Franz Hautzinger

Speakers Corner

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Speakers Corner was Austrian trumpeter Franz Hautzinger's last album as a leader before taking a three-year break from recording to develop the new sound featured on his solo CD, Gomberg, and in his group, Dachte Musik. Thus, the compositions included here are still anchored in jazz -- however remote from the mainstream they may be. Hautzinger's playing is still note-based (as opposed to his noise or sound event approach, starting in 2000). His writing relies on melody. He is accompanied by guitarist Martin Siewert and drummer Wolfgang Reisinger. The latter is an interesting free jazz drummer, very open and textural -- the perfect accompanist and the most experimental mover in this case. Siewert's role is essentially limited to dreamy chords on an electric guitar drowned in electronic effects. With the treatments, his playing would be somewhat reminiscent of Ben Monder (so are the melodies, by the way) and has little to do with what he too would explore just a couple of years later. Hautzinger's quarter-tone trumpet leads throughout the album. His sinuous lines seem to be launched from mid-air, floating gently around the listener much like Bill Dixon's. He occasionally uses mutes to alter his tone, but in the context of this album, what one wants to hear is his pure sound, highly seductive. The last piece moves into harsher territories, but otherwise Speakers Corner offers a relatively soft ride, ECM-style, creative and well-attuned. It sounds nevertheless pretty straightforward once you know the direction these musicians took later.