Portrait in JAZZPODIUM
Andreas Brunn – music with a social conscience
“… the Weimar sevenstring guitarist and percussionist Andreas Brunn takes the term “world language” music literally. Since the mid-nineties, he has been building bridges to the East, crossing Bulgarian metres with jazz, teaching children rhythm as a social bonding agent, wisely wandering the terrain between jazz and “world music” in the group For Free Hands and has been instrumental in gaining respect and support for the internationally mixed “Young Music Caravan”, not only in the EU. And that’s not all. He also exist in duos and solo.
In 2006 For Free Hands, formerly 4 Free Hands, released the CD “Transversal” (Laika-Records 35610224.2) The fact that FFH calls their music “contemporary European jazz” may arouse interest, but it only indicates one facet of this music: Andreas is German, the double bass player Jonathan Robinson is American, Vladimir Karparov on soprano and tenor saxophone is Bulgarian, Dimitris Christides is a Greek with experience in London and the excellent singer Charlota Hagfors, who is here as well as Hans Hartmann, comes from Finland. Everyone got to know each other in Berlin: “Europe is growing together, For Free Hands provides the soundtrack.” This is not gaga, just as optimistic as the thinking of many artists brings with it. When a quartet travels across Europe as part of a project called Junge Musik Karawane and then performs at the jazz festival in Pori, Finland, one thinks optimistically: Music overcomes borders as easily as any bird.
Andreas Brunn as motor and control centre, a restless border crosser between avant-garde jazz, Balkan folk, rock, pop and classical technique, mostly on the sevenstring, but also electrically and even with the e-bow, in order to be able to serve all ethnic or stylistic influences. And all of them from FFH are rhythmic top experts for whom 13/16, 7/8, 11/8 or 12/8 come naturally. The Balkans are omnipresent and of a strange, fascinating jazz affinity. And this is exactly where the key to FFH’s music lies: Brunn and the group wanted to fathom the specifically European roots of modern, yes, also free jazz. And they succeed.
Karparov & Brunn: “Vladimir combines the music of his homeland with classical jazz influences like no other. He plays very tastefully and excessively. This collaboration gives me the opportunity to develop my skills in several fields: I can study the music of the Balkans, especially the metres, the typical scales and ornaments; I compose for our duo and also combine this with my explorations of the possibilities of the sevenstring. In 2006, we were winners of the Berlin Senate’s Studio Jazz Prize and then recorded our duo CD.” Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) It will be released under the title “East Side Story” on the label “jazzwerkstatt” in mid-June 2009. … “- Alexander Schmitz