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Brein´s World

Downbeat (USA)

Newsletter Nov. 2010, Editor’s Pick by Frank Alkyer – CD “Brein’s World”

Someday, I hope to meet Georg Breinschmid. On that day, I’ll laugh loudly and give him a giant hug. He is one of the craziest, broadest-thinking musicians you’ll ever hear. Take Brein’s World, his latest double CD, as “exhibit A.” Breinschmid is a gifted bassist with amazing technique and lock-down rhythmic sense. Born and raised in Vienna, he’s a classically trained musician who’s been drawn into jazz. He hasn’t forgot his classical roots, though, and they shine through many of his tunes. But, seemingly, so does every other kind of music he has ever heard. Brein’s World is a travelogue of classical, gypsy jazz, rock, European folk music, bebop, waltzes, beer-hall dance tunes, even hip-hop. But he pulls everything together under one roof (or into one “Brein”) with a unique sense of audacity, tenderness, humor and camp. The two-CD set includes 28 songs loaded with violins, pianos, horns, accordions, vocals and the occasional kazoo. But every time you smile or even laugh out loud, the next moment you’ll be thinking about the incredible musicianship on the record. A perfect example is “Brein’s Knights”. Breinschmid lays down a funky bass line to kick off the tune. Frantisek Janoska joins in on piano. But when violinist Roman Janoska plays the melody, it sounds like an Irish folk song … with a funky backbeat. The only thing missing is an English translation of some of the songs Breinschmid sings. They sound great in German, but I guarantee they’d be hysterical if only I could speak the language! No matter, Breinschmid’s music has universal appeal.


By George W. Harris

Here’s a charming double disc release by a guy I’ve never heard of before: Austrian bassist Georg Breinschmid mixes and matches with a variety of chamber jazz musicians, including Roman Janoska/vl, Frantisek/p, Thomas Gansch/tp, Tommaso Huber/acc and Thomas Dobler/vib in a wide ranging collection of originals that are, well, original! He’s got an amazing set of chops that accompany his incessant sense of swing, both of which get him through these folksy and gypsy tunes that go from blues to bohemian to various quirky mainstream. Songs like the trio “Dark Lights” with piano, violin and bass have a old world feel and attraction, while you are able to the idiosyncratic vocals on “Orlaub am Giatl” due to the relentless joy emitted by the two violinists. Unique, slightly irreverent, but always musically attractive, this disc is like a fresh breeze on a summer evening.

Cadence (USA)

David Franklin

The Austrian bassist Georg Breinschmid is an excellent composer with a quirky sense of humor as reflected in the many tongue-in-cheek compositions and performances on his new 2-CD album. Although he has played Classical Music with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Jazz with Charlie Mariano, his new recording emphasizes the comical, in both its music and its lyrics. He uses a variety of small-group instrumentations, the most common being a bass and trumpet duo and a bass-violin-piano trio. Other combinations include such instruments as cello, vibes, hang (a drum-like instrument akin to the steel pan), accordion, and even the kazoo, with one track featuring a traditional Jazz sextet instrumentation. The music they produce is just as varied. Although it saves room for an ample amount of straight-ahead swinging, especially from the fine Hard-Bop trumpeter Thomas Gansch, it also includes an inventive arrangement of Liszt’s famous “Liebestraum” and a clever 11/16 version of “Bach’s Partita in E Major.” A pretty Latin (“Quartier Latin”) would appear to be headed for a straight reading until the bassist begins to quote from Pop songs in his solo. The program also features, among other things, several comic vocals, Viennese waltzes, a Viennese rap, a beer-hall-evoking tune, some spoofy Soul-Jazz, and a polka-march piece that features both hard-swinging Jazz and virtuosic concert-style trumpet playing. Altogether, the music runs to two and a half hours, but all of it is interesting and all of it is especially well-played.

