Mathias Ruegg, leader, arranger; Anna Lauvergnac, vocal; Thorsten Benkenstein, lead trumpet; Mathieu Michel, trumpet; Thomas Gansch, trumpet; Bumi Fian, trumpet; Klaus Dickbauer, reeds, Florian Brambock, reeds; Harry Sokal, reeds; Andy Stherrer, reeds; Herwig Gradischnig, reeds; Arkady Shilkoper, French horn; Robert Bachner, trombone; Christian Muthspiel, trombone; Charly Wagner, bass trombone, Wolfgang Muthspiel, guitar; Georg Breinschmid, bass; Marlo Gorizi, drums.
The Vienna Art Orchestra can hit you where it hurts; this boisterous, swaggering outfit offers innovative playing of the highest quality with these Ellington/Strayhorn numbers. Catch the clarinet solo by Klaus Dickbauer in "Blues in Blueprint"; the amazing interpretation of "Mood Indigo" by brothers Muthspiel, strutting their stuff on guitar and trombone; where are they coming from? Busking on the underground? Playing at a Circus? Backing Charlie Chaplin, or just blind drunk?
Ruegg is unselfish at spreading the solo work, almost everyone gets a crack at something. "Take the A Train" could not be more familiar; we get a different treatment from the bass clarinet of Klaus Dickbauer and the bass of Georg Breinschmid giving it a fresh look at lightning speed.
Keeping you on the edge of your seat we move between smooth emotional numbers like Billy Strayhorn's "After All" to "Rockin' in Rhythm" which really cooks. This band is full of itself; it brims with confidence and plays with the utmost authority. It's raw energy and brassy, powerful sound is not for the faint hearted. But if you want something creative for the new century, this is definitely for you.
by Ferdinand Maylin
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