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Double Brein

 

Downbeat (USA) – Print Edition, May 2015

John Ephland

(4 1/2 stars)

Variety can be a tiresome thing. With its constant shifting of gears and demand for reorientation, newness in listening can be a drag. Not so with Georg Breinschmid and his curious assortment of talents on “Double Brein”. Variety becomes the spice of life on these two discs, one essentially expressing the Austrian`s jazz/folk/world side, the other favoring a more classical bent. The connective tissue is that it`s all imbued with improvisation, regardless of form.

A certain daftness in this mix of live and studio recordings pervades many of the performances, laced with a European flair for humor. The veteran bassist knows his way around the instrument in a virtuosic sense, and has performed with many established jazz greats, including Archie Shepp and Charlie Mariano. On “Double Brein”, we get the 42-year-old`s full treatment of chops and attitude across 28 pieces of varying length. Along with “regular cast members”, Breinschmid pulls in an eclectic assortment of players, and sometimes has others play his music without him.

From the first notes of the spritely “Samba for Michi” on Disc One, the mood is set as pianist Antoni Donchev and soprano saxist Gerald Preinfalk surround Breinschmid`s busy plucks with just the right amount of swing and flourish. Breinschmid`s affinities for Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli are on display with “Musette with happy ending”, a very tuneful, lively waltz featuring guitarist Diknu Schneeberger and Benjamin Schmid on violin. The first vocals (and sound effects) emerge with Thomas Gansch (doubling on trumpet) and Olga U., on the lightly driven, playful folk ditty “Gabriel”. Another flair comes with the occasional unusual time signature, as heard on the dizzying, dancing Bulgarian folk melody “Kopanitsa” in 11/8. And so it goes, with unpredictable twists and turns through 16 mostly small-group sessions on the first CD, the flavourful trumpeter/collaborator Thomas Gansch a welcomed presence on selected cuts.

Disc Two can be enjoyed as an odds-and-sods collection of originals next to some inventive rearrangements of Bach, Verdi and Liszt. The 12-and-a-half-minute “Mephistowalzer” goes a long way to encapsulate much of the spirit of this second disc, full as it is of romantic splendor, wry humor, drama and pathos. Breinschmid`s fanciful approach to playing this improvised music in a small-group setting has the effect of being intimate (“Miniature”), at times solemn (Bach`s “Violin Concerto”), other times forceful (“Irish Wedding in Bucharest”), absolutely lovely (Liszt`s “Consolation”, Breinschmid`s delicate “Schluss”), even a tad funky (“Brein`s Knights”) or theatrically comic and jazzy (“Monti Csardas”). It`s virtuosity, by and large, in service to the muse.

 

DownBeat (USA) – Editor`s Pick, March 2015

Frank Alkyer

 

