Bill Grah

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Jazz listeners in Germany would associate the notion of "good vibes" first with drinking beer, then perhaps with modernists such as Karl Berger and Gunter Hampel. Bill Grah predates either of these mallet…
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Artist Biography by

Jazz listeners in Germany would associate the notion of "good vibes" first with drinking beer, then perhaps with modernists such as Karl Berger and Gunter Hampel. Bill Grah predates either of these mallet thrashers stylistically and is best known for his allegiance to the Fatty George band, a classic jazz combo that is literally doubled in Grah, as it also features sibling Heinz Grah on trombone and bass. Their father was Willi Grah, active as both a pianist and conductor.

The vibraphonist, also a pianist and drummer, lived in Vienna from the mid-'50s onward, home base of Fatty George (aka Franz Pressler). Bill Grah Park was established in this Austrian musical mecca in his honor. Likewise, fellow vibraphonist Martin Breinschmid formed the Vienna-based Bill Grah Memorial Band; the presence of Grah himself as a sideman in the same list of active bands that also includes the aforementioned memorial tribute indicates that this artist was performing right up until the end of his life. Indeed, some members of the Breinschmid tribute had been previously planning to form a new swing sextet with Grah himself.