01 Rickenbacker Causeway (5:51)play
02 Corneto por Stefano (5:58)play
03 Portree Liberty (3:55)play
04 Little Do I Know (5:12)play
05 Courage (2:54)play
06 Blue Steel Silver (6:28)play
07 First Class Turbulence (4:59)
08 Leaving
09 Iceland (5:17)
10 Six a.m. Gate 27 (4:14)
11 Happy Days (4:34)
12 Casino Revisited (6:44)


In the course of their over 20-year career, the Nighthawks have created a subtly contoured aesthetic concept: music for travellers. Momentum and calm, denseness and sparseness, darkness and light – contrasts that all play a central musical role in the band’s work. Striving for reductionism, these scores of catchy songs evoke vivid
atmospheric pictures that often relate to real or fictitious places all over the world.
The attraction of the songs lies in their sense of yearning, a musical world that could be described as expansive and always provides the screen for its own projections.

In this sense, the Nighthawks’ music is a road movie, one that has now extended to their magnificent seventh studio album.
Entitled 707, the new album kicks off in a terrestrial location. For music heads Dal Martino and Reiner Winterschladen, the Boeing 707 is a pertinent childhood memory.
When the first Boeing 707 took off into the skies in 1958, the boys tracked the jet engine’s vapour trail. Just six years later, the plane transported the Beatles to America. A mere 1 ½ decades after this, the first rock stars sauntered down the gangway of a 707. Pictures of waving bands, maybe Led Zeppelin or the Rolling
Stones, are part of our collective memory. Dal Martino adds: “Basically, the 707 was the first transporter of culture in a musical world that was becoming increasingly international. The names of the bands were emblazoned in huge letters on the hulls of the planes, an incredibly powerful picture. I was totally fascinated.”
An echo of the spirit of the time was definitely present in the studio. Time and again, libertine Reiner Winterschladen, an avid proponent of improvised music, had to restrict his trumpet playing to comply with Dal Martino’s focus on reduction. These conflicting poles gave birth to an abundance of sound sketches which, craning over the studio desk, Dal Martino considerably condensed during countless night
sessions. The resulting album consists of 7 songs as well as the 707 Suite in four
movements – a journey lasting just under an hour.
The album kicks off with Rickenbacker Causeway, a musical description of a trip along the eponymous highway from Miami to the offshore islands. Corneto por Stefano, the second track, is an homage to late drummer Stefan Krachten of Trance Groove, the Nighthawks’ precursor band. A solid dash of Americana was added to
the subsequent Portree Liberty. The trumpet soars breezily over a shimmering field
before Little Do I Know swiftly lifts the pace.
At the core of the album lies Suite 707. A powerful, at times edgy, work that even
expands into psychedelic rock. At the same time, Suite 707 refers back to the Bronco
Suite, created in 1998, extracts of which still appear in the Nighthawks’ live programme.

There was a time when the Nighthawks did not approach live playing lightly.
However, with musicians such as Jürgen Dahmen (keys/rhodes/perc.), Jörg Lehnardt (guitar) and Thomas Alkier (drums), the quintet has found a stable line-up which, aside from several guest musicians, were instrumental in the recording of the new album. In contrast to other bands, the musicians don’t go into the studio together but
are rather summoned once the musical cauldron is bubbling, the sketch is taking
shape and their particular instrument is required. This is quite a time-consuming way of doing things, especially since Dal Martino’s mind tends to wander off to America where he once lived. The relaxed sounds of J.J.Cale or Steely Dan are still reverberating in the sound. As singer for the project, Dal Martino invited Jeff Young
on board, a musical partner of Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Jackson Browne, Sting,
Bonnie Raitt and many others. His wonderful voice pilots the album’s pop song Happy Days. Jeff Young co-composed this track and is responsible for bringing some L.A. breeziness to the album. Happy Days is preceded by Six a.m. Gate 27, a typical Nighthawks song that features some excellent flugelhorn playing by Reiner

The last track on the album, the Casino Revisited remix, should be
familiar to any serious Nighthawks fan.
Having listened to 707, reflecting on the band’s oeuvre, one may well recognise a few musical motifs and thematic fragments from earlier albums. The band has an unerring knack for travelling through air and terrestrial space and discovering their own musical routes. However, new and old paths keep on crossing and musical
memories return, memories that don’t require any navigation. Listeners become steady travel companions who surrender themselves to the exhilarating imagery with eyes either open or closed. Although there are definite starting and arrival points, the journey itself always plays out as a compressed soundscape, one where each
listener controls their own film playback.