Georg Breinschmid is one of the most fertile minds in music. He is a musician of amazing technique and skill, an artist of amazing range, humor and beauty. On Double Brein, the Austrian bassist delivers a two-CD set divided so that disc one features jazz highlighted by folk and world music and disc two features Breinschmid revisiting his classical roots. But, according to Breinschmid, this is “classical…not without improvisation, jazz also with classically trained musicians, and vice versa.” Everything is open to interpretation and improvisation in Breinschmid’s world. It’s a large and expansive world, from sambas to musettes to songs written about tour drivers who ask musicians not to throw up in the bus to folk tunes written in 11/8…and that’s just the first four songs. This album is a great listen from start to finish. Breinschmid’s concepts are always exemplary, but where he truly shines is in his musicianship: He has the bass locked down tight no matter how complex or how simple the music is. The first disc incorporates many of Breinschmid’s musical projects, including Brein’s Café, a trio with Gerald Preinfalk or Vladimir Karparov on soprano saxophone and Antoni Donchev on piano; Duo Gansch/Breinschmid, a project with trumpeter Thomas Gansch; Viennese folk musicians that he jams with; and Strings & Bass, a classical-oriented string quartet. The music is sometimes wild, sometimes free, sometimes folksy and always beautiful. One example is the ballad “Feb. 25,” a lovely tune in 3/4 with Breinschmid and Donchev working together quietly and intently for the first three minutes before Karparov swoops in on soprano, capturing their noir vibe and guiding it to its logical conclusion. There are 16 tracks on the first disc, and all are great—from “Fifteen Schörtzenbrekkers Are Better Than None” to “Blues In The Kitchen” to “Fantastische Trünenbaum” to the concluding “Waltz Of The Idiots.” On the second disc, Breinschmid breathes new life into Franz Liszt’s “Mephistowalzer” with the help of František Jánoška on piano and Roman Jánoška on violin. But this portion of the program isn’t entirely classical, more classically inspired. Strings & Bass’ take on “Irish Wedding In Bucharest” uses the string quartet as the launching pad for violinist Florian Willeitner’s fabulous composition that owes as much to folk and jazz as it does to the classical tradition. Performed by Breinschmid, Willeitner, violinist Johannes Dickbauer and cellist Matthias Bartolomey, this song is ambitious, majestic and rampaging. The same could be said of this entire album, and of Breinschmid and his fabulous cast of musical friends. From the breadth of the music to the beautiful CD packaging, Breinschmid displays an eye for detail and an ear for what music can be.

 

Popmatters.com

John Garratt

I read somewhere that Charles Mingus was considered to be the ideal three-pronged attack in jazz. He was 1) a master bassist, 2) a unique composer and 3) a tenacious bandleader. Add all three traits together and his relative obscurity in a Ken Burns miniseries is all the more baffling. But the multi-talented musicians always risk being swept under the rug. If you want attention, focus on one thing only and do the hell out of that one thing. Austrian bassist Georg Breinschmid isn’t exactly Mingus (who is?), but his many talents fall into some incredible places. He may be an excellent composer, but Breinschmid appears to be just as enthusiastic about his arranging skills when applied to European folk or classical. Saying that he is an expert bandleader is a little misleading since Breinschmid seems to dart back and forth from one small ensemble to another, pausing for some impressive dueting along the way. He is, all the same, very good at the upright bass. I’ll admit that his massive album Double Brein caught me completely off-guard. My only prior exposure to him was good but not exactly auspicious.

Double Brein is a large album in every way. It has 28 songs spread over two CDs, two of the tracks considered “bonus” tracks. The total running time is two hours and 31 minutes and these two pieces of plastic are absolutely stuffed with music. I know, they’re supposed to be encrypted with music, you’re right. That’s a music CD’s job. But when I say that they are stuffed with music, I mean that the package is practically alive. There are way too many trills, fills, solos, leads, rhythms, melodies, harmonies and forms for Double Brein to be considered a run-of-the-mill jazz release. Georg Breinschmid has transcended the word “music” from noun to adjective, injecting it with a blinding amount of color. And shame on me for not noticing it earlier. The 2014 round-ups have come and gone and Double Brein really should have been included in them.

With the title Double Brein, we are treated to Breinschmid’s two minds. The first half is, as he calls it, his “more jazz/folk/world-related projects and new compositions”. The first track is attributed to an ensemble named Brein’s Café with Gerald Preinfalk on soprano sax, Antoni Donchev on piano and Breinschmid on bass. If “Samba for Michi” doesn’t reel you in right away, then I don’t know how to sell this music to you. From there he steers you through gypsy jazz, vocal jazz, spoken-word jazz (with a belch along the way), jazz of so many kinds—at least the kinds you can do without drums. He reserves many a duet for his star trumpeter Thomas Gansch but is also content to let the guitarist or pianist do the talking on other tracks. Picking highlights feels unfair, but you cannot go wrong with getting to know the Reinhardt/Grappelli-inspired “Musette with Happy Ending” or the strangely funky “Danke”.

