Just about to head out for a Staxs rehearsal for ourJoss Stone gig tomorrow at the Cornbury Music Festival – in previous years we’ve played there with Jack Bruce, Steve Winwood, Paul Carrack, Mica Paris, Kiki Dee and other great luminaries of the rock and pop world and tomorrow is obviously extremely promising, to say the least:-)
However, this particular BIG Thank You goes largely towards musicians in my country ‘of origin’ – the ‘jewelery box’ that is Austria.
Around Easter time Austrian alto saxophonist Andreas See contacted me via FB to ask if I had some Big Band arrangements of some of the Funkestra music he heard on YouTube (feat. Tower of Power saxophonist Lenny Pickett) – of course I said ‘YES’ (followed by a few frantic/pleading/desperate calls to arranger Peter Tomasso):-) In less than ‘no’ time we were able to present Andy with the desired arrangements for a Big Band Workshop weekend in Bad Goisern, Austria. As it happened, by complete coincidence, I was in the area and was able to sit in the crowd at the final concert – what a buzz to hear my tunes performed by about 20 musicians or so – the depth of Peter Tomasso’s Big Band arrangements was really evident…
After the concert I had the opportunity to meet Andreas himself and we forged a new plan that has just come to successful fruition.
I was invited to guest with the ‘Pernstein Swing Connection‘ run by Andreas See and the larger than life character Seppi Hinterhoelzl (for English speakers, you might find Joe Backwood a little bit more palatable):-) This was part of the ‘Kirchdorfer Jazztage’, held in the most beautiful music school in Kirchdorf and der Krems.
Without further ado, here my BIG Thank You to the marvelous band:
TRUMPETS: Gerd ‘Mr. Monza’ Rahstorfer (soloist), Paul ‘good vibes’ Fischerleitner, Franz ‘the pen’ Staudinger, Thomas ‘Wehrigel’ Steinert
TROMBONES: Hermann ‘A-game’ Mayr (soloist), Syliva ‘good vibes’ Heim, Johannes ‘Ois Auswendig’ Steinmann, Gerald ‘all smiles’ Gattringer
SAXOPHONES: Robert ‘fantissimo’ Schroeck (soloist), Franz ‘the pun’ Gradauer, Klaus ‘solid’ Loetsch, Irmi ‘Bath Hall’ Irnberger, Lukas ‘Luki’ Oberdammer
Josef ‘Seppi’ Hinterhoelzl – drums, Johannes ‘Draufdrucker’ Pichler – guitar, Martin ‘vintage’ Gasellsberger – (vintage) keys and organ
Karin ‘Ka Wa’ Wameir – vocals, Johannes ‘Ois Auswendig’ Steinmann – vocals, Julius ‘Caesar’ (Orange-)Bitter – piano
Also, thank you to music school director Wolfgang ‘Horn in F#’ Homar and Julius ‘Cesar’ (Orange-)Bitter for putting on the event.
Last but certainly not least WHATSOEVER – yet again I’ll have to give master arranger Peter Tomasso a massive Thank You for his big band arrangements of the Funkestra repertoire and completely ridiculous turnaround times – what knowledge and tremendous inspiration – Pete, here is to many more arrangements and thank you for your patience over the years me grilling you on the most pernickety details of horn arranging – you are a great mentor.
Also, Phil Knights, from GED Music, the man who gave Sibelius the most beloved Reprise font – thank you for typesetting all the charts and squeezing my project into the most ridiculously tiny gaps in your work schedule. Most appreciated as always!
I had the most fabulous time, enjoying the hospitality and formidable organisation skills of fabulous drummer Josef ‘Seppi’ Hinterhoelzl and his family, getting a small glimpse into the music education system in Upper Austria and still buzzing from the good vibes, both from the musicians and the crowd.
Last thing – when can we do it all again?