Georg Breinschmid: Fire (2012)

By Published: | 2,088 views
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Georg Breinschmid: Fire
A mixture of outrageous humor and subtle beauty make up Fire, from Austrian bassist Georg Breinschmid. Such a conflicting opinion needs explaining.

The 14 mostly originals (plus a bonus disc of four additional tracks) combine live and studio recordings using two different groupings. There is Brein's Café—a piano/violin/bass trio; and a duo with trumpeter Thomas Gansch. In some pieces they all get together.

There are silly vocals and shameless parodies of polkas and classics—think Shostakovich meets Spike Jones. On the other hand, there are lovely ballads, delightful up-tempo tunes and top musicians given time and space to improvise. They have been together awhile and know the routine, traveling regularly in Europe. Unfortunately, some verbal humor is lost to non-German speakers. The only American group to compare them with is The Bad Plus
The Bad Plus
The Bad Plus

band/orchestra
, in its most eccentric moments.

Born in Vienna in 1973, Breinschmid studied classical bass at Vienna University, and as a promising student often subbed in prestigious Viennese orchestras. After his classical start, he got into jazz, working with likes of saxophonists Archie Shepp
Archie Shepp
Archie Shepp
b.1937
saxophone
, pianist Kenny Drew, Jr.
Kenny Drew, Jr.
Kenny Drew, Jr.
1958 - 2014
piano
and Bireli Lagrene
Bireli Lagrene
Bireli Lagrene
b.1966
guitar
. Though steeped in jazz, his music defies category—the keyword is fun.

First up, "Schnörtzenbrekker," is a mood-setter, a raucous polka that sets off a party-like atmosphere. Tranquility sets in minutes later, however, with the rhythmic "Little Samba," where violinist Roman Janoska's violin pizzicato fuses with a bossa beat that also showcases Frantisek Janoska's swirling keys. The extended "Suite 7" gives the trio ample solo space.

The duo has fun with "jaBistdudenndeppat," a title referring to its various time signatures. Gansch's free-form trumpet is spotlighted, and gives way to an improbable chorale on Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." Musical quotes show up throughout, from "Cheek to Cheek" to "Darktown Strutters Ball"; clearly, anything can happen.

"Spring" is another peak, the piano and violin collaborating for a tension-packed climax. "Musette pour Elisabeth" takes on operetta, with apologies to Franz Lehar, replete with an agonizing mezzo hilariously lamenting her fate; Diva goes bonkers. The musicians, finally, have no respect.

A special treat awaits in the bonus disc, with Fire igniting on the fiery "Wein blebt Krk." Like the whole work, it's a "gas."

Track Listing: CD1: Schnörtzenbrekker; Rodeo; Little Samba; Herbert Schnitzler; Suite 7; jaBISTdudenndeppat; Spring; Jazz-Gstanzln; Nóta/Csárdás; Sweetie; Sedlacek`s Mood; Die alte Engelmacherin; usette pour Elisabeth; Voodoo-Wienerlied. CD2 (Bonus): Post Bop; Herbert Schnitzler (alternate version); Wien bleibt Krk; Die alte Engelmacherin--Out-Takes).

Personnel: Georg Breinschmid: bass; Frantisek Janoska: piano (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14) ; Roman Janoska: violin (1, 3-5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14); Thomas Gansch: trumpet (2, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13).

Record Label: Preiser Records


comments powered by Disqus
Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

or search site with Google