Disc two is the classically-inclined one, mixing Breinschmid originals with compositions by Liszt, Bach, Verdi, Monti and Breinschmid’s own violinist Florian Willeitner. If the music on the first disc was entertaining, the music on the second disc is dangerously good. The Janoska brothers’ (Frantisek on piano, Roman on violin) arrangement of Liszt’s “Mephisto Walzer” is track-stoppingly incredible. It begins in the romantic style, full of flourishes, but this takes a swing detour about a third of the way through. And since it’s over 12 minutes long, there’s plenty of time to switch back to the romantic period. Bach’s “Voilin Concerto in A Minor, 2nd Movement” features no violin, just piano, a vibraphone and Breinschmid’s bass. “Monti Csardas” is labeled as a “Sick Version”, but Breinschmid does not explain this in his otherwise charming liner notes which appear in both German and English. It could be that “sick” means that an unusual amount of liberties were taken with Monti’s work, even by the standards set forth by Breinschmid and his 25 other musicians.

It’s very important that you not consider these descriptions to be overwhelming. Double Brein is not a cluttered, pretentious mess. It is, almost miraculously, a warm and inviting listen. To say that there is a lot going on here is not always helpful. But what if I were to tell you that all of it was superb? Exceptional, even?

 

 

jazzdagama.com (Canada)

Raul da Gama

The approach to the acoustic bass in popular music has been largely rhythmic, until musicians such as Jimmy Blanton, Oscar Pettiford, Ray Brown and Scott LaFaro, and somewhat more importantly, Charles Mingus, burst upon music. They, among a handful of others, revolutionised the role of the bass in the music of an ensemble. When these men played their instrument, it became—as it did in the classical chamber ensemble and the symphonic orchestra—a purveyor of colouration, textural and timbral musicality. This was more, often than not, enhanced by the bassists just mentioned, who not only added a harmonic, but a melodic role as well in the performances of soli and in the ensemble passages in music. But role of the bassist has taken many leaves from the playbook of those legends and developed it further. Musicians such as Barre Phillips and Renaud Garcia-Fons have brought a new approach to bass playing. These men enhanced the range and, consequently the role of the instrument to include, among other aspects, its original personification as that of a bass violin. In doing so, this became an important shift in its role in t he ensemble and an almost complete realignment of the bass as an instrument, yet again. Another person who seems to have put all of this into a dramatic manner of playing is the Austrian virtuoso Georg Breinschmid. Many of his albums, including Brein’s Café (PreiserRecords, 2010), Fire< .em> (PreiserRecords, 2011), The End: Live at Wiener Konzerthaus (PreiserRecords, 2012) and now Double Brein highlight this superb musicianship in a vivid way.

The reason for that is simple. As if in an amazing, perpetual dream, bassist Georg Breinschmid’s music is written with the minute and delightful twists and turns that few music is. The compositions are always brimful with surprise and when he plays them the bassist takes virtuosity to a whole new level. He is also the master of colour, texture and emotion, and Mr. Breinschmid is—above all—a musician who is humorous, much like Frank Zappa is, who mixes seriousness with a wonderful puckishness, to always entertain while being true to the music’s beauty in a most magical way. The magic comes from the fact that Georg Breinschmid is intuitive and has great taste. And yet, or perhaps in spite of this, Mr. Breinschmid plays as if the manner in which he makes his way through a song—both in terms of his ensemble playing, as well as in his soli—happens without a conscious effort to be different or special. He seems to be secretly informed of the mysticism of music; something that makes his playing born and not made. His expression is aligned to his heart and soul. His phrasing reminds one of the lines and angles and the curves of geometry and when he negotiates his way through a piece it appears as if he is possessed. And that in his playing he is almost unaware of his surroundings except those that include the musicians he is playing with of course the effect he has on his audiences, which is to cast a spell on them. It is as if Georg Breinschmid is in a constant state of wonder.

