Saturday, August 3, 2013

Markus Gottschlich Of Places Between 2013

Following in the traditions of Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett, we find Markus Gottschlich ready to emerge as the next great pianist for a new generation.
Brent Black / @CriticalJazz 

Of Places Between is the aptly titled sophomore release from this Vienna Austria native that grew up in what was once Beethoven's apartment. This captivating release walks the harmonic tightrope between what is commonly referred to as the new sub genre of chamber jazz here in the United States when in reality this aesthetic format has been a lyrical exploration for performers in Europe over the last quarter century. 

 Markus Gottschlich utilizes a small ensemble built around the more organic sound of the violin, cello, and accordion yet transcends any reasonable and often arbitrary tag that critics would enjoy placing on this and similar music just to make their life easier. While Of Places Between is a break in tradition for what is considered the norm for small ensemble pianists, I decided to continue my quest in rewriting the rules of critical review by asking Markus about his influences and feelings on where his improvisational wheelhouse is truly grounded.

M.G. - "My Influences on piano are not easy to pinpoint, since of course all the great masters were/are influential to me. I studied the styles of many great stride, swing, bop, post-bop pianists. It also helps to have an amazing organist and pianist as an older brother. Harmonically and melodically the late romantic and impressionist European composers are important to me. Some of what still turns our heads today in Jazz has been around for ages- in terms of harmony. What "Jazz" brought to the table that was novel is syncopation (in my opinion)- so the influences widen to all kinds of "world music", folklore, etc..."

Of Places Between is an intimate journey of artistic self exploration. A semi-autobiographical look at transitioning between cultural barriers and the manipulation of traditional form and functionality commonly referred to as jazz into an eclectic presentation of lyrical bliss. Markus does far more than embrace melody which is the focal point, the rhythmic patterns found within each melody turn Of Places Between into a living breathing organism of sonic synergy that has long been absent from an overly predictable format.

Of Places Between may signify a dramatic shift not only in piano literature created today but for a broader acceptance of the global influence that the American audience is poised to embrace. Gottschlich is a legitimate triple threat as performer, composer, and educator. Currently serving as artistic director of the Miami Jazz Fest. This is the first of a two part look at a rising star whose musical stock can best be described as an arrow pointing straight up!
Five_star_rating : Five stars ratings Stock Photo
Tracks: Invitation; Sleepless Night; Wehmut; A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing; Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 Nr. 3; Sojourner; Lilly; Dark Horses.

Personnel: Piano: Markus Gottschlich; Violin: Federico Britos; Drums: Jose Javier Freire; Bass (Acoustic & Electric) Scott Whitney; Accordion: Christian Bakanic; Cello: Elon Rubin; Tabla & Djembe: Rajesh Bhandari.