Acoustique play gentle jazz songs, flavoured with the feel of Shirley Horn, Norah Jones and Miles Davis in his cool period. The line-up varies from an intimate trio to the more dancy sextet. The essential trio includes Lleuwen Steffan on velvet vocals, Jochen Eisentraut on spacious piano and Owen Evans providing a substratum of chocolaty double bass. They perform their own songs in a variety of languages as well as a selection of standards.
The original tracks are written by Lleuwen and/or Jochen. Their writing partnership combines her melodic sensibility with his carefully considered chords. They display a songwriter’s emphasis on genuine lyrics. The slower songs breathe with a heart full of longing, or ‘hiraeth’ as the Welsh call it, while the faster ones are propelled by the Latin rhythms of Brazil and Cuba.
After fronting his own successful 10 piece college band Spaghetti Funk (guess what kind of music they played) Jochen spent fifteen years as a professional composer for television, scoring such award winning programmes as We Are Seven, Light of Uncertainty and Rownd a Rownd. While continuing his TV work he began lecturing at University of Wales Bangor Music Department in 1995 and taught courses including Jazz and Music in Film. He also taught World Music at Liverpool University. In 2003 he decided to concentrate on creative work and research. One ongoing project is an enquiry into samba which has already produced a paper in the British Journal for Ethnomusicology and a documentary film which has been shown on S4C and at various conferences.
Jochen’s work with jazz band Acoustique goes back to the band‘s inception, experimenting with cool sounds and luscious harmonies. He has been particularly interested in the music of Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk. Since Lleuwen joined the band, their writing partnership and the focus on vocals has taken the music in a new exciting direction.
Owen Lloyd Evans
Since graduating in music from the University of Wales, Owen has worked as a session bass player and instrumental teacher. He is equally at home with orchestral music, pop and jazz, and teaches music at Coleg Menai and has been a member of Acoustique since the group’s beginnings. He played on the S4C programmes Tipyn o Stad and Talcen Caled, and he also performs with renowned jazz pianist Huw Warren.