Double Brein is a double CD and has plenty of examples of this. It includes slices of life that Mr. Breinschmid shares with various musicians—violinists, cellists; brass and woodwinds players, accordionists and guitarists—in various permutations and combinations. He manages the relationship of the bass with these various instruments in an inspired manner. The manner in which he puts them together is almost sly. You get glimpses of the instruments interacting with each other throughout the records as if they were lovers undressing in the privacy of a bedroom with shadows and light making for a heightened sense of drama. The record also throws a spotlight on some of the special relationships that Georg Breinschmid enjoys with the Janoska brothers, pianist Frantisek and violinist Roman. CD2 includes two majestic examples of the symbiosis that exists between the three musicians—on “Monti Csardas” and “Consolation”. CD1 features some performances with his other musical cohort, the trumpeter Thomas Gansch. “Reich & Schön/Waltz for Idiots” and “Interlude” are just two of the spectacular examples of this musical relationship. There are, in addition, performances with a strings ensemble and several solo performances. All of these are not calculated to show off Georg Breinschmid’s skills as a bassist but also to highlight the importance of his repertoire. This is slowly increasing in size and scope, becoming a force to reckon with not only in the bass-ically, but musically as well.

 

Amazon.com (USA)

Scott Albin

A remarkable double-CD set from the great Austrian bassist
Breinschmid was a much-in-demand classical double bass player when he turned to jazz in 1999, trading the Vienna Philharmonic for the acclaimed Vienna Art Orchestra, where he remained until 2006. He’s first heard with the VAO on its 1999 Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love CD, where he’s featured in an amazing duet with bass clarinetist Klaus Dickbauer playing “Take the A-Train.” Like the VAO, Breinschmid’s musical tastes are quite eclectic, and he performs with exuberance, passion, a certain irreverence, and a virtuoso’s mastery and flair. The 16 selections on CD 1 range from samba jazz, straight ahead swinging jazz, and a tender ballad, to a Musette waltz, a traditional Bulgarian folk song, and vocalized songs with lyrics. Breinschmid returns mostly to his classical roots on CD 2, including provocative interpretations of works by Liszt, J.S. Bach, Verdi, and Kreisler. There are avant garde outbursts on occasion throughout– “residing between groove and insanity” is how Breinschmid describes his “Waltz of the Idiots,”– and a fondness for odd time signatures such as 11/8, 15/8, 7/8, and 7/4. These are mostly duet and trio performances, recorded with various musicians at different venues from 2010 to 2014. Among the outstanding collaborators and soloists are soprano saxophonist Gerald Preinfalk, pianist Antoni Donchev, trumpeter Thomas Gansch, vibraphonist Franck Tortiller, pianist Michael Hornek, violinist Benjamin Schmid, and the Janoska brothers–Frantisek on piano and Roman on violin. The two-CD set is packaged like a classy miniature art book, which probably could not have been conceived and made a reality without all the crowdfunding support that Breinschmid acknowledges receiving. This is Breinschmid’s best, and certainly most comprehensive, recording to date.

 

Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange (USA)

Mark S. Tucker

Perhaps the most appropriate adjective for bassist George Breinschmid is ‘irrepressible’. Following a very prominent position in the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, then the Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, and finally the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, wherein he toured Europe, America, and Asia to great prestige and a rather handsome rate of pay, the restless young gent said “Screw it!”, abjured what he sardonically termed “pre-fabricated music”, and jumped into jazz with both heels, a land he’s inhabited ever since. Thank God for misfits, and the jazz world’s rarely been so well served as in that transition, especially as regards the bass, ’cause this guy’s axework is as good as it comes. Catch the finger-tangling intro to Musette with Happy Ending for your first unadorned indication.

