Musicians: Thomas Gunther (piano), Peter Lehel (tenor sax), Orbert Davis (trumpet), Rusty Jones (drums), David Marr (bass).
“This is a truly, wonderfully musical album. It is well conceived, creative and beautifully performed. Subtly detailed, the compositions cover a wide spectrum of emotion, dynamics and interesting musical surprises.
Thomas Guenther is a prodigious pianist who knows who he is and he wants to go." Larry Novac.
The Windy City is a truly German-American production. In 1996 Gunther asked his long time musical partner, German saxophonist and composer Peter Lehel, to join him in producing a CD featuring all original music written by the two Germans, and recorded in Chicago with local musicians. Gunther had already moved to Chicago where he met some of the finest musicians the city has to offer. For the CD he was careful to pick musicians that know how to perform in many different jazz styles. It was important to him that those musicians were comfortable with performing contemporary jazz as well as more traditional, soulful jazz. Trumpeter Orbert Davis (composer, conductor and founder of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic) is the perfect example of such a versatile musician. He can play in the styles of like Louis Armstrong, Lee Morgan, and Miles Davis. His tasteful and virtuoso playing made him the perfect choice for this CD. Drummer Rusty Jones, who was the drummer with George Shearing for 7 years, typifies the articulated drummers of the Cool Era. His dynamic and musical approach gave those original compositions the perfect support. David Marr is a modern type bassist who focuses on melodic and rhythmic bass playing a la the Bill Evans trio.
The combination of those musicians proved to be perfect for Lehel's and Gunther's playing and their compositions. Their music is very structured, but at the same times leaves a lot of room for interpretation and improvisation. Gunther composed all his music for this CD in Chicago inspired by the many new impressions he gathered during his first few months. The title The Windy City was a no-brainer for this very reason. Lehel's music, although composed in Germany, fits perfectly with the mood of the city. Enjoy!