Austrian Syndicate David Helbock

Cover Austrian Syndicate

Album info



Label: ACT Music

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Fusion

Artist: David Helbock

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


Formats & Prices

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FLAC 96 $ 13.50
  • 1Money in the Pocket05:25
  • 2Hymn to Vienna01:39
  • 3The Third Man05:09
  • 4Dinde Et Dindon04:58
  • 5Ballad for Schönenbach05:39
  • 6The Ups and Downs05:25
  • 7Adventure02:41
  • 8Grundbira Dance03:24
  • 9Crimson Woman03:21
  • 10We Need Some Help Down Here04:20
  • 11Nuyorican03:53
  • 12Komm, Lieber Mai Und Mache05:27
  • Total Runtime51:21

Info for Austrian Syndicate

Austrian Syndicate…the phrase immediately brings to mind the best-known and most influential of all Austrians in jazz, Joe Zawinul. And yet David Helbock’s project is much more than just a homage to his compatriot. It is a return to the roots of fusion jazz and how things developed from then on. It is also a new direction stylistically for Helbock, who has harnessed a panoply of inspiration with a refreshing openness to new sounds from far and wide. As Helbock himself puts it: "This is close to my heart." Helbock has been able to enlist the best rhythm section in Austria for the Syndicate: Raphael Preuschl on bass and bass ukulele, drummer Herbert Pirker and percussionist Claudio Spieler. The quintet also has an American in it, one for whom becoming Austrian was a matter of choice: pianist Peter Madsen. This Austrian supergroup is also a place where Helbock’s stellar international guests shine brightly: Maria João, Fred Wesley, Dhafer Youssef, Alex Acuña and Lakecia Benjamin.

Very much in the spirit of Zawinul who pioneered the use of electronic keyboard instruments and was a giant of fusion jazz, David Helbock is heard here for the first time only on keyboards, leaving all the piano duties to Peter Madsen. "Practically everything I know about music and jazz I learned from him," says Helbock about his former teacher and mentor, and – these days – close friend. A true piano hero, but one little known outside specialist circles, Madsen toured the world with Stan Getz from 1987 onwards, and has since played with many other greats of jazz: musicians who made their names in earlier eras such as Benny Golson, and Stanley Turrentine to major figures from modern jazz like Chris Potter, Joe Lovano or Kenny Garrett, or free jazz heroes like Dewey Redman and Don Cherry. And there are stars of funk too: Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. In 2001, Madsen moved from New York to Austria, where he met the then 16-year-old Helbock and took him under his wing. Which is why Madsen, in addition to his piano role, is also co-leader of the band, and we also hear his considerable acumen as composer. Raphael Preuschl and Herbert Pirker are also long-time companions of David Helbock and have been the most sought-after bass-drums team in Vienna for over 20 years. Preuschl has also found a particularly individual voice on an unusual instrument, the bass ukulele. Pirker is just as versatile. He plays drums, for example, in Austria's sensational band Shake Stew. Percussionist Claudio Spieler studied with Afghan master drummer Hakim Ludin in his youth, and now performs at major venues with German singer-songwriter Konstantin Wecker and celebrated Austrian multi-percussionist Martin Grubinger.

There are fabulous guests too. All are global stars, giving the album both international glamour and the colourful exoticism: the great voice of Maria João from Portugal, Peruvian percussionist Alex Acuña (a member of Weather Report alongside Zawinul in the late 1970s), Tunisian singer and oud virtuoso Dhafer Youssef, who is having huge success with his album "Streets of Minarets" and is playing to sold-out houses; funk mastermind and James Brown acolyte Fred Wesley and saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, one of the brightest sparks in the American jazz sky right now.

This band has a way of communicating energy, surprise, variety and – perhaps above all – fun. Helbock has a way of finding all kinds of outlandish sounds from his synthesisers and keyboard pads, and uses them to kick up sudden thunderstorms. But we also hear subtle jazz improvisation, irrepressible interplay, funk and Latin rhythms and no shortage of Afro-Caribbean flair. It’s all there right from the opener: "Money in the Pocket". Other tracks draw their inspiration from all kinds of intriguing places: dark mysteries from Vienna, Indian Konnakol chanting, King Crimson, acid jazz. Helbock has conjured up all kinds of different moods and vibes. The ending of the album requires something truly special and Helbock does not disappoint. Mozart's "Komm, lieber Mai", an innocent little song which later became a German folk melody, has been dressed up for a party with Cuban rhythms. Maria João is not just playful here, she even invites us briefly away from the party and into a trippy dream sequence. Like the rest of the album, such invitations are instantly and infinitely persuasive.

David Helbock's "Austrian Syndicate" welcomes the world into boundless fusion jazz with irresistible grooves. “Austrian Syndicate” might prove to be one of the feelgood – no, make that feel...GREAT! - albums of the year.

David Helbock, Fender Rhodes, synthesizer, effects
Peter Madsen, piano
Raphael Preuschl, bass, bassukulele
Herbert Pirker, drums
Claudio Spieler, percussion
Alex Acuña, percussion
Lakecia Benjamin, saxophone
Maria João, voice
Fred Wesley, trombone
Dhafer Youssef, voice

David Helbock
Zweimal Preisträger und der Publikumspreis beim weltweit größten Jazz-Piano-Solo-Wettbewerb des Jazzfestivals Montreux, begeisterte/internationale Kritiken für seine CDs und der wichtigste Förderpreis des Bundes Österreich 2011 - der "Outstanding Artist Award" - der aus dem kleinen österreichischen Dorf Koblach stammende Pianist David Helbock ist zweifellos auf dem besten Weg zu einer internationalen Karriere.

Helbock ist aber nicht nur ein hervorragender Pianist, sondern auch ein eigenwilliger Denker, der in seine Projekte nicht nur außerordentliche Fingerfertigkeit, sondern auch jede Menge Hirnschmalz investiert.

David Helbock, am 28. Jänner 1984 geboren, begann im Alter von sechs Jahren Klavier zu spielen.

Er studierte am Konservatorium Feldkirch bei Prof. Ferenc Bognar Klavier, wo er 2005 sein klassisches Konzertfach-Diplom mit Auszeichnung abschloss und nahm seit 2000 zusätzlich Unterricht beim New Yorker Jazzpianisten Peter Madsen, der sein Lehrer, Mentor und Freund wurde.

David Helbock spielte Konzerttourneen und Aufnahmen in Länder wie den USA, Australien, Mexiko, Russland, Kasachstan, Kirgisistan, China, Mongolei, Südafrika, Äthiopien, Kenia, Senegal, Marokko, Indonesien, Malaysia, Indien, Brasilien, Argentinien, Chile und überall in Europa.

David Helbock ist seit Beginn seiner Musikerlaufbahn außerdem als Komponist sehr aktiv. Zu seinen Werken zählt ein großes „Jahreskompositionsprojekt“ in dem er für ein Jahr lang jeden Tag ein neues Stück geschrieben hat (Anfang 2010 ist das "Personal Realbook" mit über 600 Seiten Musik erschienen)

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Booklet for Austrian Syndicate

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