Downbeat (USA)

Chris Robinson, March 2011 **** (Four Stars)

Viennese bassist Georg Breinschmid`s excellent two-disc “Brein’s World” borrows from, among other styles, classical chamber music, Viennese song, European folk music and hard bop. Part tongue-in-cheek (check Breinschmid`s song tribute to the internet on “Computer-Wienerlied”), part pastiche, part high-brow, the album ranges from playfulness to longing. “Brein’s World” shows Breinschmid, who sings in German on five tracks and raps on another (he is no Jay-Z), to be a talented an eccentric artist who can deliver the goods in whatever style he chooses.

Just over half of “Brein’s World”s tracks, several of which are waltzes, showcase three of Breinschmid’s working groups. Brein’s Café, which includes violinist Roman Janoska and pianist Frantisek Janoska, mixes intimate classical chamber music with jazz-influenced improvisation. Roman Janoska is the group’s primary melodic voice, but each member has plenty of solo space and they expertly interject short statements into the often thick textures. Frantisek Janoska evokes Liszt on “Liebestraum”, Roman Janoska is a hell of an improviser, and the pretty “Petite Valse” is a charmer. Breinschmid’s digging and funky bass lines support his duo pieces with trumpeter Thomas Gansch, who greases up his sound as easily as he plays it straight. ClassXXX features Daniel Schnyder on soprano saxophone, vibist Thomas Dobler and cellist Daniel Pezzotti. On the gorgeous “Without Me”, Schnyder blows lyrical lines over Dobler’s vibraphone arpeggios. Breinschmid fills out the rest of the album with instrumental configurations and styles. “Oldtime Hit” is a nod to Cannonball Adderley’s groups, and the fast and hard-grooving “Dream#71” features Manu Delago on the Hang, which sound a bit like steel drums.

Acoustic Levitation (USA)

Best of 2010 – Steve Koenig Austrian bassist’s delicious followup to last year’s marvelous Wien bleibt Krk. To get a sense of the joie de vivre of Breinschmid’s various groupings, imagine the joys of the Dutch free jazzers Han Bennink and Willem Breuker, Viennese waltzes, Django, and cabaret. Excellent audio as well. (www.acousticlevitation.org)

AllAboutJazz (I)

Michele Chisena

Quello che esce dalla testa del contrabbassista austriaco Georg Breinschmid è un effluvio di idee. Che a stento riesce a trattenere perché la sua è un’incontinenza musicale a 360 gradi. Due cd: 28 episodi musicali che gli fanno attraversare di tutto. Non abbandona il suo essenziale background classico (“Bach 11/16”) e lo fa dialogare con tutto quello che gli capita a tiro. Negli iniziali “7/8 Landler” e “Musette #2” scherza con la cultura tzigana e spinge l’ascoltatore verso una festosità che fonde eleganza e birbanterie assortite. E questi sono colpi che mettono subito in chiaro le intenzioni dell’estroso bassista. Subito però sconvolge i piani: “Jacaranda” strizza l’occhio divertito al dixieland, mentre “Computer – Wienerlied” introduce un primo brano cantato in tedesco che non può che rimandare a Kurt Weill. Il successivo “Brein’s Knights” si affaccia sul folk irlandese. Si continua così, a vista, con grande eclettismo e imprevedibilità a tutto spiano. C’è perfino spazio per lo spoken word stile hip hop (“Tschukkn Belle”), il romanticismo mediterraneo di “Quartier Latin” o le canzoni da taverna (“Flugzeugderorist”): il divertimento è assicurato e condito pure con una fischiettata d’altri tempi. Nel secondo CD, Breinschmid ingrana addirittura la marcia e sorprende ancora. L’inizio sommesso e notturno di “Without Me” è un splendido inganno perché la pulsazione del suo caldo contrabbasso annunciano una “Trompetenpolka/Radetzkymarsch” che è più di una brillante parafrasi. In “Schnucki von Heanois” si avvertono rumori stile scratch (creati grazie all’abilità di Thomas Gansch) che rimandano ancora l’ascoltatore verso lidi vicini (e lontani) dalla DJ culture. C’è la possibilità di ascoltare l’affascinante suono delle hang drum (una specie di steel drum di ultima generazione) di Manu Delago (“Dream#71”) e per un’altra fischiettata alla Burt Bacharach (“Window Serenade”). Insomma, un CD di imprevedibili e gustose sorprese.

