Alan Bartus ft. Gregory Hutchinson

Born In Millennium

Price: € 14.95
Format: CD
Label: Double Moon Records
UPC: 0608917142921
Catnr: DMCHR 71429
Release date: 21 April 2023
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1 CD
€ 14.95
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Label
Double Moon Records
UPC
0608917142921
Catalogue number
DMCHR 71429
Release date
21 April 2023

"... The fluid lines and his incisive swing attacks make the album an energetic affair..."

Jazzthing, 29-3-2023
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

When you hear the fluid lines with the concise swing attacks of pianist Alan Bartus, you can hardly believe that the man is only 21 years old. Bartus was born on February 22, 2001 in Slovakia, and he was already captivated by music as a small child. “When I was four years old, I tried different instruments,” he says, “double bass, guitar, but I liked piano the most. I just felt connected to the instrument.” When Bartus was nine years old, the family moved to Neusiedl am See in Austria; his father is the bassist Stefan Bartus, who has already performed with greats such as Peter Erskine and Benny Golson. “Since my father is a jazz musician, I have been familiar with the music since childhood,” his son said. “My father listened to a lot of jazz records and practiced double bass at home. When I was fifteen, I passed the entrance examination at a music school.” At the time, Bartus was already hopelessly hooked on jazz. “When I was thirteen, Oscar Peterson was my big favorite,” he recalled. “Later I also discovered Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. But my biggest role model is Kenny Kirkland." After studying in Bratislava and Vienna, the pianist quickly made a name for himself, won prizes – including the Majestic Excellence Award and the Ö1 Jazz Scholarship – and founded his own trio. This can now be heard on "Born in Millennium", on which his father plays bass alongside the pianist (“it's quite convenient to have great double bass player at home”) and the drummer David Hodek, at least on the fast-paced opener "Option" and two other songs. “David Hodek is an established drummer in Slovakia,” Bartus knows, “who has also played internationally and currently plays a lot in Los Angeles.”
On four of the eight songs, composed by the band leader except for the Irving Berlin standard "How Deep is the Ocean”, a much more prominent man sits behind the drums. It is the American Gregory Hutchinson, who has already been heard with jazz giants such as Joe Henderson, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman and John Scofield. “I met Gregory at a workshop in Slovenia,” Alan Bartus said. “I thought that it would be great if he played for my album and just asked him. He is one of the best sidemen in the world and we interact very well. I just like how he interprets my songs.” Kornel Fekete Kovacs also plays the flugelhorn on three of the eight songs, which gives the music an additional, more melancholic tone quality. Bartus’ pieces are characterized by a sparkling inventiveness ("Movements"), which live from the joy of playing and the virtuosity of the musicians involved. It is obvious to whom the Latin rhythm playing “4Chick 2Corea” is dedicated; the mercurial flowing flugelhorn solo of Kovacs is constantly recharged with energy by the whipping interjections of Hutchinson. Alan Bartus, whose playing has an immense wealth of sound, takes back seat again and again to give his musicians room for dramaturgically coherent solos. “How Deep is the Ocean” shows that Alan Bartus and his band are also committed to tradition and take the necessary time to show their respect for a classic from the “Great American Songbook”; you can hear blues and classical sounds in Bartus’ playing there. And we finally hear Alan Bartus, who will attend the Manhattan School of Music in New York starting in September, all alone in the touching ballad “Lydia”. There too, he uses the whole range of his instrument: from powerfully formulated chords to vanishingly quiet tones.

