Born: May 16, 1970 Primary Instrument: Piano
Born in Austria in 1970, Otmar Binder is a pianist, singer-songwriter and composer, educated at the Vienna Hochschule (between 1978 and 1986) and later at the Vienna Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst.
He began working as a musician in Vienna in 1988, mainly as an accompanist for singers and actors. Touring work has led him to London, Paris, Rome, Buenos Aires, New York, Los Angeles, Prague, and major cities in Germany and Switzerland and to venues such as, amongst others, the Konzerthaus, Burgtheater, Volkstheater, Theater in der Josefstadt, and Ronacher (all in Vienna). His latest CD might be seen as something of a departure, given the theatrical, piano- pop and chanson repertoire Otmar Binder is usually associated with. But in the album, with the self-explanatory title Boogie Woogie Turnaround, he takes a look back at the music that originally fuelled his love for both jazz and the piano itself, in the process being joined in duets with Christian Dozzler on piano and blues harp and Geri Schuller on the B3, with the accompaniment of Alexander Lackner on string bass and Michael Strasser on drums. A special treat is also provided by the guest appearance of British pedal steel guitar supremo BJ Cole (© bluesandrhythm.co.uk) on both pedal-steel and steel guitar.
Meade Lux Lewis and Jay McShann would be astounded and delighted — Boogie Woogie piano from Vienna, Austria... George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon
Piano blues albums sometimes get criticised for being samey – this is anything but. Norman Darwen, www.bluesandrhythm.co.uk
In a time when this style of music is becoming something of a rarity, it is a welcome turn of events to find the spirit of the music alive and well in an unexpected place. Perhaps there is hope yet for good music. Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz Magazine, www.njjs.org
Forget all the attempts at gentrification elswhere (esp. the movies), this is people-music and sings best when left to its own devices, as here. If you feel like testifying, go right ahead, I’ll just watch from the vestibule…where the preacher keeps the communion wine hidden. Mark S.Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange, www.acousticmusic.com
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