There are times when it seems Europeans have a greater appreciation for musical styles that originated in the United States. Hans Glawischnig's Panorama
is one example of adopting an art form, jazz, and treating it like it's his own creation.
Glawischnig is a native of Graz, Austria, who moved to New York City in 1992. He graduated magna cum laude from Berklee College of Music and received his B.A. from Manhattan School of Music in 1994. His credits include recordings and performances with Chick Corea, David Sanchez, Ray Barretto, Ravi Coltrane, Phil Woods, Dave Liebman and Maynard Ferguson, among others. He released his debut recording Common Ground
(Fresh Sound New Talent, 2003), followed by the EP Phoenix
With a variable lineup that includes Chick Corea on two tracks, Glawischnig presents nine original songs, a plus when so many new recordings feature one or more covers of pop songs.
"Line Drive" may or may not be a reference to baseball, but it is a selection that goes well with a cruise in the country. Miguel Zenon leads most of the way on the alto saxophone, while drummer Johnathan Blake helps set the pace. Luis Perdomo underscores the song with a dramatic piano track, later scoring a hit with a solo. Throughout, Glawischnig plays subtly in the background.
The title song features Corea on piano with Marcus Gilmore on drums. It's an elegant tune, led by Corea's expert fingering. Glawischnig's bass is a little more obvious here, partly because the song is done by a trio, but also because the leader steps out from the background for an engaging solo. The overall sound easily explains the title as the music inspires visions of a picturesque landscape.
"Gypsy Tales" is one of the more audibly stunning tracks. With David Binney on alto sax, Ben Monder on electric guitar, Antonio Sanchez on drums and Perdomo on piano, it has the flavor of John Coltrane meets Miles Davis meets Mike Stern. The song shifts back and forth between a highly syncopated main theme and a softer, more relaxed melody. Glawischnig and Perdomo provide a strong presence, but the stars are Binney, Sanchez and Monder, especially the latter, whose solo is part jazzman part rock star.
, Glawischnig's strength is a combination of solid writing and sharing. Though it's clearly his album, the leader doesn't write or play as if he's the onlyor even mostimportant piece. The group dynamic is very strong, which helps make this recording a keeper.