Wenn man die flüssigen Linien mit den prägnanten Swing-Attacken des Pianisten Alan Bartus hört, glaubt man kaum, dass der Mann erst 21 Jahre alt ist. Geboren wurde Bartus am 22. Februar 2001 in der Slowakei und er ist schon als kleines Kind der Musik verfallen.
„Als ich vier Jahre alt war, habe ich verschiedene Instrumente ausprobiert“, erzählt er, „Kontrabass, Gitarre, aber das Klavier hat mir am meisten gefallen. Ich fühlte mich einfach mit dem Instrument verbunden.“
Als Bartus neun Jahre ist, zieht die Familie ins österreichische Neusiedl am See - sein Vater ist der Bassist Stefan Bartus, der schon mit Größen wie Peter Erskine und Benny Golson auf der Bühne gestanden hat. „Da mein Vater Jazzmusiker ist, war ich seit meiner Kindheit mit der Musik vertraut“, berichtet sein Sohn. „Mein Vater hat sehr viele Jazzplatten gehört und zuhause Kontrabass geübt. Mit fünfzehn habe ich dann die Aufnahmeprüfung an einer Musikhochschule bestanden.“
Zu der Zeit war Bartus schon rettungslos dem Jazz verfallen. „Mit dreizehn war Oscar Peterson mein großer Favorit“, erinnert er sich. „Später habe ich auch Herbie Hancock und Chick Corea für mich entdeckt. Mein größtes Vorbild ist aber Kenny Kirkland.“
Nach dem Studium in Bratislava und Wien macht der Pianist sich schnell einen Namen, gewinnt Preise - darunter der „Majestic Excellence Award“ und das Ö1-Jazz-Stipendium - und gründet sein eigenes Trio. Das ist nun auf „Born in Millennium“ zu hören, an der Seite des Pianisten spielt der Vater am Bass - „es ist sehr bequem für mich, dass ich einen super Kontrabassisten zuhause habe“ - und der Schlagzeuger David Hodek, zumindest auf dem rasanten Opener „Option“ und zwei weiteren Songs. „David Hodek ist ein etablierter Schlagzeuger in der Slowakei“, weiß Bartus, „der auch international schon hervorgetreten ist und momentan viel in Los Angeles spielt.“
Auf vier der acht Songs, die bis auf den Irving-Berlin-Standard „How Deep is the Ocean“ aus der Feder des Bandleaders stammen, sitzt jedoch ein wesentlich prominenterer Mann hinter dem Schlagzeug: Es ist der US-Amerikaner Gregory Hutchinson, der schon mit Jazzgiganten wie Joe Henderson, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman und John Scofield zu hören war. „Gregory habe ich bei einem Workshop in Slowenien kennengelernt“, erzählt Alan Bartus. „Ich konnte ihn mir gut für mein Album vorstellen und habe ihn einfach gefragt. Er ist einer der besten Sidemen weltweit und wir interagieren sehr gut. Es gefällt mir einfach, wie er meine Songs interpretiert.“
Auf drei der acht Songs kommt außerdem Kornel Fekete Kovacs am Flügelhorn, der der Musik eine zusätzliche, mehr ins Melancholische gehende Klangfarbe verleiht. Bartus’ Stücke zeichnen sich durch eine spritzigen Erfindungsreichtum aus („Movements“), der von der Spielfreude und der Virtuosität der beteiligten Musiker lebt. Wem das mit Latin-Rhythmen spielende „4Chick 2Corea“ gewidmet ist, dürfte keine Frage sein - das quecksilbrig dahinfließende Flügelhorn-Solo von Kovacs wird durch die peitschenden Einwürfe von Hutchinson immer wieder neu mit Energie aufgeladen. Immer wieder nimmt Alan Bartus, dessen Spiel über einen immensen Klangreichtum verfügt, sich zurück, um seinen Musikern Raum für ein dramaturgisch stimmiges Solo zu lassen. „How Deep is the Ocean“ zeigt, dass Alan Bartus und seine Band sich auch der Tradition verpflichtet fühlen und sich die nötige Zeit nehmen, um einem Klassiker aus dem „Great American Songbook“ die Reverenz zu erweisen - hier kann man in Bartus’ Spiel Blues- und Klassik-Anklänge erkennen. Und in der berührenden Ballade „Lydia“ schließlich hören wir Alan Bartus, der im September an die Manhattan School of Music in New York gehen wird, ganz allein - auch hier nutzt er die ganze Palette seines Instruments: von kräftig formulierten Akkorden bis zu verschwindend leisen Tönen.

Artist(s)

Alan Bartus (piano)

Alan was born in Lucenec on February 22, 2001, and comes from a family of musicians (father Stefan is an established Jazz Artist). Alan’s talent began to manifest in his early childhood. As a four- year- old he began attending piano lessons at the Art School in Lucenec. Alan was awarded his first diploma at a very early age in a regional piano competition. After moving with his family to Austria’s Neusiedl am See in 2012, he began his studies at the local music school. Over a short period of time, he worked his way up to the top students in Burgenland, which opened him doors to master classes led by the best teachers and performing artists. He performed at...
more
Alan was born in Lucenec on February 22, 2001, and comes from a family of musicians (father Stefan is an established Jazz Artist). Alan’s talent began to manifest in his early childhood. As a four- year- old he began attending piano lessons at the Art School in Lucenec. Alan was awarded his first diploma at a very early age in a regional piano competition. After moving with his family to Austria’s Neusiedl am See in 2012, he began his studies at the local music school. Over a short period of time, he worked his way up to the top students in Burgenland, which opened him doors to master classes led by the best teachers and performing artists. He performed at several public concerts organized by the Piano academy Oberschützen.
In 2014 Alan enrolled in the Church Conservatory in Bratislava, where he was admitted as an extraordinary student to the class of Mgr.Art Andrea Balešová ArtD. Under her leadership he participated in a number of international competitions, most notable being - Brno 2015-3rd place, Eisenstadt 2016 – 2nd place, Kamenice nad Lipou 2016 -1st place, MILANO 2017 -3rd place.
In 2018 he began his studies at the MUK University Vienna jazz piano under the leadership of professor Oliver Kent.
In addition to studying jazz and classical piano, Alan is dedicated to improvisation and composition. He has valuable experience from performing on jazz stages along with professional artists under his belt. Following his audition at the Vienna Festival, Alan was chosen to be one of the finalists. A festival performance with legends of Austrian jazz scene helped Alan to kick-start his career. Alan’s name is already on three different albums - Nina Berglova’s Inou Krajinou, New Faces of Slovak Jazz and Alan&Stefan Bartus Trio Connectivity. Alan is currently working on his debut album, which he recorded with the legendary Gregory Hutchinson, Kornel Fekete Kovács and his father Stefan Pista Bartus.
2017 Alan and his Trio (J.Valíček, M.Štubniak) became the absolute winner of the Jazz Start Up competition and was awarded the Convincing Instrumental Performance Award at the event New Face of the Slovak Jazz Competition. This huge success opened the doors to even more events, most notably Bratislava Jazz Days Festival,Top Jazz Fest, Jazz Fest Trencin (Jazz pod Hradom) Liptov Jazz Fest etc.. In 2022 Alan won the solo piano competition Excellence Piano Awards, Grand Prix Majestic Excellence Award and Piano Solo Professional Gold Award. In the same year, Alan won the prestigious Austrian Ö1 Jazz Prize and was accepted to one of the best jazz schools in the world, the Manhattan School of Music in New York. In 2022, Alan was given a great honor – an opportunity to collaborate with the living legend of American jazz, saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi, with whom he toured and recorded an album. Alan has also recorded and toured with the respected New York saxophonist, Tim Armacost.

