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Reviews Gansch & Breinschmid


soundstageexperience.com (USA)

Rad Bennet

Madcap Music for the Concert Hall

If you want to poke fun at music, it helps to be a virtuoso, a title that either Thomas Gansch or Georg Breinschmid can easily claim. Trumpeter Gansch and double-bass player Breinschmid met in 1997. Each had impressive credentials performing classical music; together they decided to quit that business and play what they wanted to play, which means just about everything. They are now well on their way to joining the ranks of such famous music spoofers as Spike Jones, Victor Borge, and Anna Russell. They’d be right at home at the Hoffnung Music Festival concerts as well.

Their trademark quirks include putting different music genres together and making them work. The disc’s opener, “Unter Donner und Lee,” for instance, is basically the “Thunder and Lightning Polka” by Johann Strauss, Jr. But along the way you will hear the bebop tune “Donna Lee” and compositions by Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins, not to mention Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia.” Gansch, in particular, loves to throw in famous horn and trumpet calls from works by the two classical Richards, Wagner and Strauss.

In fact, one whole piece is devoted to Wagner. It’s called “Low N Green,” and claims, tongue-in-cheek, to be the original prelude to the third act of Lohengrin, and a wild and mad piece it is. Gansch throws off the main theme at record speed, sending it into the stratosphere with audacious daring, then settles in to do some cozy jazzing-up of the secondary theme . . . then there’s . . . but wait, no, I should leave those things out so you will be surprised.

Sometimes the two zany performers sing, folk style, somewhat a la The Sound of Music, and one of the funniest cuts on this frothy disc is “Klassik Gstanzin” in which the two madcap musicians poke fun at their previous classical music engagements.

I’ve spent 40 years in the orchestra pit

I wish I could laugh there until my sides split

With wine, song and women (live ones, not cyber)

But instead all I see before me’s Carlos Kleiber

It’s not all that hilarious. Breinschmid has penned some slightly more serious tunes. But even in “Der Tod,” he can’t resist having some fun with the Grim Reaper.

Death comes for us all, he ignores none of us

In his eyes we are equal, be it Franz or Karl or Klaus

Death cannot be bribed; he’s not Austrian after all

The recorded sound is splendid, especially considering that it’s a live performance. The musical lines between trumpet and double bass are always clean and clear (when that’s the performers’ intention), and the very enthusiastic audience laughs at the right places and applauds enthusiastically at the end of each piece, but does not detract from the performers. Perhaps my only gripe here is that everything is in German. Translations have been thoughtfully provided for the songs, but there’s a lot of stage banter that the audience finds amusing but I missed completely, scarcely knowing more than half a dozen words of German. The performance is from the Wiener Konzerthaus so that audience got it all. It sounds like they had as much fun as the daredevil duo.

Be sure to listen to: The program notes say that “Irgendwas” means “Something” and that knowing this says it all. It’s comprised mostly of grotesque sound effects but has one of the most effect-closing tags I’ve ever heard.

It’s German, too, but you’ll get it.

www.midwestrecord.com (USA)

THOMAS GANSCH/GEORG BREINSCHMID/Live at Wiener Konzerthaus:  These guys are hot shots in Europe but I never heard of them and didn’t knew what to expect.  A trumpet bass duo.  They dropped out of classical music at the same time and became pals because they both love Monty Python.  And they play like it.  When you have chops like Spike Jones, you can screw around like Spike Jones.  That’s the vibe here in a long range sense.  A lot of these odd pairing duos go pretty far on good intentions but these guys are a gas.  Doing something totally different and unexpected, they grew into an act because the mothership they were working for didn’t do encores so the band manager asked them to bring the house down for the nightly finale.  Worlds are turned on such thoughts.  Eventually, they went off on their own serving up musical madness that will blow your mind.  Killer stuff that really perks up jaded ears.

Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

Mark S. Tucker (USA)

Well, Georg Breinschmid has concentrated on fellow traveler trumpet playing Thomas Gansch this time around—more properly: ‘yet another fellow traveler’, as Georg is far from unaccompanied in musical wit and acumen over there in Europe. Live is an offering completely of ear and funny-bone tickling duets from the two, and, right from the very first track, Unter Donner und Lee—a combination of Strauss’ Unter Donner und Blitz (Thunder & Lightning) and Charlie Parker’s Donna Lee—they’re cutting up, catting around, and righteously collaborating in subversively intelligent sonic jackanapery. It goes without saying that the virtuosity of the duet is of a very high order, even above the grin-inducing brainworks, so what you’re getting in this release is a very satisfying carnival that will drop your jaw and make you titter or howl in laughter simultaneously (and you can hear the audience doing the same).

