Hartmann & Brunn
Hartmann & Brunn CD review: “nineteen strings”
Laika Records 3510342.2
by Alexander Schmitz
You can finally listen to them at home, the two soul mates Hans Hartmann and Andreas Brunn. The latter is known from “For Free Hands”, from the “Young Music Caravan” he helped initiate and his acoustic 7-string work halfway around the world.
Hans Hartmann, 74, once a highly valued jazz bassist in his Swiss homeland, 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 only sold 10,000 worldwide for 40 years, but has found a lifelong discoverer in Hans Hartmann.
10 pieces of delight over a string duo, which mostly sounds more like a trio. It is calm, musically lively, never cerebral. You have to sound out first: who is playing what? One of the two foreign titles, “Nica’s Dream”, in an unusual guise, a small, fine listening festival, helps. The second, “brushed up properly” by Brunn, also in the tempo to create space for improvisation, McLaughlin’s “Friday night” classic “Guardian Angel” and its ending an almost classic duet-pleasure.
Hartmann’s “Tango el cercado” is particularly pleasing for his stick-as-bass playing and the guitar percussion by Andreas Brunn. Even in the “contrasts” of these, the calm lies in the strength, especially the harmonic one: beguiling chords, gentle flirtations with modern dissonances – a highlight. In his “Smile of Menja” (another guide for novices!) Both solos are very clearly separated from each other. And his “Good Movement” is just this: Everything flows with a gentle drive – also a highlight.
And then we choose Hans Hartmann’s “Swindia” (for Switzerland-India), meditative with harmonious corners and edges – at least for non-Indian ears. Jazz? Maybe actually world music? Chamber music?
More like all of that. And a lot more. A treasure!
Jazz portal Jazz'halo.be
19 strings that are played in all imaginable variations: plucked, struck, sometimes hard, sometimes gently touched, torn, pressed, and tuned 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 formed a duo, one playing the 12-string Chapmanstick (Hartmann) and the other the 7-string guitar (Brunn). …
The duo’s music will definitely put you in a good mood. The floating melody clouds alone ensure this. You are taken along and, as it were, take a seat on a pink musical cloud, let yourself drift along and forget everything around you. Thanks!
Sometimes mood enhancers outside of the pharmaceutical industry are essential in these times, especially since the jazz world suffered painful losses in the summer of 2016: Toots Thielemans and Bobby Hutcherson left this jazz planet and left a musical void. It’s a good thing that there are musicians like Andreas Brunn and Hans Hartmann who have succeeded in bridging the gap brilliantly with their music. – Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther
HARTMANN & BRUNN @ jazz series JAZZIT Munich / Germering. (by JÖRG KONRAD)
Everything flows – the guitarists Hans Hartmann and Andreas Brunn have developed their very own tonal language.
Germering – Was that still jazz? The answer to the question probably depends on how you define jazz. And there are many different points of view. Ilse Storb, the only European professor for jazz research and now 83 years old, once wrote in one of her books: “Jazz is vital, creative, democratic and free, open to musical languages of all times and spaces.” That said, the decisive thing is: the duo Andreas Brunn and Hans Hartmann played jazz last Friday in the Germeringer Amadeussaal under this aspect. On nineteen plucked, struck, gently touched, hard torn, deliberately pressed and repeatedly tuned strings. The German and the Swiss, art makes it possible, in a friendly atmosphere.
On Friday evening, Andreas Brunn and Hans Hartmann were something like musical globetrotters who captured and catalyzed cultural coloring on their hikes and presented the result to an attentive audience. Andreas Brunn added a knife-edge to classical music on the seven-string acoustic guitar, while Hans Hartmann devoted himself more to the wonderful melodies and atmospheric moods of the music on the less common twelve-string Chapman Stick.
Fortunately, virtuosity as an end in itself was not the distinguishing feature of the evening. What was more impressive was the flowing and merging interaction between the two string instrumentalists. They complemented and motivated each other, took up ideas from their musical partner and carried them on in their own way. For each piece they developed their own, individually colored sound character, they consistently found a dynamic balance between intensity and meditation and they all formed a self-contained unit. The real goal of every musicians’ cooperative.
Interestingly, in addition to their own compositions, the two musicians also had jazz classics by Charlie Parker (Yardbird Suite) and Horace Silver (Nicas Dream) in their program and also a piece by John McLaughlin, who drives almost all guitarists to sheer desperation. But Brunn and Hartmann have skilfully removed the speed and excessive perfection from his “GuardianAngel” and created a psychedelic blues that worked more through its change of meter and its hypnotic timbre and left something oppressively mysterious.