Jazzchicago.net (USA)

Brad Walseth

At times goofy, at times inventive, full of classical music references, waltzing Old Viennese songs, gypsy music, jazz, blues, folk and even rap, this immense double CD release from bassist Georg Breinshmid is a maddening, yet ultimately rewarding journey through the mind of the Austrian classical/jazz double bassist. With bizarre artwork and liner notes running in all directions in at least two languages (not to mention a running time totaling more than 150 minutes) , the recording is a reviewer’s nightmare. I admit that after hearing the first two tracks, which are performed with his Alpine folk music trio Brein’s Cafe, I wasn’t sure what I was hearing and put what I thought was another gypsy jazz recording aside. The opening track (“7/8 Landler”) sounds like a slap happy Slam Stewart meeting Django and Stephane’s Hot Club, in 7, mind you, while “Musette #2” would make Johann Strauss proud. Things get nutty on “Jacaranda” – a duet with trumpeter Thomas Gansch with a bit of a New Orleans flavor and excellent improvisation. As he shows here and throughout, the bassist was a highly-trained classical musician before jumping in to jazz with his technique fully intact. But just when you are getting somewhat settled, Breinschmid sets down his bass and sings in German in a childlike duet with pianist Frantisek Janoska, which espouses the joys of computers and email, I think (I’m really not making this up). This strange landscape continues with the funky (with celtic fiddle and impressive bass solo) “Brein’s Knights,” the Brazilian-flavored “Quartier Latin,” Franz Liszt’s “Liebestraum,” and another track with Brein singing and whistling along to accordion and mandolin on a truly wacky song about being an airplane terrorist who uses his bathroom supplies (shampoo and lotion) to kill (“Flugzeugderorist”). But all is not unserious, “Intermezzo” again finds the bassist in a jazzy duet with Gansch on flugelhorn, while “5/4” and “Bach 11/16” are lovely classical-influenced pieces. The rapping, shrieking, belching and kazoo of Erni M on “Tschukkn Belle” should by now come as no surprise and we aren’t even finished with the first disc – there is another full blown waltz and a track with Brein whistling to a plucked chordal accompaniment on a bass guitar. Are you getting the idea yet? Yes the man is insane, but in a good way. The second CD is more of the same, with the the lovely “Without Me” (with Thomas Vobler on vibes and Daniel Schnyder’s soprano sax), the silly voice rap on the groove heavy “Schnucki von Heanois” (about an unstoppable stalker girlfriend) that will have you in stitches, the ’60s-flavored “Oldtime Hit” (that will have you doing the frug or watusi), a 5/4 blues (“Blues Five”) and plenty more silly singing, whistling, funky grooves and old school waltzes and gypsy touches to keep a listener quite amused. And watch for the false ending on the last song that leads to some crude commentary that ends this crazy recording well.

Bass Player Magazine

Benjamin Levine, Feb. 2011

“Brein’s World”, Breinschmid presents a varied collection of 28 pieces that range from odd-metered classical romps to funky soul-jazz and tongue-in-cheek hip-hop. Throughout, Breinschmid`s bass work is magnificent, his astonishingly nimble playing creating a huge pocket with a tone that is thick, focused, and organic. “Brein’s World” is one that`s certain to humor, amaze, entertain, and inspire.

Allaboutjazz.com (USA)

C. Michael Bailey – CD “Brein’s World”

Georg Breinschmid is a madman; a genius madman, but a madman just the same. “Schnucki von Heanois” is a Yiddish Rap and is not even the subject of this piece. Breinschmid’s brand of music is a bit hard to describe, but here goes. The bassist takes whatever musical tradition striking him at the time and infuses it with such a potent Eastern European spirit that it’s impossible to know if you should dance a polka or a bluegrass jig.

Breinschmid and trumpeter Thomas Gansch take on the Johann Strauss tradition in their duet, “Trompetenpolka/Radetzkymarsch.” The two musicians are so cheeky that they willfully interpolate jazz standards like “Cherokee” directly into the medley. A grand sense of humor characterizes the playing, making the pair sound a bit like what street musicians would sound like in a Jewish New Orleans French Quarter.

