Mathias Ruegg dirige un orchestre à la longévité étonnante : 25 ans. Le « Vienna Art » a vu défiler tous les solistes européens de ces deux dernières décennies. Cette aventure est le fruit d’un long travail collectif, privilégiant les rencontres et les découvertes. Les différents programmes de l’orchestre sont autant de façons d’honorer la grande histoire du jazz. Une fois encore, le Vienna Art prend un « risque artistique » et propose, avec ce double album, une vision gémellaire et ludique de ce glorieux passé. Pas moins de 80 compositions, thèmes et arrangements sont proposés dans un ordre dispersé.
One has to hand it to the Vienna Art Orchestra; this is one adventurous band of Austrians. On Centenary Journey, recorded live in March ’01 at the Sofiensäle, Vienna, the VAO makes an heroic (and broadly successful) effort to compress a century of ever–shifting Jazz styles into one expansive snapshot. Unlike Ken Burns’ recent (and controversial) television series, Jazz, which was weighted heavily in favor of the music’s early pioneers with the last forty years or so telescoped into one hour–long (or ninety–minute) episode, The VAO’s enterprise leans rather conspicuously in the opposite direction, being evenly divided between Jazz as it developed from 1900 through the ’50s (the first seven selections) and in the years from 1960 to the present (the last seven).
5 April 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Herbert von Karajan, the legendary Austrian-born conductor who achieved a position of musical supremacy as director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra that made him one of the most famous and celebrated conductors of the second half of the twentieth century. While the majority of his symphonic recordings were made for Deutsche Grammophon, von Karajan also recorded for Decca and EMI during the 1950s and 1960s. This set is reissued to mark this momentous anniversary and contains all of his orchestral recordings made with the Vienna Philharmonic for Decca during the late 1950s/early 1960s.
STORM AT SUNRISE was an unusual progressive/hard rock band from Texas. It was founded by multi-instrumentalist Dave GRYDER, a musician who previously played drums and sang in metal bands Morning Thunder [with future Underground Railroad guitarist Bill Pohl], Heaven's Force, and Rotting Corpse. After leaving Corpse, GRYDER started his solo career as a symphonic prog keyboardist under the moniker "Covenant" and released one album in 1992, 'Nature's Divine Reflection'. Around the turn of 2000, he created band STORM AT SUNRISE together with guitarist Ernie MYERS [previously in symphonic prog band HANDS] & bassist John CHESTERFIELD. GRYDER took on keys, drums & vocal duties and consequently STORM at SUNRISE never played concerts, becoming primarily a studio act…
In the jazz world, Vienna is about as far from New York's Lincoln Center as you can get. It follows that Mathias Rüegg's Vienna Art Orchestra has about as much in common with Wynton Marsalis' Lincoln Center big band as a Sacher torte has with a Hostess Cup Cake; while they share some ingredients, the Austrian product satisfies on a more profound level. By the turn of the century, the Lincoln Center paradigm defined the jazz big band as a finished concept – locked into the past, serving mostly as a repertory ensemble. The VAO, on the other hand, while hardly ignoring traditional jazz verities, lives in the present and looks to the future.