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Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic VII (vinyl)

Leszek Możdżer / Iiro Rantala / Michael Wollny

Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic VII (vinyl)

Format: LP 12inch
Label: ACT music
UPC: 0614427984210
Catnr: ACTLP 98421
Release date: 21 April 2017
Buy at PlatoMania
1 LP 12inch
Buy at PlatoMania
 
Label
ACT music
UPC
0614427984210
Catalogue number
ACTLP 98421
Release date
21 April 2017
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

“Three men, three pianos, one emotion - jazz”

…were the words with which German national TV news succinctly summed up the 2016 piano summit in a sold-out Berlin Philharmonie, which can now be experienced exclusively on vinyl. “Iiro Rantala, Leszek Możdżer, Michael Wollny – each in a class of his own. Together, they’re a miracle” - the report continued. This concert was a reprise of the celebrated December 2012 “Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic“ premiere which has already been issued on CD. The original 2012 concert by the three keyboard wizards didn't just amaze listeners, it also triumphantly set in motion Siggi Loch’s much-lauded concert series at Berlin’s classical music shrine.

Artist(s)

Iiro Rantala (piano)

Iiro Rantala is 'a natural phenomenon on keys' (German jazz magazine Jazzthing); an all-rounder of whom New York-based pianist and arranger Gil Goldstein quite rightly said: 'Iiro Rantala is a pianistic sensation who makes the strongest case I know to believe in reincarnation, because his pianistic technique and musical sensitivity speak of depths that appear impossible to have been achieved in this lifetime alone'. Up to now, Rantala was mainly associated with the trio Töykeät, one of the weirdest, funniest and most visionary piano trios in international jazz. He sounded out all the possibilities of this formation: Sometimes playing the energetic lion on keys, sometimes the sensitive romantic or the burlesque clown. His playing blasted away all stylistic boundaries and...
more
Iiro Rantala is "a natural phenomenon on keys" (German jazz magazine Jazzthing); an all-rounder of whom New York-based pianist and arranger Gil Goldstein quite rightly said: "Iiro Rantala is a pianistic sensation who makes the strongest case I know to believe in reincarnation, because his pianistic technique and musical sensitivity speak of depths that appear impossible to have been achieved in this lifetime alone". Up to now, Rantala was mainly associated with the trio Töykeät, one of the weirdest, funniest and most visionary piano trios in international jazz. He sounded out all the possibilities of this formation: Sometimes playing the energetic lion on keys, sometimes the sensitive romantic or the burlesque clown. His playing blasted away all stylistic boundaries and was as uncompromised as it was entertaining, but kept together by a magical triangle: his boundless technical ability and his unmistakeable senses of humour and style.
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Michael Wollny (piano)

Michael Wollny, born in 1978 in Schweinfurt, internationally successful jazz pianist, music inventor, unconventional thinker, popular figure. Nobody plays piano like him. His trademark: the unpredictable, the quest for the never-before-heard, the courage to devote himself to the moment, to make the unforeseen sound self-evident. His desire to keep reinventing himself, both in terms of sound and composition; that is what makes him a “consummate piano maestro” (FAZ) and “the biggest (jazz) musician personality that Germany has produced since Albert Mangelsdorff” (Hamburger Abendblatt). 'As an improviser, you often find that it‘s not the compositions themselves you‘re playing, but your own memories of them. And as these memories come back to you in the moment, they assert their continuing existence in the here...
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Michael Wollny, born in 1978 in Schweinfurt, internationally successful jazz pianist, music inventor, unconventional thinker, popular figure. Nobody plays piano like him. His trademark: the unpredictable, the quest for the never-before-heard, the courage to devote himself to the moment, to make the unforeseen sound self-evident. His desire to keep reinventing himself, both in terms of sound and composition; that is what makes him a “consummate piano maestro” (FAZ) and “the biggest (jazz) musician personality that Germany has produced since Albert Mangelsdorff” (Hamburger Abendblatt).

