Born: May 13, 1961 Primary Instrument: Piano
Walter Lang was born May 13th, 1961 in Schwäbisch Gmünd, a small city some 50 kilometers from Stuttgart, Germany. He grew up with the sound of accordion and piano being played around the house by both his father and grandfather. He studied piano and composition at the Berklee School of Music in Boston; finished his studies at the Amsterdam School of Arts.
In 1988 Walter had the fortune of becoming a founding member of the Rick Hollander Quartet, a group which has enjoyed countless tours of Europe, Japan and America. The group’s 5 CD’s all feature Walter’s trademark piano playing. The Quartet won the 1st prize at the „Europ‘ Jazz Contest“ in Hoeilaart, Belgium in 1990.
Since 1999 he is leading his own Walter Lang Trio with Nic Thys on bass and Rick Hollander on drums. They released very succesful Cd's such as „Walter Lang Trio plays Charles Chaplin“ (1999), „Across The Universe“ (2002), „Softly as in a morning Sunrise“ (2005) „The Sound Of A Rainbow(2005), that received the Best Sounding CD Award by the japanese Swing Journal, as well as the recent CD Romantische Straße(2007) that got the Gold Disc Award by Swing Journal.
In 2008 he regrouped the Walter Lang Trio: Thomas Markusson from Göteborg/Sweden is playing bass and Sebastian Merk from Berlin/Germany is the new drummer.
Along with drummer Gerwin Eisenhauer and bassist Sven Faller he founded TRIO ELF in 2005. Their first CD ELF for ENJA RECORDS was a big success and the second CD will come out in the autumn of 2008.
His recent groups are, besides Trio ELF and the Walter Lang Trio, his quintet Walter Lang‘s Romance, Daktarimba as well as his duo with master saxofonist Lee Konitz.
Walter Lang has also played with James Moody, Chico Freeman, Don Menza, Roy Hargrove, Jenny Evans, Dusko Goykovich, Lisa Wahlandt and many others.
A few months prior to his 80th birthday last fall, Konitz entered the studio with the German pianist Walter Lang for a duo recording. Lang has previously collaborated with Konitz in a number of concerts, but Ashiya is their first CD together. Though quite familiar with this format, this is one of the few times that Konitz isn't playing a mix of standards and his own works. Lang is better known abroad since almost all of his work as a leader has appeared on European labels; he has made only a handful of appearances as a sideman on domestic releases.
Konitz' dry, whimsical tone is well served by Lang's eloquent style. The pianist composed ten originals for the date; one can hear a classical background in their framework. The easygoing opener, Monk's Cottage, sounds like it has been derived from a familiar standard, though it never clearly reveals its source. The upbeat Open Water blends an elaborate postbop theme with a joyous fugue by the two musicians. The haunting title ballad and the melancholy Farewell are intimate affairs. Also included are three brief duo improvisations.
Tracks: Monk's Cottage; Good Way; Open Water; Interlude I; Ashiya; Soft Wind Blowing; Way Too Early; What a Treat; Valse Elegance; Casa Do Tom; Interlude II; Farewell; Epilogue.
Personnel: Walter Lang: piano; Lee Konitz: alto sax.
Trio ELF Elfland ENJA Records 2010
Walter Lang Trio Eurasia M & I Records, 2009
Walter Lang Trio Best Master Qualities M & I Records, 2009
Trio ELF 746 ENJA Records 2008
Walter Lang & Lee Konitz Ashiya Pirouet Records 2007
Walter Lang Trio Romantische Straße M&I Records 2007
Walter Lang Quintett The Art of Romanticism Vol. 1 Nagel- Heyer Records 2007
Baroque Jazz Trio Jazz meets Baroque 2006 Birdland Records 2006
Trio ELF ELF Enja Records 2006
Walter Lang Trio The Sound Of A Rainbow M&I Records 2005
Walter Lang Trio Softly As In A Morning Sunrise Nagel Heyer Records 2005
Walter Lang Lotus Blossom Pirouet Records 2003
Walter Lang Trio Across The Universe M&I Records 2002
Walter Lang Tales of 2 Cities Doublemoon Records 2000
Walter Lang Trio plays Charlie Chaplin PJ Records 1999
Disclaimer: All About Jazz is not responsible for the accuracy of the discographical data at the website(s) provided. If a link is no longer valid, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.