Karl Ratzer

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Jazz musician Karl Ratzer, a singer, composer, and guitarist, was born in Vienna, but he got his start in the music world in the '60s with funk and rock bands in Austria. In 1972, he moved to the United…
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Jazz musician Karl Ratzer, a singer, composer, and guitarist, was born in Vienna, but he got his start in the music world in the '60s with funk and rock bands in Austria. In 1972, he moved to the United States and began working with a group best known as Rufus & Chaka Khan. In 1977, Ratzer formed a band with Dan Wall, Jeremy Steig, Ray Mantilla, Eddie Gomez, and Joe Chambers. Over his career, Ratzer has worked with a well-known mix of funk, pop, jazz, and blues artists such as Art Farmer, Chet Baker, James Moody, Bob Berg, Steve Grossman, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, and many others. In 1978, Ratzer saw the release of his debut album, In Search of the Ghost. The album received fantastic reviews, as did his 1979 album, Street Talk. Both were recorded under the Vanguard label. He has also recorded for the CMP, ENJA, and RST labels. Ratzer's 1997 debut album for the ENJA label, Saturn Returning, which showcased tracks like "Silent Rain," "Just What You Need," and "Main Squeeze," won him an Austria's Best Jazz Artist of the Year award. He also recorded Moon Dancer for ENJA with pianist Oliver Kent, drummer Lukas Knöfler, percussionist Ricardo Mateus, bassist Heinz Jäger, and accordionist Karl Hodina.