For free hands



“… Andreas Brunn is a committed guitarist and composer, an active bridge-builder and reconciler, and particularly fond of the East, notably Bulgaria. … “Perpetuum five” comes as an electrified postbop, more grippy, angular, angular, angry, angry, jazzy. Karparov and Brunn are particularly lively and striking. …

And there is the uncomfortable “Magic Friday” or take “East Side Gallery Story” as the story of a quartet that could easily find its way around the world, but instead turns the burden of (time) historical processing and responsibility into music without complaint must be uncomfortable. And that’s when it is best. And on the double bass Georg Donchev still plays the very sweet mix of boundless jubilation and everything that lurks under the jubilation. … “- Alexander Schmitz

JAZZ thing issue 106:

“Those who can count have a clear advantage, and fractions don’t hurt either. 5/8, 7/8 & 13/16 the rhythmic fabric that the multicultural Berlin flagship quartet For Free Hands is knotting on its new CD “Kaleidoscope Freedom”, and it is bursting with surprising twists and turns, pitfalls and tricky numbers.

Biographical references play a central role as well as openness to the many facets of the other that you encounter in the former walled city. But biography and identity are not everything, what is decisive is the self-evident security with which the quartet approaches the various facets of electrified jazz and charges them with energy – and the excessive joy of playing is also decisive. ” – Stephan Hentz

Gaildorfer Rundschau:

“… Specialized in hellish rhythms – exuberant, exuberant and sweeping – this is how the quartet“ For free Hands ”presented itself. The compositions from their new studio album “Kaleidoscope Freedom” surprised the audience.

The polymetric concepts created an unusual tension in the music. When guitar and saxophone cadences mixed in over 13/16 time on “Magic Friday”, the musicians were in their element. The audience was amazed by “For Free Hands”. … “

Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung

FOR FREE HANDS @ JAZZTIME HILDESHEIM Festival: “… Current influences from Europe are implemented in music without losing the roots of jazz. Many compositions are devoted to the Balkans with its odd meters. The musicians, including two Bulgarians and a Greek, manage to attract people with their energetic play. … “

Westfälische Zeitung - Warendorf

“… The ensemble FOR FREE HANDS around the well-known string virtuoso and composer Andreas Brunn offered the enthusiastic audience a best example of contemporary jazz with its energetic style of playing in the well-attended concert of the series“ Jazz in the Roof Theater ”.

The music was not top-heavy but brought the emotional content closer in an always innovative and exciting form. But they also made use of rock, classical and avant-garde music and, despite their traditional roots, could not be put into a narrow drawer. Even a form principle of a fugue, which appears academic in many other formations, appeared in “Wizards Cube” with noticeable lightness and great depth of feeling.

“Birds of Passage” showed that these four musicians were not in musical competition with each other, but cultivated a dialogue, the appeal of which immediately created a bond with the enthusiastic audience. Fascination and imagination combined with “Magic Friday”, whereby the warm tone of Vladimir Karparov’s instrument harmonized wonderfully with the strings of Andreas Brunn. In a true “Kaleidoscope Freedom”, the quartet showed their view of the world, images of beguiling beauty appeared in sound painting. “- Axel Engels

Braunschweiger Zeitung

“… is FOR FREE HANDS, a programmatic name? Unrestricted freedom of musical expression? Or reference to the uninhibited and free recourse to jazz traditions and musical forms? Well the music brings it out. For example “Perpetuum 5”. Slow start, increasing pace. Very fast chord changes, on every quarter measure, if not even on the eighth note. Smells like bebop. Andreas Brunn’s guitar solo: In the best John Scofield manner, flowing melodies and rapid chord changes are merged.
But then again very free passages. And the meters: “Magic Friday” at 13/16. If you just counted yourself correctly, you will be carried out of the curve by wonderful melodies and decorations by Karparov on the saxophone. Highly complex jazz, Karparov – a Balkan Coltrane! The wonderful dialogues not only between guitar and saxophone, which is obvious, but between guitar and bass or between tenor saxophone and drums are also nice. … “- Klaus Gohlke

Modernícolas (Malaga's cultural calendar):

FOR FREE HANDS @ MALAGA JAZZFESTIVAL: “… a new way to understand jazz … Synergy is the word to define this Berlin quartet. For Free Hand stand for contemporary jazz. Dissonant sounds developed into beautiful melodies that float over a varied carpet of rhythms.