"As an improviser, you often find that it‘s not the compositions themselves you‘re playing, but your own memories of them. And as these memories come back to you in the moment, they assert their continuing existence in the here and now," says pianist/composer Michael Wollny. In other words, songs are like ghosts. Wollny‘s new album "Ghosts" is a gathering of some of the ghosts that regularly haunt him. Typically for Wollny, they range from classics like Franz Schubert's "Erlkönig" to jazz standards, film music, songs with a certain fragility by Nick Cave, say, or the band Timber Timbre, and also include his own darkly evocative original compositions.

In addition to Michael Wollny‘s leanings towards scary fantasy, the idea of "hauntology" is an important one for him. This term, which has been a looming presence in debates about pop music for some time, awakens memories of a distant past: forgotten, ghostly and spectral sounds. Wollny: "This perspective, these sounds and not least the term itself have preoccupied me in the past few months – and those reflections have led to the idea of producing a piano trio album dealing with the subject." A ghost album, then, that ventures into the depths of conscious and unconscious memory, sifts through stories originating in the past and which cast shadows on the present. This is a story of the friendly ghosts which surround us...but also of some evil spirits which we thought would never return.

The line-up to be heard on "Ghosts" is a direct follow-up from "Weltentraum", an album which now clearly stands as a cornerstone in Wollny's discography, since it established his reputation as an artist "who can turn every conceivable piece of music into an experience to take your breath away" (Die Zeit). American bassist Tim Lefebvre‘s very particular sound and vibe are to be heard on albums by David Bowie, Wayne Krantz and Elvis Costello. Wollny‘s most recent adventure alongside him was the internationally acclaimed project "XXXX". Wollny says: "When you work with Tim, you're not just working with one of the world's top bass players - Tim always has a foot in the world of sound processing, and is constantly expanding his electronic tool-kit. In addition to that, he creates phenomenal clarity in music and in overall sound, which has an unbelievable effect: it gives a shape and an organisation to the music without ever restricting you."

Wollny has been playing with drummer Eric Schaefer for almost 20 years. Like Lefebvre, he is also a complete original, a musician with an almost orchestral approach to sound, an unmistakable sense of groove and impressive individuality."The three of us are aligned in a special , inexplicable way. It‘s hard to describe but the effect is massive," says Wollny. "Last but not least, we are connected by the long time we have spent together. As a trio we have a specific sound, and we are now developing that in a wholly new direction." On "Ghosts", the trio has created a sound in the specific tradition of "Southern Gothic": deep, earthy, full of vibrating, rattling low-tuned strings and drumheads, evoking memories of clapped-out guitar amps, distorted cones of speakers cones. The atmosphere here is oppressively hot, the air heavy with dust.

Before "Ghosts" was actually recorded, another trio - Michael Wollny and the two co-producers Andreas Brandis and Guy Sternberg- convened. Brandis, who had already been heavily involved in the concept of "XXXX", brought to the table the concept of an album of songs, with the right people involved. Sternberg - he, as sound engineer, and Wollny had created the sound world of "Wunderkammer", which was to serve as the point of departure for this new album. Wollny says: "Even before the setlist for the album was fixed, I had a very clear sound in mind, which we discussed extensively with Guy and Andreas beforehand." The trio inhabits an acoustic space where nothing is superfluous or goes to waste: the long-dying resonance from a cymbal, drum or plucked string, or a sound from a reverberant surface, all are somehow there in the air. And sometimes all that remains is an acoustic or an electronic echo, a sound that hovers and acquires its own mysterious and spectral existence.

