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Franz von Chossy

Franz von Chossy (Munich, 1979) graduated “Summa Cum Laude” from the Amsterdam conservatory in 2006. He also studied at the Manhattan School of Music with amongst others Kenny Barron, Garry Dial, Dave Liebman and Kenny Werner. In addition, while living in New New York, Franz studied film composition with Edward Green.

His music covers a broad musical spectrum that includes classical as well as modern elements but always with respect to the jazz tradition. Within his detailed arrangements there is always a strong melody from which everything arises. Yet there is enough space for each individual musician to wander... This combination makes the music organic and easily accessible for the listener without being shallow. Moods swing from subdued to exciting. It is emotional music, which sings, narrates and creates strong images.

Quite rightly Von Chossy won the Dutch Jazz Competition with his trio in 2006, because of its 'original, dynamic and often virtuosic (inter)play'. Moreover, Franz also won the "Best Soloist" award in this competition for his 'subtle, spatial and personal play'. In 2009, he won 2nd prize in the international Montreux Jazz solo Piano Competition.

Von Chossy has performed throughout Europe and the US as well as in Asia (India, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey) and Africa (Tunisia, Marocco) with his own trio, but also with bands like the Pascal Schumacher Quartet, Balkanopolis, Fidan, Tarhana, the Paul Wiltgen 5tet, in which he is highly valued for his virtuoso ensemble-playing. Together with award-winning Dutch bass player, Clemens van der Feen and Luxembourg drummer Paul Wiltgen, he brings a fresh sound to the trio. Wiltgen, who has been touring with jazz icons like Kurt Rosenwinkel, brings the necessary rhythmical subtlety. Van der Feen, who is one of the few musicians who received their masters degree with honours in both jazz and classical music, won several jazz awards, including first prize at the Capbreton Bass Encounter in 1999 (France), Best New Talent Award in the 2001. He adds a very personal sound to the trio, due to his perfect bowing technique and his broad musical knowledge.

Franz says of the latest CD, Pendulum, “musical beauty can only sound profound if its counterpart plays an equally important role in the music. Without this dark side, for me real beauty cannot exist... I try to create a balance within these opposites. My mother inspired me with her image of an infinitely long pendulum swinging slowly but powerfully from brightness to darkness, touching all shades between...

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Album Review

Franz von Chossy Quintet: When The World Comes Home

Read "When The World Comes Home" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

If there is one big story that can genuinely be said to have made the front pages since the dawn of time, it's the story of Adam and Eve's expulsion from Eden. Artists, poets, novelists, dramatists and composers have all sought to put their own perspectives on the tale. The latest in a line that stretches back into antiquity is German pianist/composer Franz von Chossy, who takes the story as the subject for a nine-part suite, When The World Comes ...

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"Pendulum" (EtceteraNewRecords) is a very special cd. This not because the leader Franz Von Chossy graduated with full honours at the Amsterdam Conservatory in 2006 and won the Dutch Jazz competition in the same year. Neither is it because he plays refined, cerebral music with countless subtly varied repetitions or because he has written all but one compositions himself, but because he has chosen a new road that Dave Brubeck can be jealous of and that Bill Evans, if he still were alive, would be madly envious of. He creates a new middle way between jazz and classical music that leads to infinite horizons and that can be rightly called New Third Stream, without the artificiality of the late fifties and early sixties, but with a natural, straightforward and modern flow. It is a small masterpiece, construed with the aid of Clemens van de Feen, who plays the double bass in such a clear and firm way that it sounds like a violincello, and of drummer Paul Wiltgen who brings the overall sound to perfection with cleverly, economically and perfectly placed percussion. The compositions "Falling Darkness" and "Northern Lights" are impressionist paintings that straightaway deserve a place in the Louvre Museum. Von Chossy also studied film music. Hopefully European jazz and improvisation music platforms make sure that this natural talent will not be swallowed up by the Hollywood industry, where he could end up, probably less happy, as a millionaire." Han Schulten, Jazzpress february 2010

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Jorrit Dijkstra
saxophone, alto

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