It happened to me. A wreath of teeth appeared in my face, guffawing like a monkey as I read the title Low n Green and just knew it had to be a take on Wagner’s Lohengrin. Sure enough, it is, and of course, the cover photo of the two post-beatniks standing in coffins while waiting for a train kinda gives a signpost to the smirks and japery contained within, the disc a Bonzo Dog-ish smorgasbord of many many influences, steals, borrowings, bastardizations, interpretations, and originalities. These cut-ups even have a sense of humor about themselves (and about academic fakirs), as shown in their own Klassik Gstanzln:

Once I studied music and got my degree

Since then I’ve decided: Retirement’s for me

When playing, I play hooky—man, what can I say?

Thank goodness you can’t hear me play anyway

But then they get Monty Pythonish as the song progresses:

The viola soloist’s really a rotter

Our relationship’s always been dead in the water

And the Slovak who is sharing my music stand

Should take care I don’t kick him in the prostate gland!

However, it’s all encanted in German, so ya gotta read the 16-page insert booklet to let yourself in on the shenanigans. Doesn’t matter if you do or don’t, however, as the Wagner cut alone will have you rolling in the aisles, harking back to PDQ Bach, Anna Russell, and that tiny, tiny, TINY role call of musicians who can perpetrate this kind of delightful gambol without ever becoming slapstick or even faintly cliché. Yes, there’s a TON of trad, outside, and even Arcturian jazz here, but the real treasure is that it’s a non-stop exposition of exceedingly rare celerity inseparable from all the exquisite lampooning, satire, chicanery, and pure love of music no matter what form it takes.

Jazzthetik (D)

Mai 2013

Erinnert sich noch jemand an das Ende der Welt? Den Maya-Kalender und so? Die beiden Österreicher Thomas Gansch (tp, voc) und Georg Breinschmid (b, voc) haben die beiden vermeintlich letzten Abende im Dezember 2012 bestmöglich genutzt – für zwei Auftritte im Wiener Konzerthaus. Und sie haben gespielt, als wäre es das letzte Mal, also wie immer. Ihr Duo-Programm ist so voller Virtuosität und Witz, dass man keinen Moment unaufmerksam sein sollte, wenn man nichts verpassen will. Denn hinter jedem Taktstrich könnte das nächste überraschende Zitat lauern. Ob Johann Strauß oder Charlie Parker, Volksmusik oder krumme Taktarten, Kurt Cobain oder Schlagerparodie – die beiden haben`s drauf. Und auch für den Fall, dass es mit dem Weltuntergang nicht klappen sollte, hatten sie im Dezember mit einem Stück zum Wagner-Jahr bereits vorgesorgt. Um welches Werk es in „Low n Green“ geht, ist nicht schwer zu erraten. Kleiner Tipp: Es hat mit einem Schwan zu tun.


Gansch & Breinschmid – Live im Wiener Konzerthaus

Thomas Gansch and Georg Breinschmid both have similar tastes: they both like music and British comedy group Monty Python. Perhaps that’s why they have become friends and associates since 1997. Both Austrian musicians have classic academic background, they both turned to Jazz later, they worked together at the famous Matthias Ruegg Vienna Art Orchestra. Together the trumpeter 
Gansch and double-bass player Breinschmid created a unique duo where jazz music and absurd humor interlace with one another in a really marvellous way. And the first concert album 2012 proves that.
You will be certainly surprised by the very first disc track. Having great classic and jazz background Thomas and Georg combined Johann Strauss’s Polka with a bebop tune of Charlie Parker Donna Lee in their composition Unter Donner und Lee, also adding some Sonny Rollins and Dizzy Gillespie to it. As a result it is a bright, spirited, tasty and convincing composition! Even more interesting is putting different genres together in the final track, where Johann Strauss The Blue Danube Waltz goes smoothly into Beatles Can’t buy me love, later on into Lady Madonna in order to turn to jazz Evergreen Something stupid and Tea for two then. Besides these two lambent compositions , the disc consists of 11 very different compositions. One can hear a virtuoso Geilomat, a funny song of unlucky musicians (Klassik Gstanzln), more serious tunes of Der Tod, jazz improvisations of Beethoven (jaBISTdudenndeppat), hard rock dedication to Kurt Cobain (Kurt) with Nirvana and also Wagner’s Lohengrin turned to Low n Green.
Gansch and Breinschmid are not only brilliant musicians, but excellent showmen too, making the audience laugh and enjoying it themselves as well. The performers sing in folk style, the way they communicate the audience reminds of the popular cabarets in Germany and Austria. Of course, everything is in German (but one can hear also Russian “Spasibo” after audience’s applauses, perhaps as a joke). So it would be hard to understand the wording for non-German speakers. Therefore, I would like to express our special thanks to Katja Seebohm for the perfect translation of the song wordings into English. 
The recorded disc is very interesting and unusual. And the album cover proves that Jazz is alive! And music humor of the Live im Wiener Konzerthaus certainly add bright colours to it.

