The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

July 14, 2008

If you're ever in Drosendorf...

Yesterday, I wanted to post a brief entry on the jazz saxophonist Herwig Gradischnig on this blog, recommending his latest CD and advertising the free concert he was giving at the Arkadenhof in Vienna's City Hall yesterday evening. Other things interfered with the blog posting, so it didn't happen, and you missed a very fine concert indeed.

I personally think that saxophone trios (sax, bass, drums) are extremely interesting combos, but also very demanding ones. There is no other instrument that any of the musicians could hide behind, especially no piano that could make things "rounder", so they're pretty much exposed and can't really afford to make any mistakes. However, if the musicians are good, they're usually excellent -- see Lee Konitz's Motion, Sonny Rollins' Night at the Village Vanguard or John Coltrane's "Chasin' the Trane" from Live at the Village Vanguard, all of which are extremely impressive recordings.

Herwig Gradischnig's Ghost TrioGradischnig and his "Ghost Trio" (Matthias Pichler, bass, and Klemens Marktl, particularly impressive on drums) were in great form yesterday, even though the audience seemed somewhat indecisive about them, which may have had to do with a location that didn't feel particularly cosy. Gradischnig was a lot more energized than at the last concert I had seen him at, when he seemed a bit pale on the stage and was lacking some of his punch. The whole thing was clarified when he walked to the mic between tracks and said, "If you would do me a favour... if you're ever in Drosendorf in Northern Lower Austria, don't eat the seafood pizza. Just don't. Please.”

I've been wanting to pass on Gradischnig's warning for a while now, and I'm glad I can finally do my blog readers a service this way. If you want to hear what Gradischnig sounds like when he hasn't upset his stomach and don't want to risk not being informed about his next concert by this unreliable blogger, you could buy his new CD (or listen to samples on iTunes). It may not be as immediate as a live concert, but it's still an engaging and energizing recording, taut and flawless, oblique enough not to ever become boring, but not so oblique that it could scare off people who listen to jazz only occasionally. Of all jazz CDs released this year, this is so far my favourite.

Posted by Horst on July 14, 2008 03:15 PM to reviews | Tell-a-friend
Stephan said on July 14, 2008 03:42 PM:

Speaking about Sax-Bass-Drums trios and upset stomach issues, there is one song that immediately comes to my mind: "Dünnpfiff Sentimental" by Kelomat (

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