The Austrian jazz pianist and composer Martin Gasselsberger has made a namefor himself far beyond Austria's borders with his extensive live activities and his
numerous, highly acclaimed CD releases.
Now he is dealing with the supreme discipline of every concert-performing musician:
the completely freely improvised solo concert. The starting point for such a listening
experience is basically the same for both the artist and the audience. "We all don't
know where this musical journey is going," the pianist gave insight into his approach
on the occasion of his piano recital on October 15, 2022.
In this CD recording (ATS Records) at Innsbruck's Haus der Musik, Gasselsberger
presents his initial sound material with short motifs, which he directly relates,
carefully connecting and developing them in a way that is always comprehensible to
the audience. Afterwards he pulls out all the stops of his pianistic and
improvisational skills for 76 minutes. Single long notes, hanging in space, multiply
into pearly curtains of sound, new linear ideas and voices gradually weave
themselves in counterpoint and fugue-like fashion into the right hand's sweeping,
expertly phrased melodies, which push forward, stop and restart again and again.
The pianist‘s harmonic language remains tonal. He is a composer of the moment, at
home in the worlds of classical, jazz and pop music, making clear how close these
genres can come in the immediate confrontation and combination of their musical
The goal of every solo concert, and at the same time the state of concentration and
openness to one's own ideas, is "flow," as Gasselsberger noted in the course of his
concert preparations. Flow is the currency and the bond between artist and
audience. It creates a bond of trust, flexible and stretchable. It remains exciting and
unpredictable for both sides to discover how the flow carries and where it leads. In
any case, the Upper Austrian‘s music is equally rewarding to grasp analytically and
to enjoy emotionally.
By the way, the concert recording was not edited afterwards, neither in content nor
in sound. This unique event remains 100% purely documented for attentive
listeners. Gasselsberger's performance can be mentioned in the same breath as the
most remarkable improvised solo concerts worldwide and adds a remarkable
highlight to the genre. (Günther Wildner)