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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Braff-Oester-Rohrer & George Gruntz - now on dime

Posting some more piano music, after the Tete seeds (some may remember I did a loose series called "ubu's pianos" a year ago or so).


Here's a rather unusual show... Gruntz is one of the best writers for big band music in recent years (make that decades... he's been active since the 60s!) and leads a fantastic unit, his "George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band", featuring many great soloists from different parts of the world.
He himself is a very fine pianist, although in the context of his band, he most often takes a backseat and is happy to steer the proceedings and act as a very charming MC.

He did one of the piano solo albums for German ACT label's recent series of piano solo releases - his was titled "Ringing the Luminator". It brought back to memory that Gruntz is a fine pianist and can easily do a full solo programme. So he did here, at the festival Generations, founded/lead by tenor saxophonist Roman Schwaller (who was with the Vienna Art Orchestra for long years and has several fine releases on pianist Joe Haider's JHM label, including a great quartet disc with Jimmy Cobb on drums).

Have a look at the setlist, can't be bad, can it?

His announcements are in Swiss German, with a heavy accent from Basel, Gruntz's hometown. He tells some funny stories, most notably after performing the "Guggisberglied" (meaning "Song from the Guggishill"), an old and very beautiful Swiss traditional song (Stephan Eicher also did a version of this, by the way). It's the only Swiss folk song, says Gruntz, that's in minor...

George Gruntz
Generations 2006
Frauenfeld (CH), Eisenwerk
October 10, 2006

George Gruntz - piano

1. So If Love's a Triumph of Illusions (Gruntz) 5:38
2. Well You Needn't (Monk) 5:55
3. Announcement GG (2:01)
4. All Blues (Miles Davis) 8:38
5. Body and Soul (Green-Heyman-Sour-Eyton) 5:49
6. Announcement GG (2:05)
7. Summertime (Gershwin-Gershwin-Heyward) 5:50
8. Guggisberglied (Traditional) 2:21
9. Announcement GG (3:14)
10. The Train and the River (Jimmy Giuffre) 4:00

TT: 45:36

Sound: A (mono)
Source: DRS 2 "Jazz Live" / 2007-08-03
Lineage: FM > HD > Cool Edit Pro > FLAC (8,asb,verify)
Recorded & shared by ubu


This broadcast starts with the second tune Gruntz played in this concert
Gruntz played a trio set with Fabian Gisler (b) and Dominic Egli (d), but none of it was broadcast, to my knowledge.


Here's a partial recording of one of the greatest concerts I ever heard! I have made a few dimers turn into fans of Malcolm Braff and this specific trio and I hope more will check it out and enjoy it! (I, for one, enjoy the sh*t out of it!)
Oester is a bit low in the mix here, I'm afraid, even though I sat like two metres straight in front of his bass, with Braff to his left, back to me - Oester was standing next to the grand piano, where it gets smaller - and Rohrer sandwiching Oester on the right... Rohrer is so creative, really one of the most astonishing drummers I've seen so far (and that includes guys like Max Roach, Idris Muhammad or Leon Parker, just to set things into the right perspective!)

Here's the website of the great unerhört festival.

Unerhört 2006
Zürich (CH), Rote Fabrik, Fabriktheater
November 25, 2006

Malcolm Braff - piano
Bänz Oester - bass
Samuel Rohrer - drums

1. (18:26)
2. (13:48)
3. (14:02) [inc]

TT: 46:17

Sound: A-/B+
Source: audience recording, right in front of the band (2 metres)
Lineage: crappy Sony mic > MD (LP2) > analogue to HD > Cool Edit Pro > FLAC (8,asb,verify)
Recorded & shared by ubu


this is part of the first set of a nocturne concert, lasting from around midnight until 2:30 a.m. the following day (it could also be dated Nov. 26)
this is all my MD recorder would do that night, after that it stopped recording, alas, as the music grew more and more unbelievable - one of the greatest concerts I've witnessed so far!
the third track is marred by drop-outs - I deleted them, but some hiccups remain audible.

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