Gerald Gradwohl talks about Big Land
Gerald Gradwohl: Well regular life happened… which means local gigs with my Trio to promote the CD, other local jobs with singers, etc… and of course my teaching job at the Conservatory Eisenstadt. In 2011 I released ABQ Live & Raw which has the same line up as Big Land and is a very rough recording of a club gig in Vienna in 2004. By the way listening to this rec. made me think about a new GG Group album.
Gerald Gradwohl: My first goal was to record a new album and while thinking about how to realize that I came up with the idea that it would be the best and most economic way to play some concerts before going into the studio. So I booked a one week tour and immediately after these gigs we did the recording. In most cases it is first Studio – then release with a tour. There is no chance for the music to develop and this is why I prefer the other way round – worked perfectly for me. We had a short rehearsal before the tour, came up with some new ideas at the gigs and were well prepared to record!
Ablx: You have recorded several times with Kirk Covington of Tribal Tech. How did you meet and begin working with Kirk? Is Tribal Tech a big influence on your music?
Gerald Gradwohl: I started to work with Kirk in 2002 during the ABQ recordings in Santa Fe. I wanted to make a record with my favourite musicians and Kirk and Willis where my number 1 rhythm section. Kirk and I stayed in contact since then and whenever possible I try to use him. To me he is still underrated in the scene – but what an outstanding drummer and musician he is!
Gerald Gradwohl: This quote was written by a journalist and I liked that! So I use it in my press package… I like to have compositions that have a certain form or melody or both…but it is also important to have some freedom within the music although it is composed. We often open up the forms to create some kind of new vibes or even parts. That keeps everything fresh and interesting. To me a good mixture is the right way, but there was not too much concept behind that – it just happened. For example tunes like I remember Berg are pretty strict in form and chords whereas for instance Yes Or No is very open with 2 main parts and the rest can vary every night! Sometimes we totally went into another direction like a rap or so… great fun!!
Gerald Gradwohl: I hope that eveyone can feel the good vibe and energy we had during the recording. It is very much like a great sounding live concert. Almost no overdubs! Just a few additions like a rhythm guitar or sax harmony part – 99% live. To me this is a kind of music that I am looking for and want to hear myself!…cool tunes with rock attitude and jazz harmony with a lot of interplay, blowing and great sound! Hopefully there are some more people out there searching for this!