Mitschke - Latin in New York
Wolfgang Mitschke is a composer and multi-instrumentalist.
addition to his legal training, as a teenager he learned to play
drums, gaining experience in concert venues, clubs and radio
recordings with different jazz groups in southern Germany as well as
has appeared with the jazz singer and drummer Grady Tate (USA), and
with the trumpet player Patrik Rickman from the Lionel Hampton Big
Band (USA), together with a number of popular German jazz players.
is a self-taught keyboard player and his first CD "Journey to
Sydney" in 1999 showcased his talents on keys. His second CD
"Sundance" from 2001 showed how he could combine his
keyboard and drum talents. So
what about his third CD?
No More Blues opens this set and it’s a vibrant, uptempo
number with masses of percussion and a lovely acoustic piano. The same piano leads on the strutting I Love You.
This Cole Porter tune starts to suffer midway through because
of the mechanical-sounding backing.
It’s a pity because the soloing is daring.
own Latin in New York is a much more sexy affair with a smoky
electric piano. I’d
have been happy for it to be even smokier – this is a slow, moody
affair and I like it a lot. Dancing
shoes on for There is No Greater Love.
Despite the modern instrumentation, this sounds lovely and
old-fashioned. Anyone who
went to good organ demonstrations in the 1970’s will warm to the way
this tune swings and always goes where you expect.
original composition, From Sydney to Berlin, is a mid-tempo
number with acoustic piano out front.
By now, I’ve realised that all of the backing is synthesised,
including the “background guitar”.
Similarly, the “funk-bass” on Shakatak’s Streetwalkin’
is a keyboard – that doesn’t stop it sounding great on this short,
groove-laden but surprisingly grand song.
One song I wish could be longer…
gets the same great sound on Funky Lines for Anja.
He’s touring this year and I hope he plays this – the bass
sound, the electric piano and some superb brass samples make this a
jazz dancer to listen out for. There’s
a nice jazzy disco feel to Mitschke’s Tribute to George Duke.
Good, solid early-80’s beat, nice flute sound and a deep
bass. Dukey would like
this I’m sure – even though it doesn’t sound like anything
he’s done. This one
grows on you!
a nice Incognito feel on Acid Jazz Vibes. The vibraphone sound is very authentic and the bouncy drum
track works very well. The
background synthesiser wash is very brit-funk too.
This track will get a lot of radio play once the smart DJ’s
get hold of it. Maysa
Leak’s vocal is all that’s missing.
Flute Intermezzo is quite gorgeous and I’ll admit I
don’t know how Wolfgang gets that breathy woodwind sound.
What matters is that he gets it.
by Starlight, a real jazz standard, is rendered in foot-tapping
fashion. The flying samba
rhythm is infectious and the electric piano sounds smooth and – well
– just right.
closer Sundance is recorded with a jazz club ambience and was
originally released in 2001. It’s
got the energy of a live performance too, though I don’t think
it’s live. It’s
layered beautifully – the racing drum track stays solid while a
Lonnie Liston Smith-style backing synth wash leaves enough space for
energetic electric piano soloing. This rocks – any jazz crowd would be on their feet!
you thought you could imagine how funky a German jazz musician could
be, you should hear this album. Like
always, I wish I could hear how a musician as good as Wolfgang
Mitschke sounds when they play with a band.
For those of you who are lucky enough to live in a town where
he is going to play this year, I’d say buy this album, get to know
the songs, then shout very loudly when he comes on stage!
TMK Records – cat no.
TMK 017358 – Producer Wolfgang Mitschke