The Bavarian pianist and composer Hans Koller has been living in the UK for over half his life and has become a vital and much-respected figure both on the stage and in the classroom. He divides his time between London and Birmingham, where he teaches at Birmingham Conservatoire. And it is Birmingham’s Stoney Lane Records which on 15 April will release his most impressive body of recorded music so far: a triple vinyl album called Retrospection.
The album features Koller’s own writing as well as his arrangements of music by Lennie Tristano, Charlie Parker and J.S. Bach among others. With Koller on piano are, on Retrospection I, a 12-piece horn-led ensemble featuring special guest Steve Swallow on bass guitar; on Retrospection II, John Gallagher, – the alto saxophonist who has recently forsaken Brooklyn to move to Birmingham – and guitarists Phil Robson and Jakob Bro are part of the 11-strong band with Koller on Wurlitzer; and the great German NDR Big Band is on Retrospection III, playing seven Koller originals.
The whole thing has extensive liner notes from John Fordham and is on limited edition 180g vinyl. It’s a joint release by Stoney Lane Records and vinyl specialists Impossible Ark. The music will also be available in digital form.
Hans Koller’s Quartet with John O’Gallagher on saxophone, Percy Pursglove on double bass and Jeff Williams on drums will be playing in a double bill with Percy Pursglove’s Far Reaching Dreams Trio at Kings Place in London on Friday 4 March (book here) and with BCMG at the CBSO Centre in Birmingham on Saturday 12 March as part of the Frontiers Festival (book here). Retrospection will be officially launched at both concerts.
- For full details of Hans Koller’s Retrospection go to Stoney Lane Records here.