The instruments were played fantastically by these specialists. The ensemble also gave us a sense of closeness. This impressive quartet cast a spell over everyone with its music, which united the most diverse cultures. … “- Javier Martínez

Portrait of Andreas Brunn in the Jazzpodium

“… Andreas Brunn as the engine and control center, a restless crossover between avant-garde jazz, Balkan folk, rock, pop and classical technology, mostly on the Sevenstring, but also electrically, in order to be able to serve all ethnic and stylistic influences.
The Balkans are omnipresent and have a strange, fascinating affinity for jazz. And this is exactly where the key to the music of FOR FREE HANDS lies: Brunn and the group wanted to fathom the specifically European roots of modern, yes, also of free jazz. And they succeed. “
JAZZPODIUM, 01/2009 Alexander Schmitz

Kiel news


“… The exceptional saxophonist Karparov knows how to combine the traditional, sometimes oriental-style playing style of his homeland with innovative jazz technique. Pieces like “Blood & Honey” or “Sofia” develop more and more into an intoxicating listening experience through Karparov’s almost breathless melody cascades.
… Bandleader Andreas Brunn, alternately armed with a 7-string acoustic guitar and an electric guitar, repeatedly brings back memories of John McLaughlin. His playing and compositional talent are profound and of intelligent wit; a jazz fugue like “Wizards’ Cube” doesn’t write itself after all. … “


Four cross-border commuters for Europe:

“… For Free Hands” combine gripping, smooth improvisation with folklore, make use of rock, pop and classical music and suck hungrily honey from the avant-garde. With all the reflection on their traditional roots, the musicians look far ahead.

They have Europe in mind and thus contemporary jazz full of complex rhythms and surprising grooves, which they celebrate on stage with great enthusiasm. … four musicians from four nations who, on stage, as players with equal rights, take all the freedom in the world to do what is possible with their instruments. Four restless cross-border commuters! … “- Ralf Schreiner

“THE NEW DAY” from willows

Experienced sound chefs from the federal capital:

“… FOR FREE HANDS the quartet around the guitarist Andreas Brunn, is one of the young groups that have made Berlin the capital of the current jazz scene. Their music is shaped by a wide variety of cultural influences and currents.
Frenzied passages were played in unison by guitar and saxophone. Andreas Brunn is an accomplished and expressive guitarist. He has a warm tone on his seven-string acoustic guitar, while elements from rock, blues and funk are used on the electric guitar. With the help of slight electronic alienation, floating and spherical sounds are created.
It became clear that the boundaries between folk music, jazz, funk and hip hop are fluid: James Brown grooves in 13/16 time, Sonny Rollins swings to the rhythm of the Balkans. The audience reacted enthusiastically to the evening with cutting-edge music from the Berlin scene. …. ” – Louis Reitz

Delmenhorster Kreisblatt

Top jazz musicians inspire at the jazz festival in Stuhr

“For Free Hands offered the finest jazz and knew how to win over their audience. Bandleader Andreas Brunn from Weimar on seven-string acoustic and electric guitar, Vladimir Karparov from Bulgaria on soprano and tenor saxophone, Dimitris Christides from Athens on drums and Jonathan Robinson from New York on double bass convinced the audience with unusual soundscapes borrowed from Balkan tradition in which the odd rhythms of eastern music and western jazz tradition enter into an exciting, groovy relationship. The arithmetic works: Big applause and occasional cheering bid farewell to the high-class quartet. “

Regional Rundschau Stuhr / Weihe

JAZZ-FEST surprises with unusual rhythms

“The grand finale was the“ For Free Hands ”quartet. Then the council hall experienced a concentrated load of passionate jazz energy. It was a great pleasure how the international group whirled around eyes and ears with their contemporary interpretations enriched with the rhythms from the Balkans.
The “Master of the groove”, the Greek Dimitris Christides, was a feast for the eyes in itself, how he worked his drums with full physical effort. The atmospheric melody bases of Andreas Brunn on the seven-string guitar are fantastic, enriched by Vladimir Karparov’s saxophone, not to forget the bass player Jonathan Robinson from New York.
The “Thracian Dance”, a composition by Karparov from Sofia, was a pleasure to listen to. Or “Wizards Cube” by Andreas Brunn, a successful combination of fugue, jazz and Balkan sounds. Deserved cheers for the four virtuosos! “- Dagmar Voss

Jazz podium


Andreas Brunn is a restless border crosser between avant-garde jazz, Balkan folk, rock, pop and classical technology, mostly on the Sevenstring, but also electrically and even with the E-Bow in order to be able to serve all influences. And all of FFH are top rhythm experts. You only have to listen to the piece “Magic Friday”, which means Friday the 13th: It’s the guitar that literally rattles “transversely” into the 13/16 time …
The Balkans are present almost everywhere and have a fascinating affinity for jazz. This is where the key to FFH’s music lies: They want to fathom the specifically European roots of modern, including free jazz. They succeed in an admirable and very serious way. – Alexander Schmitz

