b. Franz Georg Pressler, 24 April 1927, Vienna, Austria, d. 29 March 1982. In his early teens he began playing alto saxophone, later studying this and clarinet formally. At 20 George played bop, working in Austria and Germany, often leading his own band, continuing into the mid-50s when he opened a jazz club in Vienna. Among the sidemen in his bands was Joe Zawinul who played in the Two Sounds band, a group that enjoyed a varied repertoire including bop and traditional jazz. He continued to run clubs in Vienna but spent part of the mid-60s playing in Berlin. He led bands regularly on radio and television in Austria. A gifted and hugely enthusiastic character, George moved smoothly between different styles of jazz, usually playing clarinet in traditional and mainstream swing-based settings and alto in more contemporary mode. On both instruments he revealed a smooth lyricism and was always harmonically interesting.
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