Did I say Brein eschewed the classical? Wellllll…not quite, as disc two of this two-fer contains a lot of takes on Kreisler, Verdi, and Bach, but especially Lizst. You’ll also find a good deal of the gypsy music that bewitches him in the same way as it had Bartok and many before and since. 2012’s Fire (here) was a great intro to this wizard for me, but Double Brein is much more so, and the reason for the uplevelling lies in the time span between, a period of great trial and tribulation for the musician. He never lost his sense of humor during it all, though, as the two covers for this exceedingly well packaged release demonstrate: Disc 1’s cover shows him standing hip-deep in a river, scowling with folded arms upon his levitating bass while the dollhouse art piece for CD 2 is like something out of a Keystone Kops sequence, everything in disarray as the contrabassist photo-mannequin howls with inspiration.

Then Irish Wedding in Bucharest interjects a smile-evoking chant-line and weird objurgations in a foreign tongue. I haven’t a clue what’s being said but it’s rib-tickling nonetheless, like something John Cleese would’ve riffed on in a Python episode, lampooning Germans and Balkanians alike. The players throughout disc 1 are greatly varied and highly skilled, and even more so on disc 2, which starts out in Glassian seriality with Mephistowalzer, one of the Liszt numbers greatly interpreted and brimming with madcap wit, Frantisek Janosza literally a wonder on piano. Yo, proghedz: I’m telling you now that if you dig Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Spike Jones, and and RIO blended with Groucho Marx, you’re going to love this cut alone…and many more besides.

In fact, as much as I dig CD 1, CD 2 is a tour de force with no end of killer improv, divertimenti passages, insane virtuosities, and a free-spirited approach that would’ve delighted Zappa and Mozart alike (Wolfie always dug penning fun stuff for the groundlings). In fact, if ECM had a sense of humor, which it doesn’t (and doesn’t need to, not with the stratospheric excellences it’s displayed since Day One, the best music and music label ever produced by human beings……and Martians too), this is exactly what would be slipped into its New Series as a grinning present for the cognoscenti…IF, that is, Manfred Eicher were a prankster as well (which he isn’t; serious guy, that dude). We can dream, though, can’t we? If so, then all we need do is slip this disc in the player and the phantasmagoria commences. Trust me, NO ONE is going to surpass the second slab of this extravaganza, and even the best of the best will have a hard enough time trying to equal just the first disc. But you, gentle reader, get to be unhinged by it all merely in the listening. The world may be going to Hell in a handbasket, but we’ll have some righteous music as we descend.


 

artsdesk.com (UK)

Graham Rickson

Austrian double bass virtuoso Georg Breinschmid started out as a classical musician, including a spell with the Vienna Philharmonic. He changed tack in 1999, and has carved out a successful career in jazz. This entertaining double album presents the man in full: a disc of Breinschmid’s jazz compositions coupled with one recalling his classical orchestral roots. Soundwise, the two halves of the album are pretty consistent. The arrangements are unfailingly smart, frequently suggesting a Viennese coffee-house outfit, all unified by Breinschmid’s exuberant bass playing. There’s a wonderful rendition of Liszt’s Mephisto Waltzer on violin, bass and piano which typifies all that’s good about this CD. Liszt’s pounding original abruptly segues into something more contemporary which never feels out of character. One of the composer’s Consolations receives similar treatment, and a brief Romance benefits from a judicious touch of accordion. Liszt has never sounded so mellow and soulful. There’s a haunting version of the Andante from Bach’s A minor Violin Concerto, its melody hesitantly picked out on vibraphone against bass and piano backing. Violinist Florian Willeitner’s Irish Wedding in Bucharesr, scored for string trio and bass, sounds exactly as you’d hope it would; the Celtic folk fiddle riffs sounding pretty healthy despite their rhythmic recasting.

