The Styrian hornplayer-project SMART METAL HORNETS was founded in 1990 by the
Styrian brassplayer/composer Christoph Wundrak in Graz. The challenging basic
idea was to replace the rhythm section of a traditional Jazz-quintett (2 horns,
piano/bass/drums) by just one basshornplayer. Until now this group has survived
all ups and downs of the Austrian and International culturescene.
On their 4th CD this remarkable trio (2 woodwindplayers, 1 brassplayer) is engaged
with Styrian folkmusic, Klezmer and some other influences in it’s approved
humorous and original way. The trio operates out of a bluesy/rocky/funky/jazzy
base, where groovy, joyfull and humorous playing, openness for experiments and
fanciful compositions/arrangements are characteristic for. The title-song
‚Archduke-Shuffle’ is ,symptomatic’ for this engagement and relates itself to the
wordfamous ‚Erzherzog-Johann-Jodler’(Archduke-John-Yodeler, styrian folksong)
On 7 tunes (11 altogether) the trio gets superb support by the international wellknown
drummer/percussionist WOLFRAM DIX from Leipzig/Germany. He has
worked with musicians like Nigel Kennedy, Nina Hagen, Joe Zawinul, Charlie
Mariano…..and has worked with SMH since 2001. He has travelled Austria,
Germany and China with this group.
Because of the many instruments (besides drumset, bongos and kanjira 7
woodwind- and 4 brassinstruments are used) and these humorous-wilfull
compositions/arrangements a varied and unusual soundsituation arises, which
shows an amazing multiplicity in sound and styles.
Despite or even because of this amusing unusuality this CD is entertaining in a
Often you have the impression of a ‚mini-bigband’, which gets it’s energetic
motivation from examples representing the bluesrock-genre like Johnny Winter or
Rory Gallagher, but without losing sight of it’s alpin origin. At the same time you
can feel a respectful engagement with jazztradition. Especially the four triorecordings
have a strong touch of chamber music.
Among 9 original compositions by Christoph Wundrak there is a traditional
Klezmer-piece as well as the old CCR-song ‚Suzie Q’ on the record.