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All That Jazz: September Song

All That Jazz: September Song

Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December But the days grow short when you reach September …and the days dwindle down to a precious few… With the Brecht-Weill Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny at the Vienna State Opera this month (22, 27, 30 Sept.), one can’t help but hear echoes of […]

All That Jazz: A Producer’s Art

All That Jazz: A Producer’s Art

With the “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” now upon us, many a jazz fan will be seeking a cool breeze in the comfort of the shadows. It’s a perfect time to feed the Hi-Fi (or iPod, MP3 or whatever)! The familiar names, the cream of the crop, are all there on the shelf or […]

Jazz Fest Wien 2012

Jazz Fest Wien 2012

Readers of this column will recognise that its very existence is a tribute to the vibrant Vienna jazz scene. While a national capital and historical metropole, Vienna is a comparatively small city of 1.8 million and far from what one could call trendy. All the same, a good case can be made that this is […]

Branford Marsalis, Music and Words

Branford Marsalis, Music and Words

Branford Marsalis, along with his flamboyant brother Wynton, together represent the past, present and future of jazz. Over the course of the past quarter-century, each has taken his place, first as a “young lion”, later as the real deal: musicians with passion, power, and a rare commitment to proving the viability of this fundamentally American […]

Jörg Leichtfried: The Beruf of Jazz

Jörg Leichtfried: The Beruf of Jazz

On a recent dark Winter’s eve, emerging from the Pilgramgasse U-Bahn station in the glow of the golden arches of the neighbourhood McDonald’s, I found my way along the aptly named Hamburgergasse to Celeste, a “cellarful of noise” that I quickly realized was something of a discovery. Deserted at ground level, save for the Garderobe, […]

Got to Get Jazz Into My Life

Got to Get Jazz Into My Life

When Elvis Costello played Vienna’s Konzerthaus recently, he demonstrated his impressive jazz chops, new evidence of his genre-bending ambitions. An original “punk” of the 1970s, Costello has more than dabbled in the genre, having put North, his album of piano ballads, at number one on Billboard’s Traditional Jazz Chart, where it stayed for five weeks. […]

Twin Daughters of Different Mothers

Twin Daughters of Different Mothers

Yours truly, itinerant jazz critic for these pages, was faced with something of an existential dilemma with the dawn of the new year. A thoughtful review of events satisfies a great need, I mused, summing up, and evaluating recent events in our fair city. Unless we pause a while, every now and then, and reflect […]

Jazzman Elvis Costello

Jazzman Elvis Costello

“What we play is life.” – Louis Armstrong. Elvis Costello returned to Vienna last month for a career-spanning solo show at the Konzerthaus. Reaching into his back catalogue, this modern troubadour enthralled his audience for two and a half hours. He hit town with a commendable lack of fanfare, or so it seemed, with seats […]

An Embarrassment of Riches

An Embarrassment of Riches

A question frequently asked of the average expatriate is whether one misses something from “home.” This can be as specific as a brand of tea or as broad as local attitudes about the role of the citizen. But in fact, the more interesting question may be something else, having to do with rediscovering abroad the […]

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