Flutist and composer Christian Artmann (“a composer with great vision,” allaboutjazz.com
and a performer of “stunning virtuosity,” jazztimes.com)
is proud to announce the release of Our Story, his third album as a leader and his second for Sunnyside after the well-received 2015 release Fields of Pannonia. One of the most compelling flute specialists to emerge on the jazz scene in recent years, Artmann has assembled a cast of long-term musical associates for the recording of Our Story: the formidable Laszlo Gardony on piano, whom Artmann cites as an important musical and spiritual teacher; the tight and responsive rhythm section of bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Jeff Hirshfield, both of whom played on his previous album as well as his 2011 debut Uneasy Dreams; and special guest Elena McEntire who substantially enhances the uniqueness of the band’s sound with her versatile and expressive vocals.
After growing up in Germany and Austria immersed in classical music, Artmann discovered a natural affinity for the jazz tradition and ethnic music when he moved to the U.S. as a teenager. Drawn to expansive sonorities and rich harmony, he has a modern rhythmic sense that is at home equally in straight ahead jazz as well as grooves redolent of funk, hip-hop and Brazilian music. Compositionally, Artmann cites Wayne Shorter, Claude Debussy, Miles Davis and Johannes Brahms among his most important influences, and his music seems to transcend genres effortlessly. His instruments of choice are both the concert flute and alto flute — the latter having grown increasingly central to his music since 2009.
The title track of Our Story, and Artmann’s conception of the album as a whole, are a reflection of his Buddhist faith. “The idea that we all interrelate, that whatever I do has an effect on you and vice versa, that’s a powerful concept that I really believe in. The music on Our Story isn’t so much about me as it is about us as a band and as comrades in challenging times, and about all of us as eternal beings living together on this precious planet.”