Muthspiel & Muthspiel - early music
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 16/10/2003
Muthspiel brothers celebrate the 20th anniversary of their jazz-duo
If we think of contemporary Austrian jazz the name "Muthspiel” comes to
mind easily. Christian (*1963) and Wolfgang (*1965) were born in Judenburg and made a name for themselves in various styles of music. Trombonist and pianist Christian has been standing out as an improvising instrumentalist and is a distinguished composer of complex multimedia projects. Guitarist Wolfgang developed his own style in the jazz tradition.
Twenty years ago the Muthspiels were playing concerts together for the first time. The anniversary gives reason to seek for musical traces, to perform a series of concerts and of course to release a new album: "Early Music”. The lyrics represent a slightly misty-eyed story, which sounds almost too fine to believe it. Their father Kurt Muthspiel (1931 – 2001), conductor of a choir and composer, was crucial for their musical idea.
Singing and playing together belonged to the everyday life of the family; with chants of the renaissance as well as with folk songs the father inspired the love to music in the brothers.
Anyway: In any case it is beautiful that European jazz musicians and improvisers care for the continuation of one of America’s most important cultural contributions in such a way that those fusions are meaningful. The way in which the Muthspiel brothers develop highly creative jazz pieces, inspired by sounds of their home, is very convincing.
The famous song "Tanzen und Springen” (by Hans Leo Hassler, 16th century) comes from an old LP and the scratching of the needle gives the beat for the improvisers. Chants of the renaissance, music for brass instruments and alpine folklore unleash the brothers’ improvisational creativity. The results, which always have a clear reference to jazz, go various directions. They sound affectionate and a little bit ironic, ingenious and virtuoso, natural and they are full of contrasts.