Mica – Music Information Center Austria

Georg Breinschmid mit Brein’s Cafe “new” auf Konzertreise

Georg Breinschmid, seines Zeichens ein bekanntermaßen nimmermüder musikalischer Freigeist, wie er im Buche steht, macht sich mit seinem Projekt Brein`s Cafe in veränderter Besetzung einmal mehr zu musikalisch neuen Ufern auf. Wer den Wiener Kontrabassisten und Komponisten kennt, der kann sich in etwa vorstellen, welch Musikerlebnis da auf einen zukommen wird. Stilistische Grenzen oder Einschränkungen sonst irgendwelcher Natur überwindend, zelebriert der 1973 geborene Musiker einen Sound, der seine Einflüsse aus allen möglichen Richtungen her bezieht. Das tun zwar andere auch, die Art und Weise aber wie Georg Breinschmid seine Kompositionen mit Leben, Spielwitz und Dynamik aufzuladen versteht, das macht ihm so schnell keiner nach. In seinem Projekt Brein`s Cafe neu an seiner Seite stehen mit dem bulgarischen Pianisten Antoni Donchev und dem österreichischen Saxophonisten Georg Preinfalk zwei Instrumentalisten, die, wie der Bassist selbst, in musikalischer Hinsicht mit allen Wassern gewaschen sind. Die Gelegenheit, dieses außergewöhnliche Trio live zu erleben, gibt es in den kommenden Wochen im Rahmen einer kurzen Konzertreise durch Österreich. Die erste Station ist am 10. April das  Treibhaus in Innsbruck.

Egal, wo der Name Georg Breinschmid draufsteht, ist musikalisch in der Regel immer auch Hochklassiges zu erwarten. In welchem Projekt der Kontrabassist und Komponist, der ursprünglich einst aus der Klassik und Kammermusik kommend, seine Heimat letztlich im Jazz gefunden hat, seine Finger mit im Spiel hat, steht die Freiheit, genau das zu tun, wozu man gerade Lust hat, im Mittelpunkt des musikalischen Treibens. So ist es unter anderem im Duo mit seinem langjährigen Weggefährten und kongenialen Partner Thomas Gansch, wie es auch in seinem Trio Brein`s Cafe der Fall ist.

Gemeinsam mit seinen beiden neuen Partnern, dem Pianisten Antoni Donchev – seines Zeichens Leiter von Bulgariens National Radio Big Band – und dem hierzulande sehr umtriebigen und vielgeschätzten Saxophonisten Gerald Preinfalk, wandelt der 1973 im niederösterreichischen Amstetten geborene Musiker mehr als vielleicht in den anderen seiner Projekte in Richtung dessen, was man geläufig unter dem Begriff Weltmusik versteht. Den Jazz hin zu Klängen des Balkans und anderer osteuropäischer Regionen öffnend und den aus diesem Ansatz entstehenden Mix mit Elementen der französischen Musette und des Wienerlieds anreichernd, lässt der Bassist und Komponist ein musikalisch sehr vielschichtiges und facettenreiches Ganzes entstehen, welches vor allem durch das sehr dynamische und verspielte Zutun der einzelnen Protagonisten zu einem im Ergebnis sehr mitreißenden und unterhaltsamen Klangerlebnis erwächst. Die Musik von Brein`s Cafe ist definitiv keine, die dazu verleitet, still sitzend in den Stühlen zu verharren, wovon man sich am besten im Rahmen eines der Konzerte des Trios überzeugen kann. (mt)

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