Projects

CLAUS
RAIBLE
TRIO

CLAUS RAIBLE – piano

GIORGOS ANTONIOU – bass

XAVER HELLMEIER – drums

Claus Raible has his own format as only a few internationally known artists in this genre have achieved. With his superlative technique and his smooth fluency, Raible’s style bursts with energy.
Stefan Michalzik – (Frankfurter Rundschau, 2022)

The trio of the well-known piano virtuoso inspires music lovers worldwide. With his highly personal style, Claus Raible generates a freshness and liveliness that has earned him a special position among contemporary pianists, far removed from the fashionable mainstream.

After his great success with TRIO! (ALR 1081), Claus Raible now presents a completely new program with his latest production FUGATIVE FIGUERS (ALR 1109), which for the first time consists exclusively of his own compositions. This project also exemplifies energy, musical intelligence and originality.

In addition to his engagements as a highly sought after pianist in various ensembles, Claus has regularly engaged in forming extraordinary projects both in Europe and the USA, working with line ups that have varied from quartets to sextets, octets to full jazz orchestras. Each of his projects have received popular and critical acclaim for their energy, musical intelligence and originality.

Over the last two decades, he has performed with jazz greats such as Jimmy Cobb, Charles Davis, Andy Bey, Jesse Davis, Ben Dixon, Jon Faddis, Art Farmer, Herb Geller, Benny Golson, Dennis Irvin, Brad Leali, Mark Murphy, Lewis Nash, Ed Thigpen, Britt Woodman, and Jimmy Wormworth, to mention a few.

Giorgos Antoniou provides the hard grooving and rock steady foundation for the trio. His great sound, swinging feel and his ability sweep the audience away with his joy of playing make him an integral part of countless musical formations.

 “… a world-class pro as a bassist and as a professional. I consider Giorgos one of the finest bassists I know.” Benny Green 

“… a truly remarkable musician. Giorgos has the … talent needed to inspire, challenge and motivate.” Bradford C. Leali 

Giorgos has been working with Clark Terry, John Lewis, Johnny Griffin, Cedar Walton and Albert Heath.

One of the most in-demand young drummers, Xaver Hellmeier is a very tasteful accompanist possessing an enormous richness of ideas. Being enthusiastically celebrated by the press as a “discovery”, he has appeared internationally in Europe, the USA and Asia.

In his significant career as a leader as well as a sideman, Hellmeier has already performed with Jazz greats such as Vincent Herring, Mike LeDonne, Eric Alexander, David Hazeltine and Peter Bernstein.

Some Comments from Current press reviews:

“…This is indeed Piano-Jazz-Trio music in its purest sense.  … Fresh and vibrant. Magnificent!…”
Michael Bakonyi, Concerto Magazine *****

“…Three birds of a feather have met here for brilliant music making. …” 
Ruedi Ankli, Jazz N’ More ****

“… The incisiveness of Raible’s original compositions opens infinite possibilities for variations. Thus they reside seamlessly along side Monk’s classics. …”
Werner Stiefele, Rondo Magazine ****

“… Claus Raible is an exceptional pianist. He and his crew indeed really boil it down to the essence: that swinging intensity, that timeless relevance. …” 
Reinhard Koechl, Jazz Thing

„Spending an evening listening to Claus Raible must be a great experience that I hope to soon have… this recording already gives a good idea. …
This is a fascinating record, one of a beautiful trio and a splendid pianist, Claus Raible, virtuoso and scholar like his predecessors, … but beyond that, the portrait of an artist who is part of the lineage of jazz’s most intense relationship to the piano. There is no doubt that he is one of the players today. … Well done to Alessa Records, small label and great music as it often is in jazz!  
Yves Sportis, Jazz Hot, Paris

„… Raible’s flurry of notes are full of swing, it couldn’t be anything less, and the palpable passion that is transmitted to the listener lets one forget the remarkable technical aspects present on the disc. A great record.“ 
Vittorio Lo Conte, Music Zoom

„… One of the most important living Be-bop pianists is revisiting the classic trio set up. To our and his own audible and live visible joy. … What the following 62 minutes bring about: Captivating, contemporary Bop … . (Raible‘s) originals have what it takes to become timeless compositions, as does the music as a whole with it‘s freshness and originality. …“ 
Godehard Lutz, Jazz Podium

„…The highlight of the album: Monk‘s “Round Midnight“… Seldom is it possible to grasp the core of a composition in this way and at the same time to relate it to today in such an independent and exciting way. …“ 
Tom Fuchs, Piano News

CLAUS
RAIBLE
BOP ORCHESTRA

FLORIOAN JECHLINGER, STEVE FISHWICK – trumpets

MATHIAS GÖTZ, HERMANN BREUER – trombones

BRAD LEALI – alto saxophone

CLAUS KOCH – tenor saxophone

MAXIMILIAN SCHWEIGER – baritone saxophone 

CLAUS RAIBLE – piano & arrangements: 

GIORGOS ANTONIOU – bass

ALVESTER GARNETT – drums

The Claus Raible Orchestra had its debut in 2009 and has since been performing internationally.This ensemble presents a rather unconventional setting by using two trumpets, two trombones and three reeds as for the horn section, which is a tentet, other than the usual sixteen pieces of a regular full size big band. The aim was to create an orchestra of a size that would still enable the band to conveniently travel and perform live, while still providing the orchestral possibilities of a full size jazz orchestra.