All the tracks on the album have one thing in common: each is a snapshot in the life of an individual song. Wollny: "Especially in jazz, there is never one definitive version of a piece. The standards repertoire always haunts you in the best sense of the word, these songs are never finished, they always resurface." And so, when it comes to classics such as "I Loves You Porgy" and "In a Sentimental Mood", Wollny, Lefebvre and Schaefer‘s primary point of reference is not the original compositions, but versions by Nina Simone and John Coltrane / Duke Ellington. And from a time before jazz standards, there are the spirits that inhabit folk songs and which reappear whenever these songs are sung. As, for example, in the traditional Irish folk song "She Moved Through the Fair", which is almost a prototype for the idea that ghost stories are to a large extent also love stories. As is also the case for "Willow's Song" - a seductive and dangerous love song from the legendary soundtrack for the cinema thriller "Wicker Man", a classic of the Nordic horror genre, as strange as it is frightening. Also related to "grand guignol" and nature: a startlingly vivid arrangement of Franz Schubert's "Erlkönig". In addition, in reference to the sultry "Southern Gothic": "Hand of God" by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, audibly dedicated to Wollny's great mentor, whom he describes as the "Hand of God", Joachim Kühn. And furthermore, "Beat the drum slowly" by the band Timber Timbre, a perennial favourite of Wollny's, and "Ghosts" by David Sylvian - perhaps the clearest representation of the themes that characterise "Ghosts": here we find that melodies and sounds can haunt memories that stay either hidden or repressed, and in a way that is at the same time seductive, touching, mysterious and profound. Two original compositions by Wollny find their place naturally in this cleverly selected programme, which is as heterogeneous as it is coherent: first is Wollny's eponymous contribution to "Hauntology", for him "a ‘song without words‘ which comes from another, past or strange, parallel pop world" and then "Monsters never breathe" with its melody that stretches into infinity and could only ever be sung if it were possible to sing without needing to pause for breath.

"All the songs are living ghosts and long for a living voice" wrote the Irish poet Brendan Kennelly (1936 - 2021) in one of his most famous poems. For Michael Wollny, this line is a cryptic and yet profound insight. It adds an eerie beauty and serves as a motto for his fascination for the magic of songs which this recording represents. When we talk about ghosts, we look into what seems to be the past, and bring back memories from it into our lives. We as listeners can all believe in the "Ghosts" that the Michael Wollny Trio hear. Because we can all hear them and recognise them.


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Leszek Możdżer (piano)

An outstanding pianist, composer and producer, Leszek Możdżer is widely considered to be Polish Jazz’s greatest revelation of the last decade. Born in 1971, he has been playing the piano since the age of five. He completed every stage of formal education until graduating in 1996 from the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk. He became interested in jazz relatively late – in his last grade – when he was 18. He was introduced to jazz in the band of Emil Kowalski, a clarinet player, but his proper start took place at his first rehearsal with a band called Miłość (Love) back in 1991. One year later he received an individual award at the International Jazz Competition Jazz Juniors...
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An outstanding pianist, composer and producer, Leszek Możdżer is widely considered to be Polish Jazz’s greatest revelation of the last decade. Born in 1971, he has been playing the piano since the age of five. He completed every stage of formal education until graduating in 1996 from the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk. He became interested in jazz relatively late – in his last grade – when he was 18. He was introduced to jazz in the band of Emil Kowalski, a clarinet player, but his proper start took place at his first rehearsal with a band called Miłość (Love) back in 1991. One year later he received an individual award at the International Jazz Competition Jazz Juniors ’92 held in Cracow. He was also a member of the Zbigniew Namysłowski Quartet. In the poll organized among Jazz Forum readers Możdżer was chosen as the Most Promising Musician of the year 1993 and 1994, and the Best Jazz Pianist – in each consecutive year since 1994. Leszek was also many times honored as The Musician of the Year.

On many occasions Leszek Możdżer recorded music with Zbigniew Preisner (Requiem for my friend, 10 easy pieces for piano). He also works on a regular basis with Jan Kaczmarek, Polish composer living in LA, while recording music scores (for 20th Century Fox and Miramax). He has been invited to perform jointly with the most gifted and renowned Polish jazz musicians, such as: Tomasz Stańko, Janusz Muniak, Michał Urbaniak, Anna Maria Jopek, Adam Pierończyk and Piotr Wojtasik.

Możdżer has also performed and recorded with many internationally acclaimed musicians, including David Friesen, Pat Metheny, Arthur Blythe, Buster Williams, Billy Harper, Joe Lovano, Archi Shepp, David Liebman, Charles Fox, Lester Bowie, David Gilmour, Marcus Miller, John Scofield, Steve Swallow, Eddie Daniels and Tan Dun.

Since 2011 Leszek Możdżer has been the Artistic director of the music festival, Enter Music Festival, held annually in Poznań, on the Lake Strzeszyńskim shoreline.

