Hans Koller – Relax With My Horns (1966/2015) [HighResAudio FLAC 24bit/88,2kHz]

Hans Koller – Relax With My Horns (1966/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 29:41 minutes | 534 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HighResAudio.com | Front Cover | © MPS Classical

The re-release of Hans Koller’s 1966 Relax With My Horns (MPS, Germany) shows a master at the top of his game. For the listeners, the disc is composed, arranged and produced with a sense of cheekiness… Trio of jazz musicians, with overdubbing of up to four saxophones on the session. The sum is a tidy little package of swing, blues and multi-tracked sax that echoes the iconic group Supersax.

In the beginning, America tried to get Viennese saxophonist Hans Koller to emigrate to the States. But the musician, who at the time was a seminal figure in post-war European jazz, refused to move. Still, he performed with Stan Kenton, Lee Konitz, Oscar Pettiford and Kenny Clarke and even co-founded one of Europe’s first jazz-rock fusion bands, Free Sound. While bassist and pianist Hans Rettenbacher is on the disc alongside drummer Rafi Luderitz it’s the sound of that sax choir that seems to carry Relax With My Horns. At just under 30 minutes, it does not tire after each listen. Sure, you get your obligatory blues but you also get two doses of Picasso-inspired free-form flight (“Music For Pablo” and “Music For Pablo 2”).

Influenced by Eric Dolphy, Koller’s playing soars on the recordings. He is equal parts humorous, humble and knowledgeable (particularly with his exceptional ability to over-dub). “The Twister” is a whirling track, zig-zagging all over town while “Half And Half” cracks open in the middle of a march to reveal a unique swing. Though MPS has also re-released Koller’s Vision, it’s actually Relax With My Horns that is the one to own. It’s a short burst of terrific tone while its different feels make it seem as if each track belongs to a different album (except, of course, for the two Picasso pieces).

01 – Relax
02 – The Sweetest Girl I’ve Ever Known
03 – Music for Pablo I
04 – The Twister
05 – Half and Half
06 – Ziag Hin
07 – Blues for Marina
08 – Music for Pablo II

Produced & Engineered by Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer.
Digitally Remastered.

Hans Koller – saxophone
Hans Rettenbacher – bass, piano
Rafi Luederitz – drums



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