If you write "Swagg" with double-G, you have to be quite funky in your endeavors. This is the case in the meeting of the German exceptional saxophonist Jan Prax with the American drummer Gene Lake. The contact was made by a famous co-musician of Prax. "At the Leverkusen Jazz Days, I caught the attention of David Sanborn and he asked me repeatedly to play alongside him," he recalled. "At some point, he recommended me to Gene Lake and that's how we met." Sanborn is reputed to have said "You are so young, I hate you;" about his young German co-musician, which was clearly meant as a compliment. After that, Prax released two albums with his own band, "Keepin' A Style Alive" on ACT and "Ascending" on Challenge, which were very well received by both the press and audiences. But "Head To The Sky" doesn't have much to do with this hardbop music anymore. "In 2018 I flew to New York and - in Gene's home studio - we tried out which pieces could work," Prax said. "We worked out ideas and composed songs." And they are clearly groove-oriented. Gene Lake is a drummer who authentically embodies this tradition. However, the son of the avant-garde saxophonist Oliver Lake has already played in many different kinds of projects. The drummer played for fusion giants like Joe Zawinul and Marcus Miller, but also with avant-garde artists like Steve Coleman and Henry Threadgill and soul and R&B musicians such as Maxwell and Boz Scaggs. And that is exactly what Jan Prax wanted to build on. The result sounds pretty exciting.