A small taste, sure, but Brein’s World may be the most inventive release of the year.

Allaboutjazz.com (USA)

Raul d’Gama Rose (Nov. 2010) – CD “Brein’s World”

Austrian bassist/composer Georg Breinschmid is a rare phenomenon who continues to amaze, not simply with his outstanding virtuosity, but with his acute sense of American blues and jazz music. If that sounds like an unlikely mouthful, it is, because the facts far outweigh the fantasy. He has sat in with Archie Shepp, the late Charlie Mariano, Kenny Drew Jr., Biréli Lagrène, the Vienna Art Orchestra, and many others, when he turned his back on his regular gig with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, to concentrate on contemporary music. The words “prodigious” and “ingenious” are not used loosely in describing Brein’s World, a double album that exemplifies both words with a stylistic grace that is quite unmatched by many.

Breinschmid performs with unsurpassed expression, never accenting the predictable. His playing in bebop mode on “Blues Five” is only matched by his freer rhythmic excursions on “Without Me.” His grasp of stately rhythms of the Valse and the Tango is legion. He plays with a gentle undulating tone, conjuring up an ocean of sound that laps at the melody and harmony. His solos are volatile in the upper register and full of grace in the lower, but it is highly unlikely that he would inhabit any one exclusively throughout the excursion. He phrases straight as an arrow, then inside out; always melodic and resonant. He seems addicted to odd meters and plays them with aplomb, as in “7/8 Landler.” Moreover, Breinschmid is joined by a slew of musicians who seem as unknown as they are ingeniously matched, many of with whom the bassist has performed in past ensembles.

There is no real delineation between the material; there are gems on both discs. His vocal account of a particularly vexing encounter with technology in “Computer-Wienerlied” is hilarious, spectacularly narrated and full of genuine pathos. The version of Franz Liszt’s “Liebestraum” is a brilliant journey into the one of that composer’s most famous pieces, played with majesty, grace and the tortured sighs that come in waves as the piece progresses. Breinschmid’s grasp of the polka, marches and the classic Austrian musical form, the Valse, is spectacular, which is brought to a peak in the performance of “Trompetenpolka/Radetzkymarsch” and “Petite Valse.” The bassist also shows an outstanding grasp of the classic song form including the Latin bolero.

This is probably the first Georg Breinschmid’ album to reach the US, and it would be an artistic crime of sorts if more music by this ingenious musician does not follow in the near future.

Zzaj Productions – Blog (USA)

Dick Metcalf (Nov. 2010) – CD “Brein’s World”

I reviewed Georg’s fine works most recently back in issue # 84; he earned high marks on that round, but he’s outdone himself on this production… for starters, it’s a double CD… Georg’s bass will blow you away on each and every track – there’s no doubt in my mind about that… he’s one of the most energetic players I’ve ever heard… not to mention his penchant for new ways of expressing his ideas. Yes, it’s still “jazz”, unquestionably… but it’s Georg’s idea of what jazz is – & that’s a really cool thing, I’ll tell you. The keyword for everything this cat does is “unique”, and that’s a title not to be taken lightly in these pages! I especially enjoyed tunes like “Brein’s Knights”… if you can imagine a knight struttin’ his horse to a funky bass on his way to the jousting match, you’ll just about have the picture. I found “Blues Five” (on the 2nd CD) to be very modern in tone – it was my favorite on the 2 CD’s! Listeners who can’t enjoy a bit of humor in their musical experience may not agree (not that I care), but I give this fantastic 28-track set a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99. He also gets the “PICK” of this issue for “most creative jazz”!!!

Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog (USA)

Nov. 2010 – CD “Brein’s World”

George Breinschmid, Bassist and Iconoclast

George Breinschmid was a bassist with the Vienna Philharmonic before he turned to jazz, and he’s been doing alright for himself–the Vienna Art Orchestra, Archie Shepp, etc. The new album of his, Brein’s World (Preiser 90787), a two-CD set, shows that he plays a very out-front bass that is as extraordinary eclectic as is his music. Imagine a stylistic universe that embraces everything from Arvell Shaw to Charles Mingus and beyond. That’s Georg, the bassist. He slaps and punktes his instrument with great elan and a sense of balance.

