Double Brein (Preiser Records)

Georg Breinschmid

Released November 28, 2014

DownBeat Four-and-a-Half-Star Review




Music – infinite space. It’s the year 2014 and we’re penetrating with Double Brein unknown musical regions that bring us new knowledge. Insights into how original and original music can be at the same time. It was at the beginning Georg Breinschmid, the man with the hat on the double bass, an apparently insurmountable one crisis in the way of even thinking about recording songs for a new album. A refrain, conceived during a walk, finally solved this hurdle: “And the solution stands in front of me / only i siach’s ned, just i siach’s ned…” This quickly resulted in a song, a studio appointment, a cornucopia of ideas, a double album, co-financed by Crowdfunding.

For far too long, music has been divided into E and U, which is neither applicable nor illuminating, but always practical, as in the case of Double Brein. On CD2 there classic sets the tone, on CD1 we hear sung songs and instrumental pieces in one colossal range from jazz to wienerlied to reggae to folk to blues and – oh! – Georg Breinschmid delivers a real surprise bag here. His fortune, all of that on however, mixing and processing at the highest level is never a conscious one intellectual consideration was: “It sounds almost cliché to say that, but it does there was always only one piece of music for me, no matter how it was labeled. I’m only with the years found out how much the individual styles of music mean social diferences or generate cliques and play along with socio-political issues that go along with the respective genre of music. So I hope to get this fresh, to have carefree access to the music.”

Track Listing:

Disc 1

1. Samba For Michi (Georg Breinschmid) 05:15

2. Musette With Happy Ending (Georg Breinschmid) 04:32

3. Gabriel (Georg Breinschmid / Thomas Gansch) 04:48

4. Kopanitsa (Traditional) 03:34

5. Wunder (Georg Breinschmid) 04:19

6. Odessa (Georg Breinschmid) 08:57

7. Feb. 25 (Georg Breinschmid) 04:59

8. Reich & Schön/Waltz Of The Idiots (Georg Breinschmid / Thomas Gansch) 05:23

9. Interlude (Georg Breinschmid) 02:45

10. Fifteen Schnörtzenbrekkers Are Better Than None (Georg Breinschmid) 06:11

11. Danke (Georg Breinschmid) 05:41

12. Blues In The Kitchen (Georg Breinschmid) 04:19

13. Brein In Da Koffihaus (Georg Breinschmid / Thomas Gansch) 05:05

14. Fantastische Trünenbaum (Georg Breinschmid) 03:51

15. B’Soffm In Heanois (Georg Breinschmid) 04:47

16. Waltz Of The Idiots [Alternate Take] (Georg Breinschmid / Thomas Gansch) 04:05

Disc 2

1. Mephistowalzer (Franz Liszt) 12:33

2. Miniature (Georg Breinschmid) 04:41

3. Irish Wedding In Bucharest (Florian Willeitner) 07:22

4. Violin Concerto In A Minor, 2nd Movement (Johann Sebastian Bach) 08:08

5. La Vecchia (Stride La Vampa) (Giuseppe Verdi) 04:03

6. Romance (Franz Liszt) 03:23

7. Brein’s Knights (Georg Breinschmid) 06:49

8. Alter Refrain (Fritz Kreisler) 03:35

9. Monti Csardas [Sick Version] (Vittorio Monti) 08:37

10. Selfie (Georg Breinschmid) 03:37

11. Consolation (Franz Liszt) 04:39

12. Schluss (Georg Breinschmid) 05:31


Disc One

Georg Breinschmid: double bass, bass guitar, vocals

Antoni Donchev (1, 6, 7, 12, 15), Michael Hornek (10, 14): piano, vocals

Gerald Preinfalk (1, 6), Vladimir Karparov (7, 15), soprano sax: vocals

Thomas Gansch: trumpet, vocals (3, 8, 9, 13, 16)

Benjamin Schmid (2, ), Stephan “Stoney” Steiner (4), Angelika Hudler (4), Lucy Wagner (4), Magdalena Zenz (4), Florian Willeitner (4): violin