Kiel news

“FOR FREE HANDS – Casual mastery in many styles

“In awe, but not disrespect, the musicians sound out a world between folklore, jazz, rock, funk and unbounded musicality, which is not always easy to digest, but very substantial. …
… The natural nonchalance with which the rhythmically refined and complex titles unfold is also due to the virtuosity of the young Greek drummer Dimitris Christides. Under his tight yet sensitive beat, kept on course or even countered by the technically perfect bassist Jonathan Robinson from New York, new, bold and funky pushing grooves emerge: A demanding rhythm foundation on which the two melody instrumentalists Vladimir Karparov and Andreas Brunn improvisationally Duel dialogue.
Sometimes the Bulgarian Karparov makes use of oriental harmonies, then again he’s playing funky miniatures, swinging and bobbing in the next moment. Andreas Brunn alternates between the wobbly electric guitar in modern fusion sound design and the seven-string acoustic guitar, which he plays with considerable mastery in a mixture of fingerstyle and pick technique. He stages his mostly own compositions with accurate serenity … ”

Mannheim morning

“The concert -goers were carried away by the grandiose dialogue between the different cultures: Time and again there was applause for the breathtaking solos of the four very different musical characters. Bandleader Andreas Brunn, who provided the ideas for most of the pieces on the new CD “Transversal”, fascinated with expressive, virtuoso playing on acoustic and electric guitars. Exceptional saxophonist Vladimir Karparov made people sit up and take notice with rapid, Balkanizing runs and completely new, crazy tones. Jonathan Robinson electrified with his intense, swinging, melodic bass playing.
What is remarkable is the precise interplay of the musicians, who combine the melodies into a pulsating sound fabric, driven by the fantastic drums of Dimitris Christide. The tension was kept by the multitude of skillfully placed rhythm changes, keys and sound combinations, which are sensationally connected by the four jazzers. The audience’s feet bobbed along with the spirited variations of FOR FREE HANDS. The final applause turned into rhythmic clapping. The enthusiastic audience wanted more, which was gladly granted. “

Franconian day

“Musically strong bubbling: The quartet ‘For free hands’ breathed Slavic originality. It has expanded its focus to include Mediterranean and modern influences. Slavic, Jewish and oriental mingled in Vladimir Karparov’s lively saxophone playing. The wild and a little dirty played chords by Andreas Brunn promised happy anarchism. The groovy drummer Dimitris Christides and the punchy bassist Jonathan Robinson formed an excellent rhythm section. ‘For free hands’ did a great job in the Bamberg Jazzkeller! “

Liechtenstein fatherland

Classic modern and wandering drums

“The anniversary festival for the 25th anniversary of the Tangente opened with concerts by the bands ‘For Free Hands’ and ‘Franco Ambrosetti European Legacy’ loses folkloric musical elements…. shapes the sound of the band through a multitude of very consciously and skilfully set rhythm changes, keys and sound combinations, whose musical origins extend from the Balkans to India. ” – Arno Oehri

Saarbrücker Zeitung 

“St. Helix. The enthusiastic audience in the winter garden of the Hotel Angel wanted more. The final praise for the Berlin band “For Free Hands” turned into loud, rhythmic clapping to get the four musicians to do an encore early on Sunday afternoon. Andreas Brunn and Vladimir Karparov, who comes from the Bulgarian capital Sofia, earned great applause for their breathtaking solos, which gave each piece an artistic lightness. And when they let themselves fall into their own world of sound and improvise, the heart of every jazz lover beat faster … ”

UUSI AIKA (Finnish daily newspaper)

“The performances at this year’s Pori Jazz Festival took place on Tuesday and Wednesday .. Your mix of musical styles and the fireworks of your rhythms turned the heads of many listeners. … ”“ For Free Hands ”offers the listeners challenging and demanding music. Various influences from the most diverse folk traditions are combined with jazz in a sensational way. “

Zurich Oberland 

“FOR FREE HANDS is an almost conspiratorial community that also goes through thick and thin musically. At the peaks of these stringent moments, the members begin their solos, and it soon becomes clear where the “weirdest” influences come from: Brunn’s guitar groans and groans under the master’s delicate fingering. With his playing, the guitarist sets the undeniable highlights of every concert. With For Free Hands, a formation appeared in the container whose level one would like to meet more often … ” Renato Bagattini


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