Hartmann & Brunn



Hartmann & Brunn CD review: “nineteen strings” Alexander Schmitz – At last you can listen to them at home, the two kindred spirits Hans Hartmann and Andreas Brunn. We know the latter from “For Free Hands”, from the “Young Music Caravan”, which he co-initiated, and from his acoustic 7-string work halfway around the world.

Hans Hartmann, 74, once a highly esteemed jazz bassist in his native Switzerland, went to Germany in 1968, played with Guru Guru and then returned to jazz, playing with Emil Mangelsdorff, Zbigniew Seifert, Attila Zoller, Chet Baker, Johnny Griffin and Philly Joe Jones… In 1995 he discovered the 12-string Chapman Stick, which has had only 10,000 buyers worldwide for 40 years, but found a lifelong discoverer in Hans Hartmann.

10 pieces of delight about a string duo that usually sounds more like a trio. It is calm, musically lively, never cerebral. You have to sound it out first: Who is playing what? One of the two foreign titles, “Nica’s Dream”, in an unusual guise, is a small, fine listening feast. The second, “properly brushed through” by Brunn, also in tempo, to create room for improvisation, McLaughlin’s “Friday night” classic “Guardian Angel” and its conclusion an almost classic duet pleasure.

And we also choose Hans Hartmann’s “Swindia” (for Switzerland-India), meditative with harmonic rough edges – at least for non-Indian ears. Jazz? Perhaps actually world music? Chamber music probably all of the above. And much, much more. A treasure!

Jazz portal Jazz'halo.be

19 strings that are played in every conceivable variation: plucked, struck, sometimes hard, sometimes gently touched, torn, pressed, retuned again and again. This is “the musical playground” of Hans Hartmann, who has worked with such illustrious musicians as Chet Baker, Johnny Griffin and Guru Guru in the past, and Andreas Brunn, the founder of the ensemble For Free Hand. Two string players have come together in a duo, one playing the 12-string Chapmanstick (Hartmann) and the other the 7-string guitar (Brunn). …

The duo’s music is sure to put you in a good mood. The floating melodic clouds alone ensure this. You are carried along and take a seat on a pink musical cloud, as it were, letting yourself drift along and forgetting everything around you. Thank you! It’s just as well that there are musicians like Andreas Brunn and Hans Hartmann, who have succeeded in closing a brilliant musical gap with their music. – Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther


HARTMANN & BRUNN @ jazz series JAZZIT Munich/Germering. (by JÖRG KONRAD)

Everything flows – . .. The really phenomenal thing about the duo is its complexity. They don’t string together musical styles or ethnic elements, but rather create their own musical language from the most diverse set pieces, which is centrally and unmistakably associated with the names Andreas Brunn and Hans Hartmann.

The flowing and merging interplay between the two string instrumentalists was impressive. They complemented and motivated each other, took up ideas from their musical partner and developed them further in their own way. They developed their own, individually colored sound character for each piece, they consistently found a dynamic balance between intensity and meditation and overall they formed a self-contained unit. …”

culture SPIEGEL

“Tapped: A Chapmanstick resembles an oversized guitar fingerboard without a sound box, its twelve strings are not plucked but tapped. Swiss bassist Hans Hartmann has mastered this rare instrument and shapes the sound of the Hands duo, which is committed to “independent European jazz”. Guitarist Andreas Brunn from Weimar contributes influences from flamenco and jazz.” – H. Hielscher

ACOUSTIC guitar for the concert at the “Open Strings” festival

Hartmann & Brunn:

” … Hartmann & Brunn present the music playfully and build a bridge to the listener. On the one hand, their instruments originate from the western music scene and are essentially familiar to the audience in terms of their sound spectrum; on the other hand, the two prove to be accomplished musicians who present even the most difficult passages in a highly melodious and lively dance-like manner.

It is a pleasure to listen to these rhythms, especially as they often appear in combination with familiar waltz or samba sounds. In addition, Hartmann’s tapping parts on the by no means exhausted Chapman stick are so closely interlocked with those of Brunn’s dreamlike sounding and confidently played acoustic guitar (built by Jens Kummer) that you can literally revel in these duo sounds of the future. …”

Westphalian news

Wizard on stringed instruments

“Jazz fans were treated to an extraordinary concert experience in the “Jazz Live” series. The duo Hartmann and Brunn managed to create magical moments with their music.

Hartmann proved himself a virtuoso on the Chapman stick and Andreas Brunn coaxed the most unusual sounds from his seven-string acoustic guitar.

The inimitable sound of the Chapman Stick is created by “tapping” the strings. Hartmann uses the instrument like a bass and plays the melody at the same time. He also grabs a bow from time to time and turns the stick into a string instrument.

The seven-string guitar enables Andreas Brunn to switch musically between different emotions at lightning speed. In between, he uses the body of his seven-string guitar as a percussion instrument.

From the very first sounds, it was clear to the audience that they were in for a musical evening in a class of its own. The string wizards offered their audience a variety of musical recipes. Everything there is to hear in the world was gently released from the already complex playing. Like star chefs, the two musicians elevated the concert to a musical gourmet buffet in which a different flavor stood out from each delicacy.” – Beate Trautner

Thuringian General

Extraordinary side magic and jazz

Anyone who listened to the sounds with their eyes closed could easily believe that they were being whisked away into extraordinary musical worlds by a large ensemble: Bass, two guitars and percussion took the ears. This inimitable touch is not only due to their musicality, but also to their special instruments: Andreas Brunn delivers impressions from jazz to flamenco with his acoustic guitar extended by a bass string and plays the rhythm on it, tapping and drumming at the same time. Hans Hartmann plays the chapman stick with dreamlike ease. – Anke Kühn

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung

” … The dynamic spectrum of the duo went beyond all clichés. The guitar – at times electronically enriched – suddenly mutates from a sensitive, ballad-like acoustic solo to a percussive be-bop organ. Then – a break, silence and Hartmann’s playing on the “tapped” bass is now reminiscent of Debussy’s piano etudes. The melodies flow into one another, a pulsating fabric, then again the play with the pauses – pure tension. Not to mention the rousing rhythms, Balkan folklore, cool jazz, tango, rock, gypsy jazz, classical impressionism – award-worthy “new jazz” could fit into a very large drawer.”

Hifi specialist magazine "STEREO"

“It is not necessarily virtuosity that sets the Berlin duo apart from comparable jazz and folk formations. Rather, guitarist Andreas Brunn and perhaps the world’s best embroidery player Hans Hartmann display a joy of playing and, above all, a stylistic curiosity that is very impressive. With odd meters, they incorporate influences from waltzes, flamenco, Indian ragas and blues … a musical treasure trove”


” … The fact is that Hartmann and Brunn are people whose music really does constantly look over the edge of several plates and is simply fun despite all its complexity. From the convoluted fusion of the opener to the heart-warming play with clichés, the two string artists dare to walk a demanding tightrope between dissonant modernity and earthy grooves (“Dracula’s Breakfast”) and build bridges between ska, gypsy music and Miles Davis with “Gipsy Miles” … when they ironize stylistic templates a little without taking away their dignity, they even manage to square the circle.”


“The pieces, recorded live in the studio, combine a high compositional and technical level with liveliness and joy of playing, whereby the unusual virtuosity is always present but never intrusive. This disc is a feast for the ears for anyone who has even the slightest feeling for rhythmic nuances and light-footed, dancing melodic fabric. ” – Steffen Basho-Junghans


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