About this Album – Awakening

ALBUM NOTES

                     It’s like listening to AWAKENING and thinking that something will happen, and it does, but not like you thought it will. That is another wonderful thing about the improvised and spontaneous music that Jazz is, not only its deep African roots, which this performance reflects and builds upon, but an ease to make it happen. Grossmann plays for the band, that is clear from the note one, not only in this composition but the entire record; a natural order of melodies that you can hum, no patterns, just music, independent of style, mind hang-ups and must do’s. WIEN is like bringing you back to something, like the place you are from, it marks you, same as the music or the artists that you always listened and loved. TRUST has another exciting solo on the guitar, clearly inspired by its surroundings. Radomir Milojkovic is running some style that is difficult to catch upon, sometimes reminds one of piano, trumpet and sometimes of saxophone; something that we are not expecting to hear on the guitar. We all I guess can realize up until now that the guitar is still the bearer of change, something new still can be added. Milojkovic’s playing is deeply rooted in tradition, not only Jazz but also Blues and so-called World Music. Further on in this particular tune Grossmann constructs a solo that ranges from sounds and textures to a more rhythm-orientated mood as the final ensemble shows. There is a trust between these people: to deliver, whatever it takes. After all this energetic drive we are brought to the state of calmness. PEACEFUL RIVER is like “clear water cascading from some waterfall”. ORNETTE is this thing that happens by itself, just inventiveness to make it happen. Here we have Christian Lillinger, one of the most adventurous and exciting drummers of his generation, a musician’s musician, providing a wide range of concepts, ideas and moods that ultimately is giving a new voice for the drums. Robert Landfermann is a supremely gifted performer with pristine technique and far reaching imagination, both as accompanist and as soloist.

                    This album is another wonderful effort by Grossmann, worth repeated listening, where the listener can discover many great things, a passionate performance, full of surprises and fine moments. Alex Freeman

REVIEWS 

                  Saxophonist and composer, Muriel Grossmann, born in Paris, of Austrian origin and resident on the island, closed the second evening of the festival organized by the city council of Ibiza with a recital which, by its sheer quality will always be remembered by the many fans who gathered in the heart of the city, the lovers of this music called Jazz.

                   Muriel Grossmann, who received the praise of Jose Miguel Lopez, host of the event, offered five compositions – long, rich in nuances, ranging from the relaxing to authentic explosion of vitality, tensing the muscles to the maximum. This woman – fragile in physique – has an overwhelming force. She must take a lot “Zumosol”.

                     Muriel avoids pigeonholing. She’s no friend of categorizations. Let us use the term free to define their Wednesday’s offering, at least a good part of it. Her performance was extraordinary, sometimes soft, almost spiritual, and sometimes unbridled, forceful. Her gift was AWAKENING (inspired by John Coltrane), WIEN, TRUST (included on the “Birth of the mystery” album), PEACEFUL RIVER and finally ORNETTE, honoring Ornette Coleman.

                     In addition to her usual guitarist Radomir Milojkovic, the artist resorted to two prestigious musicians. The magnificent bassist Robert Landfermann and the colossal drummer Christian Lillinger offered a brilliant performance extolling the language of Muriel Grossmann that already is in a state of grace. The Ibiza public has the privilege of hearing this surprising performer not only on festivals.
Xicu Lluy (Excerpts from Diario de Ibiza, August 26, 2011, title of article: The Power of Fragility).


Awakening
… keeping awake is assured with the bulimic surging play in the title track, which – led by a trepitant rhythmic ostinato – takes place at high speed. After this departure on tenterhooks, „Wien“ changes the course by installing a completely mesmerizing slow groove that takes us close to the esthetic Ogun of small formations of Elton Dean and Trevor Watts. Superb. More shaggy, „Trust“ revives with a rather ferocious free jazz: with Lillinger, it is full, pulsates and frictions, while the saxophone gets hoarse! The highly Coltrane „Peaceful River“ announces without warning the next installment; its serene beauty seems to directly respond to the J.C. ‘s „Welcome“. Last piece: „Ornette“: the reference is assumed for good, clear, but well placed at the end of the disc, sounds like an end to the period of libertarian Muriel Grossmann’s last respects. For now, the saxophonist aesthetics go without detour slides towards that of a certain J.C.
Marc Sarrazy, Improjazz   France, January 2016