theodorakis)
‘Zeitzeugen’ concert, 2010
J.B.Smith, DSO Berlin, ‘Zeitzeugen’ choir
For one year we prepared for this concert which took place on the 10th of November in 2010 at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. Jocelyn had been working with 60 singers, most of them non-professionals, week after week.
Almost the same amount of time did it take me to create the compositions (my first ones in a symphonic surrounding) for the about 70 minutes long concert.
The journey is the reward – in this case 100% true.
In 2013 i composed in cooperation with the trend magazine ‘Cicero’ the ‘Sinfonie einer Hauptstadt’ – Symphony of a Capital.
- Sinfonie einer Hauptstadt (Symphony of a capital)
A musical foray through Berlin
Workshop - Instant Composing
With this project I want to reach all musicians.
Whatever age, background, instrument and style.
You are welcome!
Since I am working with future professional musicians for more than 20 years at the academy and at the Jazzinstitut Berlin (JIB) now, with this workshop I want to approach the prestage of these musicians in their process of becoming professionals.
The concept contains a lot of playing techniques and exercises to learn the language of improvisation and real time compositions without notes and this on all kinds of levels. This is supposed to promote the fun in playing music and experimenting.
LISTEN! LISTEN TO! LISTEN TO YOURSELF!
– These are the goals of the workshop as a result of the conscience
handling with the sense of hearing, intuition, creativity, spontaneity…
– And the premise to develop concepts, that motivate us to do
spontaneous music playing (with or without notes)
– The idea is to gather all the participants together from the beginning on,
without a lot of preparing – no matter if beginner or advanced person
– Making music from the first note, communicate with other
instruments, inventing new and surprising sounds.
At the end of the workshop we will perform a few compositions following different models.
1. “Follow me” I play something to you, you repeat it
2. Instant conducting – of sequences (dynamic, rhythmic, melodies…)
3. Improvising to “pictures”/”motifs”
4. Minimal-Music – exercises
5. Track with easy structures and arrangements – inventing out of the
moment (soloist begins, others join in)
6. Further solo entries of other “brave” musicians
7. Increased confidence of every participant through group feeling
provided by being able to swim together on a sound wave
8. Rhythm training with and without instruments
9. Having fun and going home with motivational boost!
Too often I’ve come to recognize, as soon as the term ‘improvisation’ comes up, there is a worried insecurity palpable in the room. The goal of the work shop is to minimize or dispel this insecurity.
[ TALAM 11 ]
Gehard Ullmann – reeds, leader
Gebhard Ullmann’s emsemble of eleven people is said to be a Berlin specialty, but there is no similar ensemble anywhere else.
This band is said to be the incarnation of a western/eastern divan in jazz and has a great worldwide reputation amongst the audience and the critics. They sound like a “combination of wood and leather, of ambient and jazz, of musical dream and sounding reality.”
says Wolf Kampmann
CDs: Mingus! (2012); “Ta Lam Zehn” The Vancouver Concert (2000); Moritat (1994)
[ Köhnlein – Schlott ]
This classical duo of piano and saxophone already exists for 20 years now.
It convinces by making an excellent interpretation of the compositions of Dieter Köhnlein.
They both met each other for the first time at Uwe Kropinskies birthday party.
This meeting became the starting point of a very long musical and personal friendship, resulting tours (through, for example Tunisia, India and Germany) and also a record of duo ballads.”sweet bAllAd sweet”
CDs: Live – Quartet (2000); sweet bAllAd sweet (1997)
[ PAmagieRA ]
Henning Schmiedt – p, keyb
Volker Schlott – sax, fl
…first, the magic was the fictive journey. The tent on the back. In the beginning a word and the sound of width, who catches and feeds our closeness. PAmagieRA.
Where definiteness stops, game and understanding begins. No matter how you look at it. No key, a picklock is that word. And behind every door that springs open, another light, realm…is opening.
CDs: Okanagan (1999); PAmagieRa (1996)
[ Kropinski – Schlott ]
This bond already exists since 1980, when Uwe invited me (the then 22 year old) to join his new founded quartet. Since then there were shared projects or duo concerts or the duo record (“Dinner For Two”) in 1994 every once in a while.
