Artist’s Statement (by Wolfgang Muthspiel)
On the cover of this album you see a picture of New York taken from a less typical angle. The shot was made from Hoboken, New Jersey, where we recorded these tracks.
I come from a small town in Austria called Judenburg. When my family moved to the next biggest town, Graz, it felt like the center of the world for a few years. However, even though Graz was a lot bigger than Judenburg, it is considered “provincial” by the Viennese. To play in Vienna for the first time seemed like the ultimate proof of being successful. Then I moved to Boston to study. From the view of Boston, New York seemed like a planet on its own, unattainable and scary. Well, I finally did move to New York City, to a place called “the village”.
I am looking at Standards from an outsider’s perspective. I grew up with Mozart, not with Ellington. I was already playing music a long time before I discovered Jazz. I like to be a foreigner, speak another language than my mother tongue. I like accents.
This is my first album of Jazz Standards. I always played them, but rarely in my concerts or on my albums. This recording feels to me like a conversation about Standards. A conversation with two of my favourite fellow musicians about a topic I love.
This is my accent. (Wolfgang Muthspiel, 2001)
Wolfgang Muthspiel about the songs:
1 – Lament
J. J. Johnson’s ballad was first introduced to me by my brother Christian, who plays trombone and loves J.J.. This one is for my father.
2 – All The Things You Are
All The Things is one of the first Jazz Tunes I learned. When Keith Jarrett’s recording
of it came out, I was finally convinced that playing Jazz was what I wanted
3 – Someday My Prince Will Come
Someday My Prince Will Come is forever connected to Miles, who is my favorite Jazz musician.
4 – I Hear A Rhapsody
I played this tune a lot in Gary Burton’s band and I can still hear him
turning it upside down. On this recording we never really play the melody.
5 – Blue In Green
Here all I do is play the melody over and over again.
6 – Giant Steps
The more complex the changes are, the more difficult it is to really
improvise and not play patterns. I have practiced this tune for a long time
and I now officially quit practicing it.
7 – Peace
Peace is one of my favourite tunes and one of the few Standards I play in
8 – Liebeslied
Liebeslied was introduced to me by Herb Pomeroy, a fantastic arranger and teacher in Boston. I played it a lot with the guitarist Mick Goodrick, who taught me a world of things that seem to have nothing to do with the guitar.
9 – Ask Me Now
I played this one for the first time in Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop
Band. Like many of Monk’s tunes it is tricky and simple at the same time.
10 – Solar
Solar has one of those short forms that totally depend on what happens on top
of them. The tune is simply the vehicle for improvisation.
Wolfgang Muthspiel, New York, June 2001
by Andreas Rathammer & Heinrich Schläfer
Quinton’s ‘classical’ jazz CD. A jazz guitar, an acoustic bass and a drum set. Wolfgang Muthspiel, Marc Johnson and Brian Blade tell stories taken from jazz’ bible, the Real Book, and prove to be remarkable storytellers. Andreas Rathammer, Heinrich Schläfer, Vienna
Wolfgang Muthspiel – guitar
Marc Johnson – double bass
Brian Blade – drums