Leszek Możdżer has recorded over 100 albums, many of them released under his name


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Composer(s)

Chick Corea

Early careerCorea's first major professional gig was with Cab Calloway. Corea started his professional career in the 1960s playing with trumpeter Blue Mitchell and Latin greats such as Herbie Mann, Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaría. One of the earliest recordings of his playing is with Blue Mitchell's quintet on The Thing To Do. This album features his composition 'Chick's Tune', a clever retooling of 'You Stepped Out of a Dream' that demonstrates the angular melodies and Latin-and-swing rhythms that characterize, in part, Corea's personal style. (Incidentally, the same tune features a drum solo by a very young Al Foster.)His first album as a leader was Tones for Joan's Bones in 1966, two years before the release of his album Now...
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Early careerCorea's first major professional gig was with Cab Calloway. Corea started his professional career in the 1960s playing with trumpeter Blue Mitchell and Latin greats such as Herbie Mann, Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaría. One of the earliest recordings of his playing is with Blue Mitchell's quintet on The Thing To Do. This album features his composition "Chick's Tune", a clever retooling of "You Stepped Out of a Dream" that demonstrates the angular melodies and Latin-and-swing rhythms that characterize, in part, Corea's personal style. (Incidentally, the same tune features a drum solo by a very young Al Foster.)His first album as a leader was Tones for Joan's Bones in 1966, two years before the release of his album Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, with Roy Haynes on drums and Miroslav Vitouš on bass.
He made another sideman appearance with Stan Getz on 1967's Sweet Rain (Verve Records).
Avant garde periodFrom 1968 to 1971 Chick Corea had associations with avant garde players and his solo style revealed a dissonant, avant garde orientation. His avant garde playing can be heard on his solo works of the period, his solos in live recordings under the leadership of Miles Davis, his recordings with Circle, and his playing on Joe Farrell's Song of the Wind album on CTI Records.
In September 1968 Corea replaced Herbie Hancock in the piano chair in Davis' band and appeared on landmark albums such as Filles de Kilimanjaro, In a Silent Way, and Bitches Brew. In concert, Davis' rhythm section of Corea, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette combined elements of free jazz improvisation and rock music. Corea experimented using electric instruments with the Davis band, mainly the Fender Rhodes electric piano.
In live performance he frequently processed the output of his electric piano with a device called a ring modulator, producing sounds reminiscent of composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. Using this style, he appeared on multiple Davis albums, including Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West and Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore East. His live performances with the Miles Davis band continued into 1970, with a great touring band of Steven Grossman, tenor sax, Keith Jarrett, additional electric piano and organ, Jack DeJohnette, drums, Dave Holland, bass, Airto Moreira, percussion, and Miles on trumpet.
Holland and Corea left to form their own group, Circle, active between 1970 and 1971. This free jazz group featured multi-reed player Anthony Braxton and drummer Barry Altschul. This band was documented on Blue Note and ECM. Aside from soloing in an atonal style, Corea sometimes reached in the body of the piano and plucked the strings. In 1971 or 1972 Corea struck out on his own.
The concept of communication with an audience became a big thing for me at the time. The reason I was using that concept so much at that point in my life — in 1968, 1969 or so — was because it was a discovery for me. I grew up kind of only thinking how much fun it was to tinkle on the piano and not noticing that what I did had an effect on others. I did not even think about a relationship to an audience, really, until way later.
Jazz FusionIn the early 1970s Corea took a profound stylistic turn from avant garde playing to a crossover jazz fusion style that incorporated Latin jazz elements. He founded Return to Forever in 1971. This band had a fusion sound and even though it relied on electronic instrumentation it drew more on Brazilian and Spanish-American musical styles than on rock music. On its first two records, Return to Forever featured Flora Purim's vocals, the Fender Rhodes electric piano, and Joe Farrell's flute and soprano saxophone. Airto Moreira played drums. Corea's compositions for this group often had a Brazilian tinge. In 1972 Corea played many of the early Return to Forever songs in a group he put together for Stan Getz. This group, with Stanley Clarke on bass and Tony Williams on drums, recorded the Columbia label album Captain Marvel under Getz's name.
Only Clarke remained from the group's first lineup; Bill Connors played electric guitar and Lenny White played drums. No one replaced vocalist Purim. (Briefly, in 1977, Corea's wife, Gayle Moran, served as vocalist in the band.) In 1974 Al Di Meola joined the band, replacing Connors. In this second version of Return to Forever, Corea extended the use of synthesizers, particularly Moogs. The group released its final studio record in 1977. Thereafter, Corea focused on solo projects.
