Born: October 20, 1971
Austrian alto, soprano saxophonist and composer Muriel Grossmann, born in Paris, grew up in Vienna and studied barrock music on flute. Muriel Grossmann played and recorded with various rhythm and blues, funk, world music and jazz bands and artists, among them Christoph Kurzmann, Shani Ben Canar Orchestra, Hans Tschiritsch, Geri Schuller and the Original Brothers among others. Muriel Grossmann composed and performed for the film “Sued- Nord- West”.
Muriel Grossmann played in Spain, Holland, Germany, England, Ireland, Austria, Greece leading her own bands.
She recorded and performed with Joachim Kuehn, Rolf Kuehn, Wolfgang Reisinger, Christian Lillinger, Robert Landfermann, Johannes Fink, Martin Klingeberg, Mark Vinci, Molly Duncan, among others, and Muriel Grossmann Barcelona Quartet featuring Radomir Milokovic on guitar, David Marroquin on contrabass and Marko Jelaca on drums, recording and performing original compositions.
Ultima Hora Ibiza / Sunday, February 6, 2011 CULTURE SPECTACLE / 35 • MUSIC
My goal is to uplift people as much as possible
Austrian saxophonist, based in Ibiza, Muriel Grossmann just released her new album, entitled 'Birth of the Mystery' • For this new album, the jazz composer and performer has had Radomir Milojkovic on guitar, Marko Jelaca as a drummer and David Marroquin on bass • The themes of the CD were composed during the pregnancy of Grossmann and recorded after she gave birth to her son.
Based in Ibiza, but with a cosmopolitan past (born in Paris and raised in Vienna), Austrian saxophonist Muriel Grossmann is one of the leading personalities of the music on our island. With the banner of jazz and musicians like Coltrane and Davis, Kühn or Coleman in her personal file of influences, she introduces in the beginning of this year her new album, Birth of the Mystery, a record closely linked to the birth of her son and for which she counted on Radomir Milojkovic (guitar), Marko Jelaca (drums) and David Marroquin (bass).
- Where is moving your music with this album? - Every album is a long trip, where you compose, record and design music for the final product. In this case, this album has opened up more road for the music I do now: 'pulse' time, with more open structures, with a different harmonic and melodic development.
- Throughout your career you have given much importance to improvisation; in what way is this reflected in this recording? - The themes and improvisations have been supplemented in such a way that sometimes you do not recognize if we play the theme or improvise. Thus, the music is being expanded in this regard. Jazz is improvisation, but this album is more than a jazz album, it is an album of music that can reach anyone. Improvisation reflects the time in which we live and reflects my own experience. What I play comes from the tradition that our ancestors have left us, from what we learn and how we put something of ourselves in it.
- After 'Sudden Impact', in which you worked in a trio, you now came back to the quartet in 'Birth of the Mystery'. Why? - To me, all formations reveal other possibilities. Each needs a certain type of themes and other concepts. I like all the formations. Only last year I recorded more than forty hours of music in different formations, and each is a different world. Playing in quartet is a perfect vehicle, especially if it includes guitar, because I am much more free. So the quartet is something special for me; I like composing and playing for this type of formation ... For example, last week I finally finished three different programs for quartet, which I hope in the near future become more records.
- What has been the relationship between the musicians during the recording sessions? - We knew we were taking new ground, we did it together ... (Laughs). I love playing with David and Marko. With them we have the freedom to create our own sound, because they come with a blank sheet, so that we can color it together. David is very humble and hardworking, and Marko brings unique characteristics.
- In your formations is repeated the presence of guitarist Radomir Milojkovic; how would you describe your musical relationship over the years? - Radomir and I are like a band. Our passion for music is very similar. We elaborate musical concepts together: one begins and the other instantly incorporates it and evolves it, and we go on... Our musical relationship can be seen as a symbiosis, it’s ecstatic. On the other hand, we like to study, develop new ways, listening to music. I think it boils down to both believing in what we do in the same way.
- To what mystery do you refer in the title of your new album? - A mystery clears all questions. Questions and answers no longer satisfy us. Music for me cannot be explained by words. Music speaks for itself. The music of this album has evolved from the intense spiritual experience of the birth of my son. I composed the themes during the preparations for birth and recorded after giving birth, incorporating new concepts then studied.
- You were born in Paris, grew up in Vienna and live in Ibiza; is the geographical universe reflected throughout your music? - Yes. I am what grows from my experiences and I am what I invent. I always like to dream about our world and beyond. I hope that can be heard in my music.
- In your biography you states that you studied Baroque music. Is there a connection between this music and jazz? - Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie ... all their language has some Baroque music, the difference lies in the phrasing and in this the vitality. I studied Baroque music as a child and it opened the road. It is very powerful. Today the music remains a part of me. The music of Bach, for example, has taught me to use multidirectional voicing.
- Ibiza has a renown jazz festival, but, beyond this annual event, what is the life of a jazz musician on the island? - There are many places where you can play and people welcome us with open hands, but we need the help of institutions, because, as we all know, art needs support. In my case, I always spend one month a year off the island. Now my children are very young and I cannot travel as before, but they grow, and the time to reach out more will come. We live in a global world and now a musician has to play all styles if necessary. Jazz musicians are trained; we can play all styles.
