Home » Jazz Articles » Multiple Reviews » Globe Unity: Austria


Globe Unity: Austria


Sign in to view read count

Franz Koglmann

Lo-lee-ta: Music on Nabokov

Col Legno


Studio Dan

Creatures and Other Stuff



Max Nagl


Rude Noises


Maybe there's something in the Austrian water. Or maybe it's in the Wiener Schnitzel. The nation's population is just about equal to New York City's, but it boasts Mozart, Haydn and Mahler and Schoenberg, Berg and Webern among its favorite sons. More recent explorers include Gunther Mueller, Burkhard Stangl, Fennesz and the artists under review here. The small republic has a rich tradition of intelligence and innovation.

There's plenty of smarts at play in Franz Koglmann's Lo-lee-ta: Music on Nabokov and it would be unfortunate if this pleasant tribute were (like its dedicatee) overshadowed by one pedophilic tale. Despite his album's title, the heartbreaking tween only appears once, in an arrangement of Bob Harris' theme for Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film adaptation. It sets an appropriately cinematic tone for the quartet (featuring the fine clarinetist Tony Coe) and duo music Koglmann composed. Ada, Pale Fire and other Nabokov works are cited, in sometimes-brief themes, alternating between the restrained and satisfying quartets and the somewhat darker duos with Wolfgang Mitterer's piano and electronics.

Literary references are to be found in the liner notes, if not the music, of Daniel Riegler's Creatures & Other Stuff. Tom Gsteiger's essay mimics (and is dedicated to) David Foster Wallace, the late American novelist whose writing comes fast, long and from all directions. Wallace is a fitting totem for Studio Dan, a young and 18-strong composers orchestra. With half the band contributing compositions, there are more than enough vantages swirling around. Riegler's "Creatures" occupies the first of the two discs, an eight-section romp that is unpredictable without trying too hard. There's a bit of circus and theater and a lot of fun, modern big band music. The second half, featuring the other composers, is necessarily more eclectic, pushing at the seams a bit more with some raggedy cabaret, edgier electric pieces, epic attacks and piano laments.

Saxophonist Max Nagl pretty much never disappoints, nor does he fail to surprise. His band with keyboardist Clemens Wenger and drummer Herbert Pirker could be a classic jazz trio, but that would be ignoring the toys, banjo, melodica, steel drums and electronics. On Boulazac, they kick up a glorious noise over a dozen jam-packed tracks (both written by the leader and group improvised), Nagl in particular showing enough smarts with the sampler that at no time do the proceedings come off as a three-piece. His adventures, as always, are rooted in tradition.

Tracks and Personnel

Lo-lee-ta: Music on Nabokov

Tracks: Love Theme from Lolita; Hereafter #1; Montreux Palace; Hereafter #2; A Day's Work (dedicated to Michael Turnheim); Hereafter #3; Ada and Van; Vadim Vadimowitsch N.; Hereafter #4; Laura; Hereafter #5; Just Half a Shade; Hereafter #6 ; Martha Dreyer.

Personnel: Monoblue Quartet: Tony Coe: clarinet, alto saxophone; Franz Koglmann: trumpet, flugelhorn; Ed Renshaw: guitar; Peter Herbert: bass (1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14). Duo Franz Koglmann & Wolfgang Mitterer: Franz Koglmann: trumpet, flugelhorn; Wolfgang Mitterer: piano, electronics (2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13).

Creatures and Other Stuff

Tracks: CD I: Creature I; Spin; K


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.


View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Local Businesses | More...


Being Human
Lynne Arriale
Big Band Stories
Fredrik Nordström
Ruth Goller


Vijay Iyer
Jazz Hands
Bob James
London Afrobeat Collective

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.