The Alaska Sessions
Label: Challenge Records
Perpetuum Mobile; Big Chief; The Beginning of a Love Affair; Kaleidoscope; Budapest Grand Hotel Hustle; Skeys. Fall Colors; Kodiak Coho; Pure Imagination; Aqua Reflections; The Good Old Days; The Power Within You.
Markus Burger: piano; Peter Erskine: drums; Bob Magnusson: bass.
"Since I was a child, I have loved the outdoors and fell in love with the vast wilderness of Alaska and Iceland. In 2000 I visited Iceland for the first time and wrote most of the songs for my solo piano release Ultreya, which came out in 2001 on Jazzline Records. It took me until 2002 to go to Alaska and visit Valdez and the Kenai Peninsula. I was blown away by the beauty of Alaska and the uniqueness of the folks that live there. Through my affiliation with Idyllwild’s Jazz Academy director Marshall Hawkins, one of the finest bassists on the Westcoast and a great Jazz Educator, I was fortunate enough to start teaching for a few summers in Homer, Alaska. In 2015 and 2016 I got to visit Kodiak Island, which left a lifetime impression on me. The songs on this album were written in Alaska over the years of my trips to this wilderness state. When planning this album’s recording session, I asked Bob Magnusson to play bass, because we share the love of musical elegance and simplicity - and because I truly love Bob’s bass sound (like so many others before me). I have admired Peter Erskine since I first heard him perform with his ECM Trio featuring John Taylor and Palle Danielsson. I love his playing and his compositions, and I was thrilled when he agreed to be part of this musical project. We had a great two days in the recording studio and produced this collection of “Music for the years.” Jim Linahon has been the “sound wizard” behind all of my albums for Challenge Records and he is in my humble opinion one of the finest engineers and producers for Jazz in the U.S. today. He was delighted that Microtech Gefell and DPA send him their finest microphones to capture every nuance of our trio’s playing. It was an honor and privilege to play with two of my musical influencers and heroes. What made the session even more special as a pianist was that I got to record on the new Bösendorfer VC 280 - their premier ‘Vienna Concert Grand Piano’ (compliments of Ferdinand Bräu in Vienna) which they brought to Los Angeles for this recording session! I have been working hard to make this release a very special one and was excited when Challenge Records shared the vision with me and decided to release the album. A special dedication goes out to my loving wife Cibelle and daughter Sasha Marie. They continue to encourage me to be creative and working and it means the world to me to have them be a part of my life and musical journey. I hope you enjoy the music!"
Album uploaded by Michael Ricci