CHICO FREEMAN & The Fritz Pauer Trio
„Essence Of Silence ”
Two CDs full of good atmospheres by the great soprano and tenor sax of Chico Freeman with the excellent austrian Trio of Fritz Pauer (p) with Hans Strasser (b) and Joris Dudli (d). Mainly new compositions by Freeman and Pauer, full of easy grooving and full of nice harmonies.
Jazz bekam seinen Namen, weil er aus den
Herzen verschiedenster Nationen enstand.
Dieses Projekt und dieses Album sind typische
Beispiele dafür: Hier begegnen sich zwei Größen
der Jazzmusik: Chico Freeman, als Vertreter des
neuen Amerikanischen Jazz (geboren in Chicago,
Illinois, USA), und Fritz Pauer (geboren in Wien,
Österreich) als Vertreter des Europäischen Jazz,
haben sich gefunden und vermischen bzw.
verbinden auf diesem Doppelalbum in positivster
Weise ihre Stile! Vor allem Eigenkompositionen
der zwei Protagonisten bestimmen die feine
Atmosphäre diesen Aufnahmen.
Das erste musikalische Zusammentreffen dieser
zwei herausragenden Persönlichkeiten fand
im Juli 2007 im Wiener Jazzland statt. Nach
einem weiteren Engagement ein Jahr später im
selbigen Club, wuchs die Idee, die fruchtbare
Zusammenarbeit zu intensivieren.
Chico Freeman (Sohn des Saxophonisten Von
Freeman) zählt zu den stilistisch vielfältigsten
Tenorsaxofonisten und Komponisten der
Gegenwart. Er war mit unzähligen Größen des
Jazz auf Tour, wie Sam Rivers, Cecil McBee, Sun
Ra, Elvin Jones, Don Pullen, Jack DeJohnette,
McCoy Tyner, Lester Bowie, Don Cherry oder
Das aktuelle Fritz Pauer Trio (mit Johannes
Strasser, souverän und höchst musikalisch
am Bass, und Joris Dudli, sensibel swingend
und groovend am Schlagzeug) wurde 1995
gegründet. Intensives Zusammenspiel voller
Überra schungen, Originalität und musikalische
Kraft gepaart mit höchster Virtuosität, sind
nur einige Worte um die Leistung dieses Top-
Trios zu beschreiben. Als eine der gefragtesten
Rhythmusgruppen in Europa begleitete die Band
Jazzgrößen wie Benny Golson, Johnny Griffi n,
Sheila Jordan, Don Menza.
Recorded and Mixed March 2-6, 2010
Chico Freeman -
Tenor and Soprano Saxes
Fritz Pauer - Piano
Johannes Strasser - Bass
Joris Dudli - Drums
Recording and Mixing
Engineer - Rudi Mille
Recorded & Mixed at Tom Ton Studio,
Mastered at Artis Studio
Mastering Engineer - Rudi Mille
Produced by Chico Freeman,
Fritz Pauer & Johannes Strasser
Chico Freeman by Marcel Meir
Fritz Pauer by Kruse
Johannes Strasser by Elbs
Joris Dudli by Peter Kubelk
Cover photo of Chico Freeman
by Vladimir Zahariev
Cover design & layout:
Nina Reeves (indigo design)
Special thanks to:
Axel Melhardt &
Staff at Jazzland
I was asked to play at the Vienna Jazz Festival as a special guest
with whom I was told were some of the best musicians that Austria
has produced. It was the Fritz Pauer Trio. I did not know Fritz
Pauer or his trio at that time so I asked my agent Ilse Weinmann,
who had arranged the engagement, who exactly Fritz Pauer was.
She told me he was one of the best pianist/musicians she knew and
she knew him from his work with the great saxophonist Johnny
Griffin (a Chicago native just like me), who was also a client
of hers. Needless to say I was pleased and excited to meet Fritz
but not as much as when it actually happened on the first day of
rehearsal at Jazzland Jazz Club in Vienna. Not only was Fritz an
incredible musician, he was also one of the nicest and warmest
people I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet. We became instant
friends. In addition his trio, which consisted of Johannes (Hans)
Strasser (bass) and Joris Dudli (drums), were also incredibly talented
musicians and wonderful human beings as well. We bonded
instantly and thus began our journey to the recording of this CD.
The chemistry was instantaneous and undeniable. We recorded
for the radio the first night and I knew I wanted to work more with
these guys and to document our future journeys together. This is the
first of what I hope will be many more of those documentations.
Chico Freeman (saxophone)
A sound not born yet. The imagination of sound can be expressed
in the right place, at the right time. The gods are asking to let it be
heard from your own imagination mixed with sounds for you and
your brothers and sisters. Our ancestors thankfully remembered, with
each note played on celestial instruments.
That music which we call jazz should be named this way because it
comes from deep within the heart of different nations. The spirits
wanted it like this: The essence of silence.
Sometime ago our trio the Fritz Pauer Trio and our guest for the
Vienna Jazz Festival, Chico Freeman, met at Jazzland in Vienna. Axel
Melhardt, the club owner, invited us to play for one week. After successful
performances, we were invited back the following season, and
successive seasons thereafter. During that time Austrian radio ORF
came to the club and recorded a whole night’s performance.
Our chemistry was just right. We would go through our repertoire,
rehearse and create exciting, fresh and new music every night. We
were very fortunate to be able to play with Chico, who brought along
all his experience of rhythm, blues and free jazz, along with some of
the greatest composers and piano players of today:
McCoy Tyner, George Cables, Don Pullen and many others.
It just so happened that we also got to play and record original
compositions written by George Cables himself, as well as those by
Chico. We didn’t just play the music; we dug deep inside the soul of
the music for which Chico brought the original lead sheets.
