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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Six, Alps & Jazz

ACT 9670-2



01. Langenwanger Intro [0:52]; 02. S’Deandl vom Wintergrea [2:11]; 03. Am Schnacker Bichl (Matthias Schriefl) [6:07]; 04. Andachsjodler [3:41]; 05. Ländlesgruaß (Matthias Schriefl) [6:15]; 06. Steinegger’s Allerei (Florian Trübsbach) [3:10]; 07. Les Alpes vues de Paris (Daniel Casimir) [4:38]; 08. S’isch mer alles oi Ding [6:51]; 09. Langenwanger Reprise [2:06]; 10. Bald ischs halb simmne (Matthias Schriefl) [3:57]; 11. Der Vorarlberger Problembär (Matthias Schriefl) [6:39]; 12. Punxenjodler [4:37]; 13. Luschtig, luschtig (Haffner/Scholl-Rohrmoser – arr. Schriefl) [4:27]; 14. Schlofliadle [4:08].

Traditional music from the Alps arranged by Matthias Schriefl unless otherwise noted

Matthias Schriefl (trumpet, flugelhorn, euphonium, sousaphone, alphorn, vocals); Johannes Bär (tubas, bass-flugelhorn, flugelhorn, alphorn); Peter Heidl (flute, tenor sax, piccolo, clarinet); Florian Trübsbach (alto sax, oboe, piccolo, schwegel, clarinet); Heiko Bidmon (clarinet, bass-clarinet, flutes, tenor sax, baritone sax); Gregor Bürger (bassoon, baritone sax, clarinet on 2-4,6, 10-14)


Federico Aluffi (bassoon, tenor sax on 2-5, 7-10, 14); Priska Schriefl (French horn on 1,3,8,9,14 & vocals on 14); Bodek Janke (drums on 3,4,6,8,13); Alexander Morsey (double bass on 2&4); Jeffrey A. “jam” McGuire (French horn-replacing Bär on 5&7); Martin Seiler (flute, schwegel, tenor sax- replacing Heidl on 4,6,12 &13); Niels Klein (clarinet, contra-alto-clarinet, tenor sax-replacing Bidmon on 5 & 7-9)

rec. in Maria-Rain, Bavaria, Germany & Stadl & Hansahaus Studios, Bonn, Germany on 26 July & 28-29 October, 2011 except track 11 rec. live at Grüntenhütte, Oberallgäu, Germany on 28 January, 2011, tracks 12 & 13 rec. live at Alm-Café Schnackenhöhe, Maria-Rain, Bavaria, Germany on 25 July, 2011. Vocals on track 4 rec. at Brandnerhof, Übelbach, Austria on 24 August, 2011. All tracks recorded by Nico Raschke except tracks 12 & 13 recorded by Thomas Schmidt.

9670-2 [60:08]

According to the ACT record company that Matthias Schriefl records for he is one of the “wildest musical anarchists in Germany”. One of ACT’s founding principles has always been that the musicians it records should be encouraged to explore their own roots and that is exactly what the young German trumpeter has done with this disc and the result is a fun filled riot that makes you laugh throughout. Inspired by his roots that are in the high Bavarian Alps he has assembled a band of amazing musicians (13 of them altogether including guests) without a keyboard in earshot, and has produced an album of fabulously entertaining jazz based upon traditional Alpine melodies that in the majority of cases he has arranged. Using a collection of instruments many of which I’m pretty sure have never before featured in jazz he has created a truly original disc that never fails to surprise and please. Until the alto sax enters after 30 odd seconds on track 2 you can’t believe this has anything to do with jazz but wait because it’s worth it. Track one simply sets the scene and defines the geographical connection and then with track two we hear the jazz connection. Track three reminded me of pre-war Berlin and conjured up the world of Weill and the film Cabaret with it slightly ‘decadent’ sound. Track four is a traditional yodel but not as we know it until the choir enters. Track five is a traditional folk song given the Schriefl treatment and very successfully too. Track six claims to be the only ever documented example of jazz played on an Alpine folk flute, the Schwegel, a kind of fife, and I have no reason to doubt the claim but in any case it is a brilliant piece of innovative jazz, as is the whole disc. Track seven translates as “The Alps as seen from Paris” and which is scored for a classical wind quintet plus Matthias on flugelhorn. Track eight is a folksong from Allgäu in Bavaria where Matthias hails from which is as he puts it “garnished” with a solo on contra-alto clarinet, the second largest of the clarinet family with a beautifully fat fruity sound. Track nine reprises track one with a tenor sax improvising over the basic melody played on trumpet and flugelhorn. To give you a flavour of the humour of this disc track two is said by Matthias to be a Bavarian forest two-step “especially well suited for dancers with one wooden leg”, track ten is a “small snack plate of two piccolos, two bassoons, tuba, clarinet, ...euphonium and vocals”, while track eleven reads “...We dedicate this piece to Johannes “JJ1” Bear. Johannes, the “Problem Bear” himself can be heard, breaking every rule of cultivated bear-behaviour (!) playing a wild alphorn duet with an Allgäu Yeti” you get the picture!? Track eleven was one of three tracks recorded live and it brought the house down – unsurprisingly! Track twelve is another yodel inspired tune joined in with by some locals and accompanied by some lovely brass and the sound of clinking crockery! The penultimate track is subtitled “the fun of country life” and if country life sounds like this no wonder its fun. The last track, a lullaby, is a duet sung by Matthias Schliefl and his sister Priska, backed by bass clarinet solo and is a gentle end to a riotous disc that is great fun as well as great music of a style you’ll not come across often and that’s a safe bet. A joy to listen to – I really loved it!

Steve Arloff

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