Corea's composition "Spain" first appeared on the 1972 Return to Forever album Light as a Feather. This is probably his most popular piece, and it has been recorded by a variety of artists. There are also a variety of subsequent recordings by Corea himself in various contexts, including an arrangement for piano and symphony orchestra that appeared in 1999, and a collaborative piano and voice-as-instrument arrangement with Bobby McFerrin on the 1992 album Play. Corea usually performs "Spain" with a prelude based on Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez (1940), which earlier received a jazz orchestration on Miles Davis' and Gil Evans' "Sketches of Spain".
In 1976 he issued My Spanish Heart, influenced by Latin American music and featuring vocalist Moran and electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.
The late Ana Mazzotti, a Brazilian jazz pianist and vocalist, dedicated what is perhaps her last ever recorded track, "Grand Chick", to Chick Corea. The song may be found on her "Ao Vivo Guaruja 1982" album. As Ana Mazzotti worked with Brazilian jazz fusion masters Azymuth in her first album, it was further testament to Chick Corea's influence in the genre.
Duet projectsIn the 1970s Corea started working occasionally with vibraphonist Gary Burton, with whom he recorded several duet albums on ECM, including 1972's Crystal Silence. They reunited in 2006 for a concert tour. A new record called The New Crystal Silence (which has received 3 nominations for the 51st Grammy Awards) was issued shortly into 2008. The package includes a disc of duets and another disc featuring the Sydney Symphony.
Later, toward the end of the 1970s, Corea embarked on a series of concerts and two albums with Herbie Hancock. These concerts were presented in elegant settings with both pianists formally dressed, and performing on Yamaha concert grand pianos. The two jazz greats traded playing each other's compositions, as well as pieces by other composers such as Béla Bartók.
In December 2007 Corea recorded a duet album, The Enchantment, with banjoist Bela Fleck. Fleck and Corea toured extensively behind the album in 2007. Fleck was nominated in the Best Instrumental Composition category at the 49th Grammy Awards for the track "Spectacle."In 2008 Corea collaborated with Japanese pianist Hiromi Uehara on the live album Duet (Chick Corea and Hiromi). The duo played a concert at Tokyo's Budokan arena on April 30.
Later workCorea's other bands include the Elektric Band, the Akoustic Band, and Origin.
The Akoustic Band released a self-titled album in 1989, and featured John Patitucci on bass and Dave Weckl on drums. It marked a turn back toward traditional jazz in Corea's career, and the bulk of his subsequent recordings have been acoustic ones. The Akoustic Band also provided the music for the 1986 Pixar short Luxo Jr. with their song The Game Maker.
In 1992 Corea started his own record label, Stretch Records.
In 2001 the Chick Corea New Trio, with Avishai Cohen and Jeff Ballard on bass and drums, respectively, released the album Past, Present & Futures. The 11-song album includes only one standard composition (Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz"). The rest of the tunes are Corea originals.
He also participated in 1998's Like Minds, which features Gary Burton on vibes, Pat Metheny on guitar, Dave Holland on bass and Roy Haynes on drums.
Recent years have also seen Corea's rising interest in contemporary classical music. He composed his first piano concerto — and an adaptation of his signature piece, Spain for a full symphony orchestra — and performed it in 1999 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Five years later he composed his first work not to feature any keyboards: His String Quartet No. 1, specifically written for and performed by the highly acclaimed Orion String Quartet on 2004's Summerfest.
Corea has continued releasing jazz fusion concept albums such as To the Stars (2004) and Ultimate Adventure (2006). The latter album won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group.
In 2008 the second version of Return to Forever (Corea, keyboards; Stanley Clarke, bass; Lenny White, drums; Al Di Meola, guitar) reunited for a worldwide tour. The reunion received positive reviews from most jazz and mainstream publications.Most of the group's studio recordings were re-released on the compilation Return to Forever: The Anthology to coincide with the tour. A concert DVD recorded during their performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival was released in May 2009. He is recently working on a collaboration CD with the Grammy Award winning jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer, due to be released in August 2009.
A new group, the 5 Peace Band, which features Corea and guitarist John McLaughlin began a world tour in October 2008. Corea previously worked with McLaughlin in Miles Davis' late-1960s bands, including the group that recorded Davis' album Bitches Brew. Joining Corea and McLaughlin in the 5 Peace Band are saxophonist Kenny Garrett, and bassist Christian McBride. Drummer Vinnie Colaiuta played with the band in Europe and on select North American dates; Brian Blade played all dates in Asia and Australia, and most dates in North America.