Franck Tortiller: vibes (10, 14)

Diknu Schneeberger: guitar (2)

Rafael Steiner: cajon (4)

Olga U. (3), Franz Schaden (15): vocals

Disc Two

Georg Breinschmid: bass

Frantisek Janoska (1, 9, 11), Emil Spanyi (4), Antoni Donchev (12): piano (1)

Thomas Dobler: vibes (4)

Roman Janoska (1, 9, 11), Benjamin Schmid (2), Florian Willeitner (3, 7), Johannes Dickbauer (3, 7), Sebastian Gurtler (5, 6): violin

Matthias Bartolomey: violin-cello (3, 7)

Thomas Huber: accordion (5, 6)

Diknu Schneeberger: guitar (8)

Gerald Preinfalk: soprano sax (12)

Recorded April, 2010, at 4tune Studio, Wien; Cassanova Vienna, Wien; Clipwerk, Wien; Lisztzentrum, Raiding; Porgy & Bess, Wien; Sonic Flow, Wals/Salzburg; Spielboden, Dornbirn; Wavegarden, Mitterretzbach

Producer: Bandzelt

Engineer: Christophe Burgstaller, Roland Baumann, Roland Baumann Jr., Alexander Hörl, Franz Schaden, Wolfgang Schramml, Peter Tomic, Marco Zinz

Editing, Mastering and Mixing: Georg Breinschmid and Christophe Burgstaller

Photography: Julia Wesely

Graphic Design: Lili Schagerl


Variety can be a tiresome thing. With its constant shifting of gears and demand for reorientation, newness in listening can be a drag. Not so with Georg Breinschmid and his curious assortment of talents on Double Brein. Variety becomes the spice of life on these two discs, one essentially expressing the Austrian’s jazz/folk/world side, the other favoring a more classical bent. The connective tissue is that it’s all imbued with improvisation, regardless of form. A certain daftness in this mix of live and studio recordings pervades many of the performances, laced with a European flair for humor. The veteran bassist knows his way around the instrument in a virtuosic sense, and has performed with many established jazz greats, including Archie Shepp and Charlie Mariano. On Double Brein, we get the 42-year-old’s full treatment of chops and attitude across 28 pieces of varying length. Along with “regular cast members,” Breinschmid pulls in an eclectic assortment of players, and sometimes has others play his music without him. From the first notes of the spritely “Samba For Michi” on Disc One, the mood is set as pianist Antoni Donchev and soprano saxist Gerald Preinfalk surround Breinschmid’s busy plucks with just the right amount of swing and flourish. Breinschmid’s affinities for Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli are on display with “Musette With Happy Ending,” a very tuneful, lively waltz featuring guitarist Diknu Schneeberger and Benjamin Schmid on violin. The first vocals (and sound effects) emerge with Thomas Gansch (doubling on trumpet) and Olga U., on the lightly driven, playful folk ditty “Gabriel.” Another flair comes with the occasional unusual time signature, as heard on the dizzying, dancing Bulgarian folk melody “Kopanitsa” in 11/8. And so it goes, with unpredictable twists and turns through 16 mostly small-group sessions on the first CD, the flavorful trumpeter/collaborator Thomas Gansch a welcomed presence on selected cuts. Disc Two can be enjoyed as an odds-and-sods collection of originals next to some inventive rearrangements of Bach, Verdi and Liszt. The 12-anda-half-minute “Mephistowalzer” goes a long way to encapsulate much of the spirit of this second disc, full as it is of romantic splendor, wry humor, drama and pathos. Breinschmid’s fanciful approach to playing this improvised music in a small-group setting has the effect of being intimate (“Miniature”), at times solemn (Bach’s “Violin Concerto”), other times forceful (“Irish Wedding In Bucharest”), absolutely lovely (Liszt’s “Consolation,” Breinschmid’s delicate “Schluss”), even a tad funky (a revisit to Disc One’s “Brein’s Knights”) or theatrically comic and jazzy (“Monti Csardas”). It’s virtuosity, by and large, in service to the muse.

John Ephland (DownBeat)