After listening to the radio recordings, we decided to go
on tour with a partly new repertoire and added another
week of recording at a studio in Vienna. Being on the
road together added another element to the band:
comradeship. Many thanks to our drummer,
Joris Dudli, who contributed immensely by
being such an excellent percussionist/
drummer and driving the band with
great energy and sensitivity.
Knowing of the upcoming project,
I concentrated on the band’s tunes
with a brand new Fazioli grand
piano in my new music room:
the first floor of our new
Fritz Pauer (piano)
Having had the privilege of playing
bass with the Fritz Pauer Trio and
performing their music over a long
period of time has offered me very
exciting and inspiring experiences.
Among these is having had the opportunity
of accompanying some
of the most creative and renowned
jazz artists worldwide with the Trio,
during their guest performances in
Before we got together at Jazzland,
I knew Chico and his music from
the recording Spirit Sensitive,
dating back to the 70s. I used to listen to it
a lot back then because
I wanted to check out bass player Cecil McBee too, who was
also on the record.
When we performed with Chico for the first time at Jazzland,
I was immediately fascinated by his highly energetic and
expressive harmony. It felt really unique and personal to me
and a lot stronger than what I thought I knew from his recordings.
The music we played sounded very inventive, fresh
and, at the same time, non clichè - it seemed to be flowing
very naturally. Right away, the trio with guest soloist turned
into a real quartet.
Now, some years later, I can say that playing bass with this
powerful and musically adventurous group of dedicated jazz
improvisers and dealing with the colourful variety of musical
textures, is just absolutely inspiring and thrilling. I’m very
glad and I feel privileged again to have recorded all those
unique tunes of Chico, Fritz and George Cables.
Johannes Strasser (bass)
A word about the compositions
Enchance (7:41)– The song is in 8/8 with the approach of a 6/8
feel. It begins with an intro of piano followed by piano, sax and
bass, then a bass vamp interlude; sax enters on the main theme.
The song goes through some time changes and interesting harmonic
variations. The solos are on two different formats. The sax solos
on the form of the melody “A B (bridge) A”, the piano solos on a
different form with a different harmonic structure but returns to the
A section signaling the end of the piano solo; the sax enters at the
bridge and plays the melody thru to the last A section, repeating the
theme of the intro at the end with full rhythm section.
– Chico Freeman
Helen’s Song (5:50) – Helen’s Song is one of my favorite George
Cables compositions, this added to the fact that I am privileged to
call Helen herself a friend of mine, makes the opportunity to record
it even more special. I’ve played it with George on many occasions
as well as in many of my own projects. This version finds Fritz
playing it with great sensitivity, passion and beauty. This is one of
my favorite renditions of what I believe is a classic, just like it’s
namesake.– Chico Freeman
The Trespasser (9:10) – we see many in our lives, some are
welcome, and some are not. You decide. – Chico Freeman
The Essence of Silence (5:38)– I believe that when we are alone
and in complete silence is when music makes its most direct and
purest journey to our being. In silence we hear music, hence, the
essence of silence.– Chico Freeman.
Shen Shun Song (7:08) – a song with the title borrowed from the
Chinese martial art tai chi chuan. Shen meaning spirit and mental
liveliness; Shun meaning to go along with, to follow and free-flowing
and relaxed a song with three main attributes for a successful
performance. With this tune I would like to honour McCoy Tyner
and the pioneers of Modal Jazz – Fritz Pauer
Will I See You in the Morning? (5:24) – This question has been
asked in so many different ways but it still remains the same
in the sentiment:
Will I see you in the morning?
I might leave without much warning
Try and understand the reason if I go
I know you believe
what you want me to know
You can’t stand to see me crying
just because i know you’re lying
when you tell me everything will be OK
How come I can see
with my eyes closed tight
that we are over?
Don’t say a word
unless you mean
everything you say
What do u think I’m gonna do?
are you afraid that I’ll see through
everything I meant to you?
So if I don’t see you in the morning
and I leave without much warning
you will understand the reason
and you’ll know
. . . but you must believe
that I did not want to go.
chico freeman/jan pulsford feb 2007
Minor Relations (5:39) – a tune simply consisting of different
colours (chords) around the tonal centre of c-minor. The piano intro
represents my admiration for traditional jazz piano styles, mainly
the stride piano of James Pete Johnson. – Fritz Pauer
Salsa con Punta (06:40) – written in two parts; the first part with a
Latin flavour, the second part goes into a straight 4/4 groove (Chico
added a cowbell for the overdub.) – Fritz Pauer
Epikur Intro (1:25) & Main (05:38)– compositional contribution
Epikur, named after the ancient Greek philosopher (Epicurus in
English) with its Phrygian mode, consists of two parts:
In part one I introduce the main theme con arco quasi rubato with
some collective sound fields beneath; in part two the full tune in a
medium up-tempo with solos by Chico, Fritz and myself is heard.
The chord changes run by fairly quickly and that’s why the tune, with
it’s inherent restlessness, was originally called Busy Morning. One
day I woke up with the melody in my head and had to write it down
immediately. – Johannes Strasser
To Hear a Teardrop in the Rain (5:43) – this song was written for
a very special person who left us some time ago. She will
always be remembered. – Chico Freeman
Dark Blue (6:59)– a blues, first heard on my
cd Tales of Ellington, it was written in honor
of Duke Ellington. – Chico Freeman
Drum Chant (8:20) – another modal tune
especially written for the artistry of our outstanding
percussionist, Joris Dudli.
– Fritz Pauer
Angel Eyes (11:30) – this arrangement involves
an ostinato bass line while the original
changes and melody are played over this line.
This opens up two worlds at the same time, a kind
of ballad and groove in simultaneous motion.
– Chico Freeman