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Robert Bachner Big Band: Moments of Noise (2007)

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Robert Bachner Big Band: Moments of Noise How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

As the title suggests, there are Moments of Noise on Austrian trombonist Robert Bachner's debut album as leader of his own big band, but they are always purposeful, never arbitrary, and are staunchly tempered by moments of beauty, awareness and sensitivity. And as noise is one of the requisite components of any big band, neither are they ever unsuitable. To the contrary, Bachner, a talented composer and arranger, makes certain that whatever "noise his ensemble produces is an integral part of a more aesthetically rewarding musical landscape.

Indeed, the theme from which the album takes its name, written as a quintet piece in 1994 as a part of Bachner's graduation exam at the Bruckner Konservatorium in Linz, is powerful but never strident, an explosive modal chart reminiscent of Coltrane's "Moment's Notice with a swinging middle section more akin to Basie than Mingus or Gil Evans, encompassing robust solos by pianist Robert Schönherr and soprano saxophonist Christian Maurer. Bachner's other arrangements are equally engaging, as are those by Martin Reiter ("Heart Disc ) and Helmar Hill ("One More Time ). The more familiar among them are Jerome Kern's "The Way You Look Tonight —an outstanding chart featuring thermal solos by Bachner and baritone Thomas Kugi—and John Lewis' melodious "Afternoon in Paris, impressively enlivened by trumpeter Daniel Nösig and alto Gerald Preinfalk.

The fast-moving "Heart Disc showcases Preinfalk on alto with Nösig, while "One More Time, an irrepressible groover, embodies persuasive solos by tenor Ilse Riedler, trombonist Martin Ptak and trumpeter Jörg Engels. Tenor Christian Maurer and alto Andreas See are front and center on Bachner's luminous "Movement Two, Bachner and guitarist Adrian Reiter on the lone ballad, the charming albeit oddly named "Brasstime (written for an Austrian group called Pro Brass). The album's "bonus track, Al Dubin/Harry Warren's venerable "Lullaby of Broadway, is also its only vocal, nicely sung by Karin Bachner. The rhythm section (Schönherr, Reiter, bassist Gina Schwarz, drummer Klemens Marktl) is presistently sharp and enthusiastic.

Even in Austria, it would seem, big band jazz is alive and well. Bachner, who never thought he'd be leading a band, has assembled a world-class ensemble, and his compositions and arrangements are as admirable as any you're likely to hear. This superb debut fairly shouts for an encore.

Track Listing: As the title suggests, there are Moments of Noise on Austrian trombonist Robert Bachners debut album as leader of his own big band, but they are always purposeful, never arbitrary, and are staunchly tempered by moments of beauty, awareness and sensitivity. And as noise is one of the requisite components of any big band, neither are they ever unsuitable. To the contrary, Bachner, a talented composer and arranger, makes certain that whatever noise his ensemble produces is an integral part of a more aesthetically rewarding musical landscape.

Indeed, the theme from which the album takes its name, written as a quintet piece in 1994 as a part of Bachners graduation exam at the Bruckner Konservatorium in Linz, is powerful but never strident, an explosive modal chart reminiscent of Coltranes Moments Notice with a swinging middle section more akin to Basie than Mingus or Gil Evans, encompassing robust solos by pianist Robert Schnherr and soprano saxophonist Christian Maurer. Bachners other arrangements are equally engaging, as are those by Martin Reiter (Heart Disc) and Helmar Hill (One More Time). The more familiar among them are Jerome Kerns The Way You Look Tonight -- an outstanding chart featuring thermal solos by Bachner and baritone Thomas Kugi -- and John Lewis melodious Afternoon in Paris, impressively enlivened by trumpeter Daniel Nsig and alto Gerald Preinfalk.

The fast-moving Heart Disc showcases Preinfalk on alto with Nsig, while One More Time, an irrepressible groover, embodies persuasive solos by tenor Ilse Riedler, trombonist Martin Ptak and trumpeter Jrg Engels. Tenor Christian Maurer and alto Andreas See are front and center on Bachners luminous Movement Two, Bachner and guitarist Adrian Reiter on the lone ballad, the charming albeit oddly named Brasstime (written for an Austrian group called Pro Brass). The albums bonus track, Al Dubin / Harry Warrens venerable Lullaby of Broadway, is also its only vocal, nicely sung by Karin Bachner. The rhythm section (Schnherr, Reiter, bassist Gina Schwarz, drummer Klemens Marktl) is presistently sharp and enthusiastic.

Even in Austria, it would seem, big-band Jazz is alive and well. Bachner, who never thought hed be leading a band, has assembled a world-class ensemble, and his compositions and arrangements are as admirable as any youre likely to hear. A superb debut, one that that fairly shouts for an encore. Heart Disc; Brasstime; Movement Two; The Way You Look Tonight; So Rare; Moments of Noise; Afternoon in Paris; One More Time; Lullaby of Broadway (47:55). Robert Bachner: leader, trombone; Aneel Soomary, Jrg Engels, Barny Girlinger, Daniel Nsig: trumpet; Gerald Preinfalk, Andreas See, Christian Maurer, Ilse Riedler, Thomas Kugi: reeds; Martin Ptak, Mario Vavti, Bernhard Karoh, Charly Wagner: trombone; Adrian Reiter: guitar; Robert Schnherr: piano; Gina Schwarz: bass; Klemens Marktl: drums; Karin Bachner: vocals.

Personnel: Robert Bachner: leader, trombone; Aneel Soomary, Jrg Engels, Barny Girlinger, Daniel Nsig: trumpet; Gerald Preinfalk, Andreas See, Christian Maurer, Ilse Riedler, Thomas Kugi: reeds; Martin Ptak, Mario Vavti, Bernhard Karoh, Charly Wagner: trombone; Adrian Reiter: guitar; Robert Schnherr: piano; Gina Schwarz: bass; Klemens Marktl: drums; Karin Bachner: vocals.

Record Label: ATS Records

Style: Big Band


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