Markus Burger, Joe LaBarbera, Bob Magnusson

The L.A. Sessions - Accidental Tourists

Price: € 11.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Records
UPC: 0608917333220
Catnr: CR 73332
Release date: 24 April 2012
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 11.95
Challenge Records
Catalogue number
CR 73332
Release date
24 April 2012

"The musicians play the notes effortlessly intertwine with each other: it becomes a round whole."

Jazzenzo, 02-4-2013

About the album

The project, Accidental Tourists-The L.A. Sessions is the first of what Burger hopes will be a series. For the album, Burger has assembled an all-star rhythm section with renowned West Coast musicians Joe LaBarbera (best known for his recordings and live performances with pianist Bill Evans and singer Tony Bennett) and bassist Bob Magnusson (known for his work with jazz greats Art Pepper, George Cables, Peter Erskine and Bobby Shew) in tandem.

The album features mainly Burger’s original compositions, sprinkled with some of his most favorite standards. The opening track, Grolnicks, Burger’s tribute to Don Grolnick, showcases Magnusson’s bass and his ability to carry the rhythmic phrase forward effortlessly, with fullness and subtle elegance. “Magnusson for me has the amazing ability to anticipate your next move and support it with intelligent counterpoint”, Burger affirms. Full Circle, another of Burger’s compositions, features him doing what he does best, a signature piano improvisational style that is equal parts, poignant and inventive, with an emotive take on a sound that is reminiscent of Keith Jarrett or John Taylor during ECM’s musical apogee.

The 1935 Gerschwin classic I Loves Porgy, a featured track in the album, is not only one of Burger’s favorite standards but also his personal homage to his idol and strongest musical influence, jazz legend Bill Evans, who recorded the tune in the early 1960s. “Here’s where the album comes full circle for me”, Burger says, as the track features the melodic mastery of none other than Bill Evans’ own drummer, Joe LaBarbera. LaBarbera tackles the ballad with his legendary use of wire brushes and a strong sense of time and space, all of which have come to define his musical style over the years and earn him much acclaim from the musical community at large. “Joe has that European sense of space that is part of my musical identity, but he still sticks to his American jazz roots and swings like nobody’s business”, Burger says.
The album closes with the track One World, by Berlin guitarist Thomas Hopf. Burger first heard the tune while playing with Hopf back in 2002, and immediately added it to his list of favorites for its “peaceful and holistic qualities”, he says.

After immersing himself in a duo project for the past decade, Burger says that working with a trio was a “refreshing experience because the communication in that setting is much wider and ideas flow in many more directions.” But refreshing barely scratches the surface. The L.A. Sessions delivers a string of captivating, rhythmically flawless and perfectly crafted gems; a must have for 2011.
Markus Burger ist in Deutschland geboren und hat in Essen und Holland studiert. Mittlerweile lebt er in Santa Monica und unterrichtet an kalifornischen Universitäten. Über sein Duo mit dem bekannten Berliner Jan von Klewitz bleibt er mit der Heimat verbunden, aber natürlich haben auch die US-amerikanischen Kollegen längst bemerkt, welch guter Pianist da bei ihnen gelanet ist. Sein aktuelles Trio besteht denn auch aus Joe LaBarbera (bekannt z.B. durch seine Arbeit mit Bill Evans oder Tony Bennett) und Bob Magnusson (Art Pepper, Peter Erskine, George Cables...) - und ihm, der auf seiner mittlerweile 11. CD einige eigene Kompositionen vorstellt. Aber auch bemerkenswerte Neu-Interpretationen von Klassikern wie 'Blue In Green' und 'I Loves You Porgy'.


Markus Burger (born September 30, 1966) is a German pianist, composer and music educator currently residing in Santa Monica, California, who teaches at Los Angeles City College and Fullerton College in Los Angeles. He works in a variety of genres, including jazz, New Age, chamber and film.

His music has been performed in Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, and most recently in the United States. He began studying piano at age six and later earned his Diplom in Performing Arts from the Essen Folkwang Hochschule in Germany, a B.A. in piano and Composition from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands and a Certification in Popular Music from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He studied with Peter Walter, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler and Kenny Werner.

He has released eight albums, featuring his own compositions and arrangements, among them, his two most recent releases, Genesis and Tertia. His CD Genesis, an avant-garde jazz collaboration with renowned drummer Matt Marucci, has received raving reviews from jazz critics in the United States while his latest Spiritual Standards project Tertia, with Berlin-based saxophonist Jan Von Klewitz, made its debut during a nationally televised performance in Germany on New Year's Day, 2005. His second album, The Smile of the Honeycake Horse, with his quartet Septer Bourbon, received wide acclaim from the European press and Down Beat Magazine in the United States and achieved something of a “cult following” in Germany. His Spiritual Standards project, a collection of contemporary jazz improvisations of Johann Sebastian Bach’s greatest chorals and masterpieces, was performed at sold out venues in Germany, Poland, Italy and the United States, later moving to the top 20 in the German Jazz charts in 1999.

In developing his signature sound over the years, Burger drew his influences from a wide range of musical styles including J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy, Keith Jarrett, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Pat Metheny, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Sting.



The musicians play the notes effortlessly intertwine with each other: it becomes a round whole.
Jazzenzo, 02-4-2013

A winning set throughout that jaded ears will embrace., 22-3-2013

a nicely balanced, engaging set, 22-3-2013

Dynamic variation and the shifting roles of soloist and accompanist continually gratify. Burger's admirable use of space lets Magnusson and LaBarbera bubble up from within the ensemble ... a great blessing to pianist and listener alike
Downbeat, 06-3-2013

The L.A. Sessions get better with each play. The interplay [drummer (Labarbera) and bassist (Magnusson)] with pianist Markus Burger is exemplary.
Pianowereld, 01-3-2013

Brawny bass tones undergird the ensemble like strong, pliable floor joists and LaBarbera engages in exciting metric dialogue on rhythm tunes. 
Downbeat, 01-3-2013

... infectious, well-crafted compositions played by a stellar trio.
All About Jazz, 29-10-2012

... an unbelievably good trio jazz album
I Dig Jazz, 23-10-2012

Markus Burger is, like so many of today's jazz people, classically trained and it shows in his impeccable renditions of his own and other's compositions.
BeBop Spoken Here, 17-10-2012

All in all, this is a remarkably good outing...
Audiophile Audition, 16-10-2012

New sounds... There is nothing that excites me more than stumbling on to an artist that has taken the time to develop their own voice.
Critical Jazz, 10-10-2012

"Morning Smile" is an elegant ballad that closes the album, leaving the listener wanting more.
All Music, 04-6-2012

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