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Lars Danielsson

Swedish bassist, cellist, composer and arranger Lars Danielsson is well-know and admired throughout the International jazz scene for his lyrical playing and strong groove. Born in 1958, he is a musician with particularly broad interests. At the conservatory in Gothenburg he had studied classical cello, before changing to bass and to jazz. As a bassist he has a uniquely rounded sound, which is as lyrical as powerful. The 'Lars Danielsson Quartet' with former Miles Davis saxophonist David Liebman, pianist Bobo Stenson and legendary ECM drummer Jon Christensen has received a lot of recognition and numerous awards during the 18 years of its existence. Danielsson has released ten solo-albums since 1980 with his quartet and guests such as Alex Acuña and John Abercrombie....
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Swedish bassist, cellist, composer and arranger Lars Danielsson is well-know and admired throughout the International jazz scene for his lyrical playing and strong groove. Born in 1958, he is a musician with particularly broad interests. At the conservatory in Gothenburg he had studied classical cello, before changing to bass and to jazz. As a bassist he has a uniquely rounded sound, which is as lyrical as powerful.

The "Lars Danielsson Quartet" with former Miles Davis saxophonist David Liebman, pianist Bobo Stenson and legendary ECM drummer Jon Christensen has received a lot of recognition and numerous awards during the 18 years of its existence. Danielsson has released ten solo-albums since 1980 with his quartet and guests such as Alex Acuña and John Abercrombie. The Quartet has been a testing ground for Danielsson’s work as a composer and arranger, which has extended over the last years to include both - symphony orchestra and big band music. He has worked with Denmark’s Radio Concert Orchestra as well as the JazzBaltica Ensemble as a composer, arranger and producer.

Lars Danielsson has worked with: Randy and Michael Brecker, John Scofield, Jack DeJohnette, Mike Stern, Billy Hart, Charles Lloyd, Terri Lyne Carrington and Dave Kikoski. He has also been a member of the "Trilok Gurtu Group".

As a producer, Lars Danielsson worked with Cæcilie Norby, Jonas Johansen, the Danish Radio Concert Orchestra and Viktoria Tolstoy.

In 2007, he received a commission for a piece with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestrafeaturing himself as a soloist together with Leszek Moždžer. He has also received a commission from the NDR Big Band and Wolfgang Haffner to write a piece for the JazzBaltica Festival 2007. Furthermore, he has been working with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with Vytas Sondeckis and Bugge Wesseltoft.

His 2008 album “Pasodoble” was a huge success. Jazzwise UK wrote about Danielsson’s collaboration with Polish pianist Leszek Moždžer: “A clarity of thought and execution rarely encountered in jazz.”

“Pasodoble” was followed by another collaboration with Leszek Moždžer on the 2009 album “Tarantella”. Once more the album caused enthusiastic reactions by Jazzwise: “Easily Danielsson’s finest album to date, it also numbers among the finest albums in the ACT catalogue.”

On his most recent album “Liberetto”, Lars Daniellson teams up with Armenian piano shooting Star “Tigran”, e.s.t. drummer Magnus Öström guitarist John Paricelli and Trumpeter Arve Henriksen to discovers new musical spaces and the freedom of music between chamber jazz, classic and European folk music.


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George Gershwin

George Gershwin was an American composer, who is mostly known due to his combinations of classical and popular music genres. George Gershwin grew up in a poor neighbourhood in New York. His parents were Russian immigrants who had trouble making ends meet. They did, however, decide to purchase an old piano so Ira Gershwin could study to become a musician. Yet, it turned out not Ira, but his younger brother George showed remarkable talent. Ira applied himself to writing song lyrics and together the Gershwin brothers became absolute greats in the world of 20th century musicals. Nowadays, George's compositions are still relevant, as is evidenced by the many performances of his Rhapsody in Blue from 1924. But the best example is the ageless Summtertime,...
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George Gershwin was an American composer, who is mostly known due to his combinations of classical and popular music genres.