But what is really phenomenal about the duo is its complexity. It is not musical styles or ethnic elements that are strung together, but rather a different tonal language is created from the most varied of set pieces, which is very central and unmistakably linked to the names Andreas Brunn and Hans Hartmann. “Jazz is also a partnership and is created through interactive play in a group,” wrote Ilse Storb.
“Touched: A Chapmanstick resembles an oversized guitar fingerboard without a sound body, its twelve strings are not plucked, but tapped. The Swiss bassist Hans Hartmann masters the rare instrument and shapes the sound of the duo Hands, which are committed to an“ 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: The winners of last year’s competition proved to be particularly worthy of the festival’s motto and title. Andreas Brunn on the seven-string acoustic guitar and Hans Hartmann on the Chapman stick: This duo opens up the listener to the music of areas that for decades could just as well have been on the far side of the moon, but now their share of the globally circulating ethno music want to bring in: Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia …
Hartmann & Brunn present the music in a playful way and build a bridge to the listener.
On the one hand, their instruments come from western music and the sound spectrum is essentially familiar to the audience; on the other hand, the two prove to be accomplished musicians who present even the most difficult passages in a highly melodic and dance-like manner. It is a pleasure to listen to these rhythms, especially since they often occur in combination with familiar waltz or samba sounds. In addition, Hartmann’s tapping parts on the Chapman stick, which has by no means been exhausted, are so closely interlinked with those of Brunn’s fantastic sounding and masterfully played acoustic guitar (built by Jens Kummer) that you can literally indulge in these duo sounds of the future. “
Wizard of stringed instruments
“In the“ Jazz Live ”series, jazz fans can look forward to a very unusual concert experience. The duo Hartmann and Brunn managed to create magical moments with their music.
Hartmann proved himself to be a virtuoso on the Chapman stick and Andreas Brunn coaxed the most unusual tones out of his seven-string acoustic guitar.
The inimitable sound of the Chapman stick is created by the “tapping” of the strings. Hartmann uses the instrument like a bass and plays the melody at the same time. He also grabs a bow in between 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.
After the first few sounds, it was clear to the audience that they were expecting a top-class music evening. The string wizards offered their listeners various music recipes. Everything that can be heard in the world has been carefully removed from the already complex game. Like star chefs, the two musicians increased the concert to a musical gourmet buffet, in which a different aroma stood out from every delicacy. ” Beate Trautner
Duo Hartmann & Brunn from Berlin played under the motto extraordinary side magic and jazz
For more than ten years, Hans Hartmann from Zurich and Weimar-born Andreas Brunn have performed together in various constellations, have recorded CDs, won competitions, and reached an international audience with their music, which is influenced by different cultures.
Anyone who surrendered to the sounds with closed eyes could easily believe that they were being carried away into extraordinary musical worlds by a larger ensemble: bass, two guitars and percussion heard their ears. This inimitable note is not only due to their musicality, but also to their special instruments: Andreas Brunn’s acoustic guitar, which has been expanded to include a bass string, delivers impressions from jazz to flamenco and plays the rhythm while tapping and drumming. Hans Hartmann uses the Chapmanstick with dreamlike ease. – Anke Kühn
”… The dynamic spectrum of the duo broke 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 play on the “tapped” bass reminds us of Debussy’s piano études. The melodies flow into each other, a pulsating fabric, then the play with the pauses again – pure tension. Not to mention the rousing rhythms, Balkan folklore, cool jazz, tango, rock, gypsy jazz, classical impressionism – the award-winning “New Jazz” could fit as a really big drawer. “
Hifi specialist magazine "STEREO"
“It is not necessarily the virtuosity that sets the Berlin duo apart from comparable jazz and folk formations. Guitarist Andreas Brunn and perhaps the world’s best embroidery player Hans Hartmann rather display a joy in playing and, above all, a stylistic curiosity that is very impressive. With odd meters they process influences from waltzes, flamenco, Indian ragas and blues … a musical treasure trove ”
”… The fact is that with Hartmann and Brunn people have come together whose music really looks beyond the edges of the plate and, despite all the complexity, is simply fun. From the nested fusion of the opener to the refreshing play with clichés, the two string artists dare a demanding tightrope act between dissonant modernity and earthy grooves (“Dracula’s Breakfast”) and with “Gipsy Miles” they build bridges between ska, gypsy music and Miles Davis … if they are stylistic Ironically ironing out templates without depriving them of 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