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Stefan Pista Bartus (double bass)

David Hodek (drums)

Composer(s)

Alan Bartus (piano)

Alan was born in Lucenec on February 22, 2001, and comes from a family of musicians (father Stefan is an established Jazz Artist). Alan’s talent began to manifest in his early childhood. As a four- year- old he began attending piano lessons at the Art School in Lucenec. Alan was awarded his first diploma at a very early age in a regional piano competition. After moving with his family to Austria’s Neusiedl am See in 2012, he began his studies at the local music school. Over a short period of time, he worked his way up to the top students in Burgenland, which opened him doors to master classes led by the best teachers and performing artists. He performed at...
more
Alan was born in Lucenec on February 22, 2001, and comes from a family of musicians (father Stefan is an established Jazz Artist). Alan’s talent began to manifest in his early childhood. As a four- year- old he began attending piano lessons at the Art School in Lucenec. Alan was awarded his first diploma at a very early age in a regional piano competition. After moving with his family to Austria’s Neusiedl am See in 2012, he began his studies at the local music school. Over a short period of time, he worked his way up to the top students in Burgenland, which opened him doors to master classes led by the best teachers and performing artists. He performed at several public concerts organized by the Piano academy Oberschützen.
In 2014 Alan enrolled in the Church Conservatory in Bratislava, where he was admitted as an extraordinary student to the class of Mgr.Art Andrea Balešová ArtD. Under her leadership he participated in a number of international competitions, most notable being - Brno 2015-3rd place, Eisenstadt 2016 – 2nd place, Kamenice nad Lipou 2016 -1st place, MILANO 2017 -3rd place.
In 2018 he began his studies at the MUK University Vienna jazz piano under the leadership of professor Oliver Kent.
In addition to studying jazz and classical piano, Alan is dedicated to improvisation and composition. He has valuable experience from performing on jazz stages along with professional artists under his belt. Following his audition at the Vienna Festival, Alan was chosen to be one of the finalists. A festival performance with legends of Austrian jazz scene helped Alan to kick-start his career. Alan’s name is already on three different albums - Nina Berglova’s Inou Krajinou, New Faces of Slovak Jazz and Alan&Stefan Bartus Trio Connectivity. Alan is currently working on his debut album, which he recorded with the legendary Gregory Hutchinson, Kornel Fekete Kovács and his father Stefan Pista Bartus.
2017 Alan and his Trio (J.Valíček, M.Štubniak) became the absolute winner of the Jazz Start Up competition and was awarded the Convincing Instrumental Performance Award at the event New Face of the Slovak Jazz Competition. This huge success opened the doors to even more events, most notably Bratislava Jazz Days Festival,Top Jazz Fest, Jazz Fest Trencin (Jazz pod Hradom) Liptov Jazz Fest etc.. In 2022 Alan won the solo piano competition Excellence Piano Awards, Grand Prix Majestic Excellence Award and Piano Solo Professional Gold Award. In the same year, Alan won the prestigious Austrian Ö1 Jazz Prize and was accepted to one of the best jazz schools in the world, the Manhattan School of Music in New York. In 2022, Alan was given a great honor – an opportunity to collaborate with the living legend of American jazz, saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi, with whom he toured and recorded an album. Alan has also recorded and toured with the respected New York saxophonist, Tim Armacost.

less

Press

... The fluid lines and his incisive swing attacks make the album an energetic affair...
Jazzthing, 29-3-2023

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