Andreas Willers Octet
Recorded on December 7 & 8 1998
A highly original and sometimes ironical player, Andreas Willers started out both on blues and avant-garde guitar and had his recording debut as a soloist in 1981 on FMP. Willers has performed on five continents and played with artists like Paul Bley, Louis Sclavis, Enrico Rava, David Murray, Trilok Gurtu, Bobby Previte and many more. Sounding like nobody else, his range of artistic expression includes the pure touch of the classical guitar as well as electronics and noise effects which he uses with remarkable taste and a knack for the well-dosed shock. Often close to contemporary classical music, Willers "possesses an unusual wide intervallic sense" (Cadence Magazine) reminiscent of legendary reed player Eric Dolphy. Willers also recorded "one of the most ambitious Hendrix projects we have ever come across," as the Hendrix memorial fanzine Voodoo Child puts it. Says pianist Paul Bley: "I work with the best and Andreas continues the lineage."
His new album "The Ground Music" presents Willers' most daring and colorful project as a leader and composer. For this recording, Willers gathered an octet of individualists hailing from New York, Paris, Moscow, Berlin and Cologne. Based on modernistic recipes, the five-horn band flies through a fascinating amalgam of ballad moods, rock and shuffle rhythms, touches of blues and dixieland and Shostakovich-like passages. In addition to the furious arrangements with their steadily changing instrumentations and styles, Willers conceived tailor-made solo spots for all of his outstanding fellow musicians: expressionistic Schubert, versatile Pifarely, virtuosic Puntin, earthy Huke, inventive Shilkloper and the superb rhythm section consisting of Ilg and Rainey. A major work, full of tension and surprise.
All Music Guide