If you are the type of jazz buyer who only collects albums by artists that you have somehow got to hear of then you may think wtf: who is Bernhard Wiesinger and why should I care? My mission, dear friends, is to make you give a fuck and take a leap into the unknown.
Having said that the odds are stacked against him given the difficulty most players face getting known in the first place – and let's not kid ourselves the cover art ain't gonna win no art prize.
Bernhard Wiesinger is a 39-year-old Austrian who plays the tenor and soprano saxophones like a mother, and has quite a band with him all of whom are an awful lot better known than he is but he more than holds his own. Think Chris Potter, as rough satnav in terms of style, or Dave Liebman.
Here with the Potterian pianist Kevin Hays, the great bassist Scott Colley known for his work with Jim Hall many moons ago plus revered drummer Bill Stewart, again, who has experienced a significant playing connection with Potter, the language is absorbing post-bop or modern mainstream if you prefer, the sort of sound that you will hear Dave Holland negotiate with his bands.
The tunes have a convincing sense of purpose to them and this is a grown-up record for jazz listeners who want to push themselves as listeners without necessarily wearing a hair shirt as they do just that. A lot of the tunes are from Wiesinger's pen, Hays sings a bit on 'Fellowship' although personally I'd skip this track. Check out especially the gem that is 'Night Cap' by the revered Northern Ireland guitarist Mark McKnight that the label says is a co-write with Wiesinger.
Last words retreat to your nearest shepherd's hut, turn on ''Notice That Moment,'' switch off the lights – and above all trust the sound of the unknown. SG