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Friendly Travelers

Artist: Wolfgang Muthspiel
Wolfgang Muthspiel - Friendly Travelers CD
Label: Material
Regular Price: $16.95
On Sale For: $8.48 
Year: 2007
Format: CD


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The meeting of the two brilliant musicians Brian Blade and Wolfgang Muthspiel is a special event. Listening to the improvised dialogues of the Duo suggests an ideal musical cooperation.

There is a fine group of musicians who can produce specific atmospheres in which the music can grow endlessly. One of them is the young master Brian Blade, who nourishes and develops the musical flow with constant input. The fine web of his drumming is structurally complex, nearly free of patterns and at the same time light-footed and alive.

His Austrian colleague, guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, was voted „European Jazz musician of the year 2003“ by an international jury. With each new project he enters new artistic territory. His virtuosity and musical sensibility serve the constant development of his own musical language, focusing a variety of jazz- and other musical backgrounds.

The two are an ideal constellation. With „friendly travelers“ orchestrated as drums/guitar duo they have developed their own music. Using live sampling they create at times a nearly orchestral density, without loosing the quick, bouncing interaction of the intimate Duo-setup.

Brian Blade and Wolfgang Muthspiel have made music in various contexts together, before embarking on the current journey. They had played Trio with Marc Johnson, accompanied the American pianist Mike Holober together with John Patitucci and Tim Ries on two recordings, and played on such projects as Norwegian singer Rebekka Bakken’s first album „daily mirror“.

An invitation to participate in the Jazz Baltica Festival 2006 was the start of the Duo. Besides his main instrument, Blade also plays some guitar on „friendly travellers“. The two poles in between the music is happening are: a songlike folk-influenced world informed by artists such as Joni Mitchell, and on the other end a bouncing and playful manipulation of the beat in a swing or African context.

The German paper FAZ wrote about the first concert of Blade/Muthspiel: „A wonderful Duo. The American Blade, drummer of the future, interacting with the Austrian guitarist in a dance of individuality and unexpected agreement. Blade, the percussive sensualist with his typical constant mini explosions and fragmentation of swing, and Muthspiel with an infinite, occidental horizon of experience between atonality and songlike tenderness...“

Wolfgang Muthspiel (guitars, voice); Brian Blade (drums, guitar, voice)
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