Franz Koglmann

An Affair with Strauss

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Jazz music doesn't get much prettier than that of the Monoblue Quartet, led by Austrian trumpeter/flugelhornist Franz Koglmann. Don't let the title mislead you. While one of the tunes by the trumpeter is called "Out of Strauss," this is jazz, pure and simple, with a mold, if any, coming straight from '50s cool. Koglmann is an original, but his concept is probably closest to that of Chet Baker: notes picked carefully, with an airy sound, light attack, lagging just behind the beat. Tony Coe is the other horn (on clarinet and tenor sax), and he virtually mirrors Koglmann, although Coe shows he is capable of a somewhat more intensity. His vocal on "Good Night Vienna" is a bit too corny for some tastes, although the Baker connection is evident. Well-known Austrian guitarist Burkhard Stangl and talented bassist Peter Herbert add a lush though never saccharine backdrop, so the gorgeous sound (recorded up front and in your face) is always present. Koglmann appears on such a variety of recordings that it difficult to pick his best -- but this album clearly features some of the finest work from his small groups.

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