The disc of mostly Breinschmid compositions is equally accessible. We get sambas, musettes and waltzes. All inventive, and never outstaying their welcome. Where else would you find a piece inspired by a bus driver’s plea to the band to behave responsibly, replete with belching sound effects? Blues in the Kitchen is followed, aptly, by Brein in da Koffihaus. The oddly named Fantastische Trünenbaum has another inventive vibraphone solo. Breinschmid is a generous performer, always willing to cede the limelight to a gifted range of collaborators.Only once do we hear him unaccompanied, in the second disc’s brief Selfie. This is one of those album’s it’s impossible to turn off; there’s not a dud track on it. Enchanting.


jazzweekly.com (USA)

George W. Harris

Ringer of the week

Want to see what the bass can do? Come along with me…

Bassist Georg Breinschmid mixes and matches with a rotating team of musicians in small and cozy group settings from solo to duo to trio and beyond format. Varied and fresh interplay is in abundance here, with artists like Benjamin Schmid/vl, Diknu Schneeberger/g, Gerald  Preinfalk/ss and Thomas Gansch/tp (just for starters) among the myriad of contributors who pop in and out of scenes like an Agatha Christie novel. The music is always fresh, lively, swinging and lyrical.

The two cd set includes 28 sumptuous delicacies, most of them delivered in the 3-8 minute format. You get some lively swing with bass, piano and soprano on “Samba for Michi” as well as a Bo Diddley riffing “Gabriwl” that has Gansch’s trumpet bouncing over . Breinsdhmid takes his bass and will slap, pick, pluck, bow and bend the strings to suit the occasion, even accompanying himself on vocals during “Wonder” while creating a richly textured traditional piece with strings on “Kopanitsa.” Dramatic chamber sounds abound on “Mephisto Walzer” while the bass strings bend like a G string on Pavarotti on “Selfie.” Richly sensuous modern tango stomps the floor with Tommaso Huber on accordion on “La Vecchia” while strings swing in celebration on “Irish Wedding in Bucharest.”

There is an abundance of insouciant joy that permeates the sounds captured here. This disc makes enjoying music enjoyable again.

 

Blogcritics.org/Music Reviews: Jazz and Beyond from Bassists Kyle Eastwood and Georg Breinschmid (USA)

Jon Sobel

Two recent releases from bassist-bandleaders show how jazz continues to thrive in the most disparate of musical “cultures,” even with its relatively small, specialized audience. Kyle Eastwood‘s Time Pieces shows off a hip style inspired by the mid-20th-century milieu of Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock, and displays Eastwood’s agility on and affinity for the electric bass. By contrast, Georg Breinschmid’s eclectic, acoustic, bohemian style borrows from various pop and world-music idioms and freely adapts well-known works of classical music while pushing some of jazz’s virtuosic limits.

(..)

Georg Breinschmid‘s two-CD box Double Brein is a much stranger beast. It’s fair to say it’s all over the place, with Austrian bassist Breinschmid appearing in several different configurations and experimenting with a bounty of styles and ideas, with CD 2 focused on adaptations of classical music.

“Samba for Michi,” the virtuosic but friendly-sounding opening track of CD 1, is performed by the trio Breinschmid calls Brein’s Café, with agile pianist Antoni Donchev and soulful soprano saxophonist Gerald Preinfalk. Its energetic conventionality doesn’t prepare one for some of the tracks to follow. The bubbly “Musette with Happy Ending” with violinist Benjamin Schmid and guitarist Diknu Schneeberger calls Django Reinhardt and smoky Paris cafés to mind, but then suddenly we’re plunged into eccentricity with the gypsy-dance trumpet feature “Gabriel” (with Thomas Gansch on trumpet), with roughly sung lyrics about (I kid you not) vomiting in a taxi.

The rest of the set ranges over a wide landscape of jazz, expansively defined. The irresistible “Kopanitsa” sets a traditional Bulgarian folk melody in a frenzied 11/8 beat hammered out by rhythm section and strings. The syncopated groove of the jammy “Odessa” evolves from angsty to sweet, while “Feb. 25″ is a passage of gentle lyricism, in contrast to the (perhaps literally) tongue-in-cheek splat of “Reich & #Schön / Waltz of the Idiots.” Franck Tortiller’s earthy vibraphone performance and Michael Hornek’s piano carry the good-natured 15/8 nuttiness of “Fifteen Schnörtzenbrekkers Are Better Than None,” with Breinschmid beating out percussion as well as a bass line on his viol. Pianist and vibraphonist meld their sounds even more feelingly later on ” Fantastische Trünenbaum.”

