Wolfgang Mitschke

Journey To Sydney

Talking about Smooth Jazz in Germany means talking about a niche product. Currently we have no public broadcasting radiostation supporting this genre. Personally I only know about RADIO DELUXE, broadcasting from Munich and JazzFM in Berlin, the effort of a single person. I don't want to exclude, that some Smooth Jazz pieces are still played on any stations from time to time, but that's it. 

Although the situation is desperate, it isn't hopeless. We have still Smooth Jazz artists like Christopher Spendel, Dancing Fantasy, Blue Knights, Ca-roH, Colors in Motion, Harmonic Obsession, Anisha Cay and Wolfgang Mitschke. Some of these artists like Dancing Fantasy or Anisha Cay are approaching the Smooth Jazz genre from the Pop music others like Christopher Spendel have their roots in the jazz. Wolfgang Mitschke is a confessing jazz artist. His models are jazz artists like Oscar Peterson and Dave Brubeck. He became fairly roted by playing in  concerts, clubs and radio recordings with different jazz formations in southern Germany as well as in Nordrhine-Westfalia. But his secret love is certainly Smooth Jazz, Journey To Sydney is his confession. 

The title song Journey To Sydney is uplifting and in a good mood. Wolfgang Mitschke shows his skills in piano play in a jazzy fast way. It's remarkable, if one knows that he learned the piano play autodidacticly.

His style is comprehensible, because he is a great admirer of the group Shakatak, especially of the pianist Bill Sharpe, to whom a musical soul relationship exists. Wolfgang attended their gig in Bonn 2001 and came in personal contact to Bill Sharpe. Long before this personal contact - in 1998 - Wolfgang played and recorded the grooving You Never Know on keyboards - really in the Shakatak-style.

Fusion Mix isn't sounding like fusion jazz but it's an uptempo dynamic piano runner. Unfortunately short like an interlude.

Upper Manhattan Groove reminds to Christopher Spendel 's Cool Street. Wolfgang seems to hold dear this speed rich  keyboard play, as one can state to many tunes of his album.

He couldn't resist the Latin jazz flavor of Antonio Carlos Jobim's Girl From Ipanema. While Jobim was trying to adapt the weighing steps of the pretty beach girls of Rio in his music, Wolfgang lets his keys explode.

Midnight Piano is a short interlude not following a certain melody.

Cole Porter's Night And Day is another showpiece, which Wolfgang uses as a starting point for long and fast jazz solos on his epiano. 

Who missed the original melancholy of this piece, may find it at the following tune The C-Minor Blues.

If I Should loose You is a famous jazz tune, often interpreted by artists like Tal Farlow, Paul Bley, Joe Bonner, Eddie Harris, Mulgrew Miller or Enrico Pieranunzi, to name a few. Wolfgang 's cover has not to hide. Although I believe that something of the original character of Art Tatum's version fades away with the constant rapidity. Art Tatum tried to express the inner turmoil of the feelings in the changing speed.

There Is No Greater Love is another famous jazz tune, covered by numerous jazz artists like Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie or Mark Whitfield. Wolfgang shows  his maturity as an excellent jazz pianist once more.

You Never Know in a speed-up version lights the enthusiasm of much audience.

Stella By Starlight is a jazz classic too, very well suitable for an interpretation.

In Your Own Sweet Way by Dave Brubeck inspired Wolfgang for his final tune. His version is a vivid contemporary jazz version. 

Wolfgang Mitschke 's Journey To Sydney is a Smooth Jazz album par excellence, especially for friends of true classical jazz.

HBH

 

 
 

 

 

 

More informations:

Soundsamples are here:

The album is available at