- Do you think that Ibiza is the ideal environment for composing? - Ibiza has inspired me greatly and has pushed me to write more music; so did my children. The island has a beautiful countryside, the sea and the salt are always present, and the light and sky are very special. You may want to see every sunset (and every sunrise), and it fills you! People are very varied and bring their cultures from all over the world. The farmers of the island equally as eastern philosophies bring peace and contemplation as well. I love to live here. I appreciate that. I am very happy to live in such a precious place and grow with my children in an environment filled with magic and positive energy.
- The compositions of your new album have titles of various states of mind or consciousness ... - I wanted to have a positive birth of my son. In the last weeks before giving light, I stayed for hours awake at night reflecting my fears and my wishes on the subject of birth. I started writing songs with the awareness of what I needed to fulfill my objective. With the time I saw that you can use these steps for any purpose you choose.
- On one occasion you explained that you composed during the night, when you live a special peace, and your music, on many occasions, is an authentic expression of strength and vitality. Why is there this duality? - Duality, for us, sometimes hides the whole. If at night you go out of your house, the environment seems quiet, and then becomes majestic, you can see to other galaxies. You feel very small, but part of something very vital. I would say that you can almost hear and feel the earth spinning. That is magic. In this 'silence' you perceive the energy of the earth and connect with the 'all' of the universe. That 'nothingness' is very powerful, because the energy comes from the quiet, like the day is born from the night. In the other hand I have always been very strong, early on, and everything can inspire me. My goal, however, remains the same: to uplift people as much as possible. To inspire them to realize more and more of their capacity to live meaningful lives; because surely there is a sense in life.
THEME BY THEME
The concepts of a 'mystery'
Dedicated to her son, Grossmann’s disc is based on a series of concepts, which have given title to each of the topics. The saxophonist summarizes. Strength : Know what you want. Trust : Have confidence in yourself and in the circumstances of life. Breathing : Use it, to be present. Patience : This is my special subject (laughs). Opening and Slide : Help the things that arise. Welcome : It is a special theme for my son. With this suite I have reinvented myself and I have refined myself in my daily life.
From Coltrane to Kühn, through Davis and Coleman
Muriel Grossmann considers herself strongly influenced by four musicians. John Coltrane From his deep search emerged the purest music, sincerely positive and most wonderful. All his recordings are a revelation to me. He inspires me to go deeper. Miles Davis An inventor, with few notes and silence he says it all, each album has a different concept from bebop to cool-jazz to free jazz and then fusion, pop, etc ... motivates me to take new paths. Ornette Coleman His playing leaves me with a smile. His themes and improvisations are always special, and the blues is always present. Joachim Kühn Being close to a musician of integrity with such impact, is very inspiring.
The album BIRTH OF THE MYSTERY (DR 05 CD, Dreamlandrecords, digital and physical release 30th of December 2010) is available at the concerts or in Libro Azul, Santa Gertrudis (Ibiza), the Jazz Messenger (Barcelona) and Rote Laterne (Vienna) and on the digital platforms (itunes, amazon, cdbaby, etc..) For more information about Muriel Grossmann visit www.myspace.com, www.allaboutjazz.com, and Muriel Grossmann on YouTube.
***************************** The saxophonist of Austrian origin living in Ibiza, Muriel Grossmann shares an experimental session with the balkanic guitarist Radomir Milojkovic and the legendary bassist Chema Pellico - installed on the island with the hippie atmosphere -an exercise in abundant communication, Caving jazz with glorious moments. Improvised music, rather than instantaneous, in which different voices flying in parallel, are built with exquisite poetic tension. It is a shame that outside the islands of Pitiueses so little know the ductility of the integrated blower Grossmann...Marti Farre, Jac Magazine Barcelona, nr.35, Dec2010/Jan2011
****************************** …Jazz album with all the letters, proposing rigorously intelligent things. The great touch of Grossmann, who without being heterodox, includes elements and imputs that enrich the whole. German Lazaro, Quadernos de Jazz, Madrid, January/February 2009.
****************************** Enigmatic compositions in the hands of a luxury saxophonist. Marti Farre, Jac Magazine Barcelona, February/March 2009.
****************************** Muriel Grossmann as a saxophonist and composer is building a very substantial style and body of work. There is real motivation in Grossmann’s music and a desire to keep finding out who she is and to make her music out of that deepening knowledge. J.L.Thomson original liner notes from the album Muriel Grossmann Quartet 2008.
***************************** Concert was excellent, vigorous and hard worked. Xicu Lluy, Diario de Ibiza, Ibiza Jazz Festival 2008.
***************************** Muriel Grossmann and her quartet was revealed as one of the most potent formations of the festival…. a memorable concert at the Espai Eivissa Mercat Vell. Pep Tur, Ultima Hora, Ibiza, Ibiza Jazz Festival 2008.
************************ ..a freejazz of ..velvet..Marc Sarrazy Improjazz 2010
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