The idea for this project emerged from Claus’ work as a co-producer and partial arranger on the album “Maria Juanez – the Brad Leali Jazz Orchestra “ (on TCB 26902). “In that respect” Claus states “I have to give credit to Brad’s collaboration on elaborating the setting of the orchestra. It was however, up to me to select the tunes, the personnel and to arrange the music”.As a result you hear a selection of originals and original treatments of jazz standards and bebop classics.

As for the personnel we brought together top soloists from different generations and various countries: Florian Jechlinger, Mathias Götz, Hermann Breuer and Claus Koch are from Germany, Steve Fishwick is from the U.K., Giorgos Antoniou from Greece, Maximilian Schweiger, Alvester Garnett and Brad Leali are from the U.S.

The orchestra can be heard on its CD release “A Dedication To The Ladies – Claus Raible & the BOP-chestra”.

“…Raible has provided his BOP-chestra -a ten piece ensemble that is built up of jazz luminaries- with downright masterly arrangements whose lush sound, although attained by only ten musicians, create the opulence of a Big Band yet without falling for any riff-stereptypes. …”

Claus Regnault, Süddeutsche Zeitung, December 2011

“I was immediately taken with [Raible’s] Bud Powell-influence, choice of material and the way he interpreted it… “The many musicians in the group… proved that every man is talented in his own right, and together create a wonderful ensemble sound whether establishing a song’s original melody, interpreting transitional parts of the arrangements or backing soloists. This is precise playing with a scintillating sound that is rhythmically propulsive or subtlety shaded, depending on what is called for, with an appropriate essence of swing… “The soloists are equally captivating with a ‘play it like you mean it’ attitude”.

– Ira Gitler, September 21, 2011

THE BRAD LEALI / CLAUS RAIBLE QUARTET

BRAD LEALI – alto saxophone

CLAUS RAIBLE – piano

GIORGOS ANTONIOU – bass

ALVESTER GARNETT – drums

The cooperation between Brad Leali and Claus Raible has been ongoing for over ten years, since they met for the first time in a New York jazz club in 1995. Since then, they collaborated on numerous mutual projects such as “Loopin’ With Lea – The Claus Raible Sextet”, “Maria Juanez – The Brad Leali Jazz Orchestra”, “The Music Of Elmo Hope – The Brad Leali / Claus Raible Quintet”, as well as countless performances and tours in Europe and the U.S.

The Quartet is captivating through the spontanity and homogeneousness of the performance as well as with the communicative, non-verbal interaction of the four musicians. The band book consists, besides grand jazz classics, mainly of original compositions by the two bandleaders.

BRAD LEALI , Alto Sax, composer and Arranger, is one of the most outstanding alto saxophonists on New York’s jazz scene. After his tenure as the musical director for Harry Connick Jr., he became the featured alto saxophone soloist in the world reknown Count Basie Orchestra under the leadership of Grover Mitchell. His solo work on “Star-Crossed Lovers” on the album “Count Plays Duke” was nominated for the Grammy Award.

CLAUS RAIBLE, Piano, compositions and arrangements.

GIORGIOUS ANTONIOU originally comes from Greece and now resides in Bern, Switzerland since 1994. As an accomplished bassist, he has already shared the stage with such greats as Johnny Griffin, Albert Heath, Phil Woods or John Lewis and appeared on many international festivals like Montreux, Bern, Burghausen, etc.

ALVESTER GARNETT is one of the most employed New York drummers. He honed his crafts with such stellar musicians as Ellis Marsalis, Max Roach und Victor Lewis. For several years he worked with vocal legends Betty Carter and Abbey Lincoln. Also instrumentalists like Wynton Marsalis, Regina Carter or Cyrus Chestnut highly appreciate the fire and energy Alvester brings to and shares on the stage.

Some comments about the quartet in the press:

“This quartet enchanted the audience from the first, almost explosion like saxophone note and put them under their spell … The four earned an exorbitant applause after their version of Dizzy Gillespie’s „Be Bop“. In spite of a neck breaking tempo Raible and Leali showed a perfectly synchronised combination. …”

– Johanna von Schutter, “Münchener Merkur”

“This concert became a brilliant occurrence. …Phenomenal, how the four musicians got their impro phrases in to prestige in such extremely rapid time order …”

– Claus Regnault, “Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Has it ever happened before, that a hard bopping quartet is doing a 20 minutes lasting slow blues as an encore at Basel’s “Bird’s Eye”: in close contact with an enthusiastic audience? The writer can’t racall having seen anything similar for the last six or eight years. … Here the ability of going out and giving the maximum is supplemented with an other one: listening to each other and getting inspired…”

– Jürg Weibel, “Basler Zeitung”

“Time and again it was the Thelonious Monk admirer Claus Raible, who let his provoked right hand course over the 88 keyes during his breath-taking piano solos; he did that in a vertiginous manner …”

– Vera Stiller, “Süddeutsche Zeitung)