24.02.2014SpotlightMichael Wollny

Michael Wollny builds bridges

Michael Wollny builds bridges
Huge International acclaim for new album “Weltentraum”

German pianist Michael Wollny is the cover star of a few of Europe’s most important jazz magazines in March including the UK’s Jazzwise (the first German artist in the magazine’s history to make the cover) and both Jazzthing and Jazzpodium from his homeland. His new trio’s CD Weltentraum receives a rare ‘recommended’ four star review in Jazzwise (‘already a serious contender for the critics’ pick of 2014’). It signals a new peak of international recognition for the pianist following the wide acclaim received over the previous decade largely for his celebrated contemporary piano trio [em].
Significantly, Wollny is establishing himself as the most important and original German jazz artist of his generation. On his ambitious new recording the pianist explores the connection between a singular array of diverse ‘songs’ (spread across musical eras, genres and cultures) from Machaut (Medieval) to Varese/Berg (Contemporary classical) through to Pink/The Flaming Lips (intelligent pop) and David Lynch/Jon Brion (movie soundtracks). Wollny is the flag bearer of a new kind of ‘Standard’ in improvised music. Moving with the times and resonating with the eclectic sensibilities of a new generation of jazz musicians, Wollny extracts the very essence of these majestic melodies and improvises with a subtle complexity that reflects his eloquently virtuosic yet instinctive blending of the languages of jazz and classical. It’s at once art and popular music; it demands the attention of a wide listening public.

A new addition to the trio besides [em] drummer Eric Schaefer is the flexibly groove-based, longstanding Wayne Krantz sideman and US bassist Tim Lefebvre. Wollny’s music builds bridges as well between the States and Europe: On Weltentraum, Wollny merges American rock and movie themes with the world of Euro jazz, contemporary classical and literature as if they’ve always belonged together.

Press quotes:

"Weltentraum" is Michael Wollny´s graduation from a "rising star" to "star".
- Jazzwise (GB)

“The consumate piano maestro: One can justifiably name Wollny alongside phenomena like Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau, Stefano Bollani and Paul Bley.”
- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE)

"An album that enlightens the beginning of this year.“
CHOC Award / Album of the month
- Jazzman / Jazz Magazine (FR)

"With Weltentraum, Michael Wollny confirms his great mastery and his stylistic originality."
4 keys, highest rate
- Télérama (FR)

“On ‘Weltentraum’, the brilliant young German pianist Michael Wollny persues his conviction that almost anything can become a ‘standard’ vehicle for jazz improvisation.“
- The Guardian (GB)

“Michael Wollny has become one of the European jazz scene’s most prolific and most unpredictable performers.“
- Allaboutjazz.com (CA)

“The most important musician of German jazz.”
- Rolling Stone (DE)

“An insanely great pianist. […] This, my friends of jazz and classical, is where we meet and experience something original. “
- Rochester City Newspaper (US), Rochester Jazz Festival concert review

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