George Gershwin grew up in a poor neighbourhood in New York. His parents were Russian immigrants who had trouble making ends meet. They did, however, decide to purchase an old piano so Ira Gershwin could study to become a musician. Yet, it turned out not Ira, but his younger brother George showed remarkable talent. Ira applied himself to writing song lyrics and together the Gershwin brothers became absolute greats in the world of 20th century musicals. Nowadays, George's compositions are still relevant, as is evidenced by the many performances of his Rhapsody in Blue from 1924. But the best example is the ageless Summtertime, which has been covered a countless number of times by a countless number of artists.


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Iiro Rantala (piano)

Iiro Rantala is 'a natural phenomenon on keys' (German jazz magazine Jazzthing); an all-rounder of whom New York-based pianist and arranger Gil Goldstein quite rightly said: 'Iiro Rantala is a pianistic sensation who makes the strongest case I know to believe in reincarnation, because his pianistic technique and musical sensitivity speak of depths that appear impossible to have been achieved in this lifetime alone'. Up to now, Rantala was mainly associated with the trio Töykeät, one of the weirdest, funniest and most visionary piano trios in international jazz. He sounded out all the possibilities of this formation: Sometimes playing the energetic lion on keys, sometimes the sensitive romantic or the burlesque clown. His playing blasted away all stylistic boundaries and...
more
Iiro Rantala is "a natural phenomenon on keys" (German jazz magazine Jazzthing); an all-rounder of whom New York-based pianist and arranger Gil Goldstein quite rightly said: "Iiro Rantala is a pianistic sensation who makes the strongest case I know to believe in reincarnation, because his pianistic technique and musical sensitivity speak of depths that appear impossible to have been achieved in this lifetime alone". Up to now, Rantala was mainly associated with the trio Töykeät, one of the weirdest, funniest and most visionary piano trios in international jazz. He sounded out all the possibilities of this formation: Sometimes playing the energetic lion on keys, sometimes the sensitive romantic or the burlesque clown. His playing blasted away all stylistic boundaries and was as uncompromised as it was entertaining, but kept together by a magical triangle: his boundless technical ability and his unmistakeable senses of humour and style.
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Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein was one of the most iconic American composers and conductors of the 20th century, and was among the first American musicians who gained worldwide recognition. He actually made his breakthrough as a conductor by chance, when he suddenly had to stand in for the ailing Bruno Walter for a concert by the New York Philharmonic in 1943. The concert, which was broadcast live on radio, received critical acclaim from the press. Bernstein would soon become a sought-after guest conductor. From 1958 till 1969, Bernstein was principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic, with which he performed amongst others the complete symphonies of Mahler, which sparked a renewed interest in the music of the Austrian composer in the United States. He...
more
Leonard Bernstein was one of the most iconic American composers and conductors of the 20th century, and was among the first American musicians who gained worldwide recognition.
He actually made his breakthrough as a conductor by chance, when he suddenly had to stand in for the ailing Bruno Walter for a concert by the New York Philharmonic in 1943. The concert, which was broadcast live on radio, received critical acclaim from the press. Bernstein would soon become a sought-after guest conductor.
From 1958 till 1969, Bernstein was principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic, with which he performed amongst others the complete symphonies of Mahler, which sparked a renewed interest in the music of the Austrian composer in the United States. He was also an advocate of the music of American composers, in particular that of his close friend Aaron Copland. Bernstein recorded nearly all of his orchestral works, and paid much attention to his music in his popular television series Young People’s Concerts, in which he introduced a young audience to classical music.
As a composer, Bernstein is primarily known for his accessible theatre works such as Wonderful Town, Candide and The West Side Story, which still is his most popular work. He also composed three symphonies and several shorter chamber works. In his music he fused elements of Jewish music, theatre music and jazz with those of composers like Copland, Stravinsky and Gershwin.