Press: These two exceptional artists are bound by spontaneity, blind understanding and a high level on improvisation, which in the end creates the own band sound.
CDs: Dinner For Two (1994)
[ New Jungle Orchestra ]
Pierre D∅ge – git, leader
Well, these Danish. They are sitting in a good mood in short pants in the baobab enjoying their lives. Because from far away, step by step, Pierre Doerge is on his way to them. Behind him, beaded, the twelve members of his New Jungle Orchestra. And immediately one is joining into the lively afro-jazz with a Danish influence. So heavily soaked by the brass section that the speakers are humming.
The material coming with it, are Zulu dances, Gamelan rhythms or a homage to Sun Ra. At the same time there is a knack for the illustrious bar jazz, carried by tripping sounds of the vibraphone, which keeps up the arc of suspense.
CDs: Karawane (1992)
[ Rolf v. Nordenskjöld Orchestra ]
The “Rolf von Nordenskjöld Orchester” exists since 1995 and in the same year the record called “Out of the Past” was published, named after a composition of Rolf (the records “Live in Berlin” and “Berlin Sketchbook” followed).
The band accompanied singers like Bill Ramsey, Gitte Haenning, Georgie Fame and they played with Ack van Rooyen and the jazz harmonicist Hendirk Meurkens. Instead of trombones, the big band used unusual instruments like tuba and euphonium for the recordings.
They are playing on a regular basis at the Kunstfabrik Schlot at the Edison Höfe in Berlin-Mitte.
CDs: Berlin Sketchbook (2005); live (2003); Songs For My Father (2001); Out Of The Past (1995)
[ ~TEMP ]
Temp is a brand new project with a long history. His starting point is the reversion to a live project with only instrumental music, which was known as FUSION in the years from 1977 until 1986, mostly known in the DDR and Eastern Europe.
Their most important feature was the combination of totally different kinds of music, from free jazz to pop, and this was realized with big and complex arrangements and with a lot of space for improvisation.
With a gap of 17 years, this project finds a sequel in ~TEMP, supported from radio stations and their representatives, which over the years expressed their interest in that project over and over again.
As the name shows, it is not just a comeback; it is supposed to be a new approach with all kinds of options, which automatically comes with a changed musical landscape and the gained experience of all the members.
[ Volker Schlott Quartett ] (1985-2005)
Volker Schlott – sax, fl, leader
Jürgen Heckel – git
Jens Saleh, Martin Lillich – b
Mario Würzebesser, Uli Moritz – dr
The first song already shows, where the journey is supposed to go: starting with a catchy melodious bass line, one after the other, percussion, guitar and saxophone are joining in. This cumulates in a beautiful, compact and completed sounding group sound. This sound gets fine tuned with the utmost care, without losing its tension. The title of the new project of the saxophonist tells it all. The Schlott quartet shows: catchy melodious stuff doesn’t need to be on the level of “relax and spend all your money mall background music”.
Watch out, Kenny G! – DI ABOLO, Mai 1999 regarding to “akribik”
CDs: akribik (1999); Why Not (1996); The Day Before (1992)
[ Sema & Taksim ] (1995-1999)
Sema & Taksim, in a Turkish context Sema ve Taksin, or group Taksim or short: Taksim is a German-Turkish music project that was founded in 1987 by the singer Sema and the drummer Dieter Moritz in Berlin. They published several records in the 90s, which were available in all of Germany. Also in Turkey some of the records were available.
CDs: Hommage an Istanbul (1996); Sihir Zauber (1995)
[ Fiedler Eitner Schlott ] (1980-1989)
The last of the copies of the 1987 published UNIT vinyl records on which we could get a hold on, are meanwhile scratched and the covers are crinkled. This CD album was only made for the preservation of the back then recorded tracks in their original versions. One may doubt, if UNIT belongs to the category World Music. But it would be difficult to find a more fitting one, since none of the containing elements like for instance jazz or minimal music claims to play a focal role in the musically concept of the trio. Text accompanying the release of the CD album.
CDs: Unit (1987-Vinyl); Unit-special edition (1996-CD)