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Karl Ratzer - Organic Stew

Karl Ratzer

Organic Stew

Release date: November 11, 2022
If it were not at least sometimes true, then the comparison with the age and quality of the wine (the older the better) would probably be a bit over-stretched, but it certainly applies in the case of Sir Karl Ratzer. Which, of course, does not mean that what he did as a young person was worse, but at most different, or perhaps one should replace the word better with sovereign, clarified, clearer, more soulful or something similar. Freed from various constraints and temptations (or his demons, as his wife Anna calls them), which did not make his life any easier, he wants to achieve success again in his mid-sixties. This fourth era of his career began with the recording of You've Changed with Peter Tuscher (2011), a wonderful recording of standards as a quintet. The title choice of this CD is also interesting, since it points to the unwavering self-confidence of the guitarist: it's not him, Ratzer, who has changed, but You, the others. Three years later he released the recording Underground System with those musicians who were to accompany him for the next few years: trombonist Ed Neumeister, saxophonist Johannes Enders, bassist Peter Herbert and of course Howard Curtis on drums. This sextet manifested the new Ratzer, who, however, in the end literally reinvented himself with My Time (2016), in a trio with Herbert and Curtis. Ratzer plays jazz pieces as if they were Viennese songs, Samir H. Köck wrote as a headline in the Presse, a review of this ballad CD, and formulated the following closing conclusion: Of the local people, only he can make American styles such as blues and jazz sound as if they had originated in Brigittenau. Terrific. I can only second that! For the sake of completeness, we have to mention his current fantastic recordings: Midnight Whistler with Johannes Enders (2016), Tears (2017), Occasion with Extracello (2019) and most recently his duo Alone Together with Ed Neumeister (2021).
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