Friday, July 29, 2016

USA: Elisabeth Lohninger & Walter Fischbacher Duo Zinc Bar Monday, August 29th 7pm + New CD

Elisabeth Lohninger & Walter Fischbacher Duo
Monday, August 29th
7pm (2 sets)
Zinc Bar
 82 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012
(212) 477-9462
Cover: $10

For more than 20 years Elisabeth Lohninger and Walter Fischbacher have been making music together. Living in New York. Touring in Europe, Japan, the Middle East. A plethora of projects and albums lie between their first duo album, "Austrian LiedGood", and their latest release, also a duo CD with the title "Ballads in Blue". In between the two of them explored diverse musical avenues, wrote music for other projects, came into their own as artists. Now they step out again as a duo, a suitcase filled with a wide variety of musical influences and revelations in tow. This is the backdrop for an atmospheric, intimate and colorful arc that tells the story of two people who went out into the world to find themselves and each other. Poetry, passion and groove.

webpage: Lohninger & Fischbacher Duo

New CD
Lohninger "Eleven Promises"


(Jazzsick 5097 JS )
Street Date: Sept 23, 2016

"Lohninger shapes an adventurous but accessible session that ideally showcases her voice. Dark and dense as blackberries yet lustrous as pearls, it is a stunning instrument that deserves smart, sympathetic support."
- Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times
“…a powerful performer and a highly-skilled improviser and composer.”
—New York Times


In a career that has taken her from the slopes of the Austrian alps, where she sang folk songs as a young girl, to jazz clubs, concert halls and the stages of international jazz festivals, vocalist Elisabeth Lohninger has proven herself to be a powerful and elusive talent. On her latest CD, Eleven Promises (September 23rd, 2016, JazzSick Records), she teams up with pianist husband Walter Fischbacher to create a luscious meditation on love and commitment. Joining her is an international cast of jazz talents that includes drummer Ulf Stricker and bassist Goran Vujic, along with special guests Gary Schreiner (chromatic harmonica), Ben Butler (guitar), and Pete McCann (guitar). Drawing on her love of pop music, as well as jazz and her own originals, she has crafted an album that tells the story of two people who went out into the world to find themselves and each other. Poetry, passion and groove.

"This album is our first co-written release in almost two decades," Lohninger says. "It feels like coming home after exploring the world, learning, studying and experiencing different textures of music making. In a way it's an album about our marriage. The title reflects our promise to each other to always return to one another, no matter what. We just happen to make this promise eleven times, and in 11/16," she says, alluding to the title track of the album.

The album opener, "When We Were Young", delves into family and connectedness. Lohninger's clear, warm alto takes us on a trip down memory lane, to glimpse moments of levity - warm summer rain, carefree children at play, unbridled imagination - and to use these moments in times of darkness and hopelessness as a reminder that happiness often lies in the tiniest flashes of joy. The only cover song on the album "The Girl from Ipanema" receives a cool chill-out make-over, while "Take My Picture While I'm Smiling" has Lohninger channel a moment of intimacy on a hot summer night. The tinge of disappointment in "Birthday Girl" gets as much an authentic reading as budding love does in "Mellow Moon Moaning". "Each Time You Leave" speaks to the hardship of separation, wrapped in cool electronica and subtle strings, while "Hold On" urges us to follow through on our dreams and aspirations and not let inside or outside "dark voices" derail our path. Lohninger calls "Merry Go Round" her anti-war song, and it is one of those tunes that sneak up on the listener in their simplicity - in this case disguised as a children's ditty - only to express the frustration of endless repetition in a gut wrenching howl. "Circles" alludes to Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage" before moving into a circular motion in the chorus. Lohninger handles the subject matter, the sway of false prophets, with her trademark straight forward singing style, inviting the listener to step into their own journey and realize that nobody has all the right answers. Finally, "Ya Mi Corazon", based on Tirso Duarte's "Cuenta con los Santos", is a lark of a song, an expression of an 'amour fou', a fling, a celebration of spontaneity that invites the listener to break into a breathy Rumba.

Throughout the album Lohninger is buffered by a subtle, tasteful production that wraps itself around her voice, the lyrics, the emotions without being overbearing. Walter Fischbacher's piano and rhodes solos bring a muscular yet agile brilliance to the recording, while Stricker and Vujic supply an inspired, solid foundation. Ben Butler brings a Blues flavor to the otherwise lushly orchestrated "Birthday Girl", while Gary Schreiner's velvet smooth sound on chromatic harmonica slinks through "Mellow Moon Moaning", adding a tasteful layer of yearning.

Growing up in a small Austrian mountain village (population 25), Lohninger started singing in school and church choirs.  At the age of six, she joined her two sisters in what would become a nationally renowned vocal group specializing in the songs of her homeland. Driven by her musical curiosity, she soon ventured in other directions and studied classical music and jazz, finishing her studies with a Masters degree in music and English Language and Literature. In 1994, Lohninger relocated to New York and has released eleven albums since then. Teaming up with pianist Walter Fischbacher to co-found the duo Perfect Roommates, she released Austrian LiedGood, a fusion of Austrian folk music and jazz. Her pop-soul album Alien Lovers, released in 2000 under the alias Tera, provides additional evidence of her stylistic versatility. In 2003, she and Fischbacher also recorded IF, an album of electronica chill-out tracks, which were featured extensively in the daytime drama One Life to Live. Her 2004 release Beneath Your Surface (Lofish Music) with Fischbacher, Steve Doyle and Hari Ganglberger consisted mainly of her jazz originals as did the 2006 release The Only Way Out Is Up (Lofish), with her working trio of Fischbacher, bassist Chris Tarry, and drummer Jordan Perlson. In 2008 Lohninger joined tap dancer Max Pollak and vibraphonist Tim Collins to record Trionada, a highly inventive album that took the trio's experimenting powers to exceptional heights. Songs of Love and Destruction (2010), one of Lohninger’s most ambitious albums, saw her team up with jazz greats such as Donny McCaslin, Bruce Barth, Ingrid Jensen, and Christian Howes. Lohninger's only Christmas album to date, Christmas in July, was a collaboration between her, Walter Fischbacher and German guitarist Axel Fischbacher (not related), that saw Lohninger sing in nine different languages. Her live album, aptly titled LIVE (2012) was named "one of the best vocal albums of 2013" by C. Michael Bailey of All About Jazz. Finally, in 2015, Lohninger commemorated the closing of her long-running recording studio Lofish Studios with the release of a duo album titled Ballads in Blue. Here she is accompanied by Walter Fischbacher on piano. This album marks the most intimate outing of the vocalist to date, consisting entirely of ballads such as "Never Let Me Go" and "You Don't Know What Love Is".

With Eleven Promises Elisabeth Lohninger paints a gratifying and deeply moving portrait of the human experience.

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