And the music? It’s so all-over-the-place that you may need a compass to keep your bearings. There’s a kind of Hot Club swing minus Django, there are some bizarre sorts of lopey acoustic hip-hops, some playing around with the classical repertoire (Bach especially), interesting contemporary sounds, folk music and what sounds like beer-hall songs–all done in a drumless chamber context with trumpet, piano, violin, and etc.

The two full CDs have so much going on that I can’t possibly capture it all here, and not all of it is perfect, but it has such joie de vivre and panache that you can’t help going away from this music with a smile on your face.

It’s fun, a rare sort of thing in serious jazz these days. But it IS. Get this one and you’ll get some very interesting bass playing, unusual arrangements, and a musical trip across the many landscapes inside Brein’s brain. Wow!

Midwestrecord.com (USA)

Chris Spector – CD “Brein’s World”

If you aren’t familiar with this crack jazzbo bass player, the look and feel of this double cd might have you dismissing it as the work of some man-child with Zappa fantasies. A little more proof that you should never judge a book by it’s cover–judge it by the jpegs if you can find any. Kicking off with some lively gypsy jazz and taking a tour through his various recombinations with other like minded progressive jazz fellow travelers, the music is mostly first rate and charming and not at all impenetrable even if it does have a few off beat flourishes that make you scratch your head. It’s Euro roots show proudly and overall, it’s a dandy introduction to a new offbeat color in the palette.

Amazon.com (USA)

Grady Harp – CD “Brein’s World”

Completely Strange, Completely Entertaining

According to the facts gleaned from the dictionary, ‘ Georg Breinschmid (born April 25, 1973 in Amstetten, Lower Austria), is an Austrian double bass player, composer and jazz musician. He studied classical double bass at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna and substituted in various Viennese orchestras as a student. From 1994 to 1996 he played with the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, then with the Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, touring Europe, America and Asia. In 1999, Georg Breinschmid quit being a (well-paid) classical orchestra musician, playing pre-fabricated music, in favour of his all-important love: jazz music. He played with the Vienna Art Orchestra, with the Zipflo Weinrich Group and gave concerts with various other ensembles all over Europe. Charlie Mariano, Jasper van’t Hof and Archie Shepp were among his international playmates, as well as Austrian jazz musicians like Harry Sokal, Thomas Gansch, Christian Muthspiel, and many others.’ Words, words, words, and they don’t begin to explain the pleasures contained in this 2 CD album simply (or complicatedly) called BREIN’S WORLD.

What happens here is a mixture of what we might hear strolling through the Austrian dance halls and pubs or parks or back alleys – wherever people are gathered to have a good time and not take the world too seriously. Being a Bassist most all of the music is predominately the origin of the contrabass. Brein has surrounded himself with some fine musicians, each able to keep up with the man. As a solid for instance, on CD 1 band 4 is ‘Computer-Wienerlied’ composed and sung by Georg Breinschmid accompanied on the piano by Frantisek Janoska: think Lotte Lenya on a very bad day with a cold! There are frisky Latin rhythm inspired tunes, a lovely bass solo called ‘Liebestraum’, a truly lovely piece simply called ‘5/4’, some wild antics based on themes by Bach (‘Bach 11/16’), and other variations on good times.

This album contains over two hours of music making and never once repeats itself. The container that houses these CDs is as much fun as the music in design and content. This is the kind of album that should appeal to absolutely everyone who enjoys music no matter the choice or preference. Georg Breinschmid may be the new Peter Schickele!

Georg @ Facebook

Featured Videos






INTERMEZZO (Duo Gansch/Breinschmid)




Brein's Cafe & Thomas Gansch


Benjamin Schmid, Stian Carstensen & Diknu Schneeberger

MUSETTE POUR ELISABETH – Brein's Café live in Mexiko

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