Breinschmid and his cohorts love vocalizing, as in the dry, acoustic funk of “Danke” with its spoken-word weirdness and the drumless reggae beat of “Brein in da Koffihaus” with its appealingly rough, not-as-weird vocals (and in which Breinschmit almost-quotes the bass line from Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe”). At the same time he’s not afraid to back off entirely, leaving a couple of tracks bass-free.

The classically trained bassist and his collaborators traverse some entirely different territory on CD 2. Classical-romantic bombast mingles with jazzy swing in a fiery and quite breathtaking 12-minute trio take on Liszt’s “Mephisto Waltz” with Frantisek Janoska on piano and Roman Janoska on violin. It concludes with a gonzo polka.

That’s not the only Liszt on the disc, which also delves into Verdi, Kreisler, and a part-swinging, part-spasmodic take on Vittorio Monti’s “Csárdás” (of which Lady Gaga fans have heard a part in the violin intro to the pop star’s “Alejandro” – are you not one of the 230 million people who’ve watched the video on YouTube?). The bassist also goes back to fundamentals with a delicate, cerebral, jazzed-up, but a little too sleepy trio arrangement of the famous slow second movement of Bach’s Violin Concerto in A Minor.

Florian Willeitner’s “Irish Wedding in Bucharest,” a showpiece of modern concert music for strings, is right up Breinschmid’s alley with its complex rhythms and mix of northern European braininess, Celtic dance flavor, and American string-band guts. Violinist Benjamin Schmid returns for the speedy “Miniature,” a lighthearted piece that gives the bassist himself a chance to show off his deft technique and rhythmic savvy.

Surprisingly, Liszt’s “Consolation No. 2″ is played more-or-less straight, creating probably the most emotionally centered and touching moment on the disc. But as you may have surmised, the whole double-CD production is a rather challenging musical document. Listened to with an open mind and an appreciation for original compositions and adaptations, it’s also a rewarding one.

 

thejazzbreakfast.com (USA)

This double-fronted, double album features entertainingly surreal photography which perfectly reflects the music within. Breinschmid is one of those virtuoso musicians who has achieved a state of madcap euphoria where no pace is too quick, no articulation too awkward, and seemingly no musical style beyond his grasp.The Austrian double bassist was resident with the Vienna Art Orchestra from 1999 to 2006, and has in his time collaborated with everyone from Archie Shepp and Charlie Mariano to Bireli Lagrene and Wolfgang Muthspiel.The music on this album ranges on CD1 from Brazilian to Musette to Blues and a piece which, in Breinschmid’s own words, resides “as is so often the case, between groove and insanity”.CD2 includes interpretations of Liszt, Bach, Verdi and Breinschmid’s own more formal writing. Not that there is anything particularly formal about the playing of them. This is music which leaps from the speakers with a crazy exuberance.

The bassist’s fellow musicians on this project include the trumpeter Thomas Gansch, the violinist Benjamin Schmid and the pianist Antoni Donchev, as well as the extraordinary Janoska brothers, Frantisek on piano and Roman on violin, who seem to be able to switch from high classical playing to louche bar-room swing at the crossing of a bar line.Brilliant, in a word. Exhausting, if you want a second.

 

Georg breinschmid on

Breinboard


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Upcoming Concerts

February 2018
01. Feb

Duo Thomas Gansch / Georg Breinschmid

Die Wirtschaft
Dornbirn (A)
02. Feb

Duo Thomas Gansch / Georg Breinschmid

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Salzburg (A)
03. Feb

Duo Thomas Gansch / Georg Breinschmid

Öblarn (A)