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Leszek Możdżer (piano)

An outstanding pianist, composer and producer, Leszek Możdżer is widely considered to be Polish Jazz’s greatest revelation of the last decade. Born in 1971, he has been playing the piano since the age of five. He completed every stage of formal education until graduating in 1996 from the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk. He became interested in jazz relatively late – in his last grade – when he was 18. He was introduced to jazz in the band of Emil Kowalski, a clarinet player, but his proper start took place at his first rehearsal with a band called Miłość (Love) back in 1991. One year later he received an individual award at the International Jazz Competition Jazz Juniors...
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An outstanding pianist, composer and producer, Leszek Możdżer is widely considered to be Polish Jazz’s greatest revelation of the last decade. Born in 1971, he has been playing the piano since the age of five. He completed every stage of formal education until graduating in 1996 from the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk. He became interested in jazz relatively late – in his last grade – when he was 18. He was introduced to jazz in the band of Emil Kowalski, a clarinet player, but his proper start took place at his first rehearsal with a band called Miłość (Love) back in 1991. One year later he received an individual award at the International Jazz Competition Jazz Juniors ’92 held in Cracow. He was also a member of the Zbigniew Namysłowski Quartet. In the poll organized among Jazz Forum readers Możdżer was chosen as the Most Promising Musician of the year 1993 and 1994, and the Best Jazz Pianist – in each consecutive year since 1994. Leszek was also many times honored as The Musician of the Year.

On many occasions Leszek Możdżer recorded music with Zbigniew Preisner (Requiem for my friend, 10 easy pieces for piano). He also works on a regular basis with Jan Kaczmarek, Polish composer living in LA, while recording music scores (for 20th Century Fox and Miramax). He has been invited to perform jointly with the most gifted and renowned Polish jazz musicians, such as: Tomasz Stańko, Janusz Muniak, Michał Urbaniak, Anna Maria Jopek, Adam Pierończyk and Piotr Wojtasik.

Możdżer has also performed and recorded with many internationally acclaimed musicians, including David Friesen, Pat Metheny, Arthur Blythe, Buster Williams, Billy Harper, Joe Lovano, Archi Shepp, David Liebman, Charles Fox, Lester Bowie, David Gilmour, Marcus Miller, John Scofield, Steve Swallow, Eddie Daniels and Tan Dun.

Since 2011 Leszek Możdżer has been the Artistic director of the music festival, Enter Music Festival, held annually in Poznań, on the Lake Strzeszyńskim shoreline.

Leszek Możdżer has recorded over 100 albums, many of them released under his name


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Chris Beier

Chris Beier was born in Trier, Germany in 1953. He took classical piano lessons as a youth and early on became interested in jazz and blues. After his graduation from secondary school Beier studied musicology, American studies and sociology. Beier has been working with numerous well-known artists since the beginning of the 1980’s, touring extensively in and outside of Germany. He has recorded over 20 albums and composed for a wide variety of radio, TV, and theatre productions. He has also composed for larger groups, including symphony orchestras. Along with guest performances with Albert Mangelsdorff, Aladár Pege, Toto Blanke, Joe Nay, Marion Brown, Bill Elgart, Jörg Widmoser (Modern String Quartet), Dick Heckstall-Smith and John Etheridge, Chris Beier has worked with his own...
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Chris Beier was born in Trier, Germany in 1953. He took classical piano lessons as a youth and early on became interested in jazz and blues. After his graduation from secondary school Beier studied musicology, American studies and sociology.

Beier has been working with numerous well-known artists since the beginning of the 1980’s, touring extensively in and outside of Germany. He has recorded over 20 albums and composed for a wide variety of radio, TV, and theatre productions. He has also composed for larger groups, including symphony orchestras.

Along with guest performances with Albert Mangelsdorff, Aladár Pege, Toto Blanke, Joe Nay, Marion Brown, Bill Elgart, Jörg Widmoser (Modern String Quartet), Dick Heckstall-Smith and John Etheridge, Chris Beier has worked with his own groups (“Overtone” with bass player Rainer Glas), with Leszek Zadlo since 1985 (in duo and quartet), and with larger formations such as when performing his suite “Angel Memory”, which was fashioned after motives from Alban Berg’s violin concerto, and the two concert suites ‘Overtone Orchestra’.


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