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Ueberschall Jazz Works Vols 1, 2 & 3

Elastik Player By John Walden
Published December 2021

Ueberschall Jazz Works sample library

Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars

If your next musical project needs to create the authentic sound of an old‑school, late‑night jazz club, and you are looking for some flexible performance loops to inspire the mood, then Ueberschall’s Jazz Works series — spanning three individual volumes — might make a great place to start.

Each volume contains 10 construction kits but there is a sonic and stylistic consistency (the same musicians were involved in all three titles) across each title so mixing and matching samples across kits or between the different volumes is perfectly possible. Equally, given the flexibility of Ueberschall’s Elastik front‑end (SOS reviewed Elastik 2 back in November 2011, although the current v.3.5.1 offers even more in terms of sample pitch and tempo manipulation), there is plenty of scope to edit the loop content so that it can be dropped into an existing project.

The individual construction kits are impressively, er, constructed. In terms of instrumentation, they cover all the options you might expect of a small jazz group with a core drum, upright bass, piano and guitar rhythm section supporting a range of soloists including sax, trumpet, flute and occasional guitar. The rhythmic performances are extended — 16 or 32 bars — and there are multiple performances, so it is relatively easy to build a full‑length arrangement that feels genuinely ‘human’ as opposed to loop‑based. In addition, you get a multitude of solo instrument performances within each kit (I counted over 40 different options within one of the construction kits in v2) so if you want to build an extended track, you ought to be able to do that without repeating yourself.

...what really stands out is the actual quality of the musicianship; the performances are top‑notch across the board.

As with all Ueberschall’s titles, the recordings appear to have been very well made and edited. You get both premixed drum loops and individual mic positions for each major drum kit piece and microphone and piezo options for the upright bass. However, what really stands out is the actual quality of the musicianship; the performances are top‑notch across the board. While there is a consistency of sound across the three volumes of the series, each does have its own musical flavour. For example, Vol 1 spans both traditional and more modern jazz moods and some of the material could easily cross over into RnB, Soul or House compositions. In contrast, Vol 2 is perhaps more orientated towards traditional jazz styles such as Swing, Upswing and Latin. Finally, Vol 3 is perhaps a little smoother in nature, with more of a late‑night, laid‑back, feel.

While the price might take these titles out of the casual purchase category for some, for a busy media composer looking for some genuine jazz flavours against a deadline, the Jazz Works volumes could be a life-saver. Equally, for songwriter/ singer/ producer types wanting to experiment with some authentic jazz styles, there would be plenty here to explore and, usefully, PDFs included with each volume fully document the chord progressions used throughout. The Jazz Works series delivers some top‑quality classic club‑style jazz in a very convenient construction kit format.

€149 each.

€149 each.