Heinz von Hermann JazzAhead
Heinz von Hermann JazzAhead
Heinz von Hermann JazzAhead-deutsch
Heinz von Hermann JazzAhead



Press - selection

still under construction - only a few articles are translated

          2005 2004
2003 2002 2001 2000 (1999-98) (1997-88) (1987-58)

January/February 2003
JazzAhead Up Down-Under!

January and February, cold months here in Austria, but Jazz is played hot in Australia. Heinz von Hermann, saxophonist and flautist from the Salzkammergut, was on the road as a soloist. A special class of event took place in Melbourne, in the first jazz club for non-smokers at the Rydge Hotel. Together with the Brazilian drummer and percussionist, Carlos Ferreira, with Bob Sedergren on piano and Nick Haywood on bass, the four musicians really warmed up the audience.
In Wagga Wagga, at the jazz festival on Australian National Day, the motto was: Remember.....it’s Jazz, it only happens once. Heinz von Hermann was the star of the evening with a local rhythm section. Television and the press were present at a completely sold-out house
! On the flight home von Hermann stopped off at the Singapore jazz club, "Southbridge," where contacts for the future were made and where he earned a standing ovation as the star saxophonist. JazzAhead was once again on the road worldwide as an ambassador for Austrian jazz.

JazzAhead Trio in Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines

Chamber jazz! What do we think it is? How would it be called in Vietnamese? Or how much enthusiasm do the Thais have for it?

Heinz von Hermann travelled with his trio through South-East Asia at the beginning of December 2002.
Erwin Schmidt was on piano and Ulli Langthaler on double bass. Heinz von Hermann led with his famous black wooden flute and his tenor saxophone. It was the finest jazz to be heard in Asia! At the EU Jazz Festival in Hanoi the shouts of enthusiasm from the around 800 listeners penetrated as far as the street through the somewhat crumbly walls of the "Youth Theatre".

As on all of their other tours abroad, the JazzAhead musicians again held charity workshops. The students at the Conservatory in Hanoi remembered the musicians from their tour in 2000, and apparently looked forward to again learning something new from the realms of "Austrian" jazz. And in the very lovely, and sold-out, concert hall of the Conservatory in Ho Chi Minh City - the once sleepy Saigon - the three musicians were able, without a drummer, to play jazz that made listening a pleasure and during which one could have heard a pin drop. The applause, however, was then deafening. Heinz von Hermann then joined a Vietnamese band at the "Carmague" club and astonished the young musicians and guests with the vitality and diversity of his playing - even after the long concert he was as fit as the youngsters, and actually younger than them all.
From Vietnam it was off to Thailand. The now famous "Sundowner" jazz club in Bangkok's best hotel - the Imperial Queens Hotel - was the suitable place to bring a refined audience to a closer relationship with this first-class jazz. Students at the Mahidol Conservatory in Thailand learned with enthusiasm and open ears. The trio then had the honour to play on Ko Samui at the Tongsai Bay Hotel for the celebrations in honour of King Bhumibol's 75th birthday. It was a very special experience. Above all because JazzAhead received the music for the national hymn and played it as it was sung by all those present. The beach on the Golf of Thailand also invited the musicians to relax and recuperate. But much too briefly…and off we went to Manila in the Philippines. The concert in "Monk's Dream" - a jazz club that one could only wish for in Europe - was sold out, and Philippine musicians, a singer and a drummer joined in for a jam session at the end. The final concert of the tour was for the Christmas celebrations of the "Philippine-Austrian Cultural Society" at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
This tour again showed that when jazz is presented properly to the listeners it can arouse enthusiasm, bring smiles to many faces - and swing, swing, swing! Even without drums! I had a lot of fun, and so did JazzAhead.

At this point the Heinz von Hermann JazzAhead Trio wishes to thank:
The Foreign Office, the Austrian ambassadors: Dr Müllner, Dr Znidaric, Dr Krepella, Mr Martin Allgäuer, Mrs Hang, Consul Ha Duc, Mr Ingo Koller, Mr Thorsten Eisingerich, Marcus Strieby, Günther Innerlohinger, Mr Ernst Rössler, the entire staff of the Tongsai Bay Hotel, Mr Ulbrich, Stella Gonzales, Mr Kramer at Lufthansa, Mr Gaiberger and, above all, our friends Ted and Joshua.

Steve Loewy, All Music Guide

Album Review of „Life in L.E."

This recording grabs you from the get-go with its creative and challenging versions of modern mainstream jazz. Playing a mix of standards and originals, saxophonist Heinz Von Hermann leads this little-known quintet over well-traveled terrain, but manages to exude a sense of innocent excitement throughout. Along with colleagues Andy Haderer on trumpet, Erwin Schmidt on piano, Uli Langthaler on bass, and Bruno Castellucci on drums, the group manages to touch the spirit of the best hard bop. Whether it is Von Hermann or Haderer swinging from the rafters on "Ground Blues" or the sensational layering of rhythm in the worthy "Tribute to Dr. John," these fellows show they appreciate the jazz tradition and have absorbed its lessons well. With generous recording time and decent sound, this one is a winner from any angle.

Jazz Podium September 2002

Heinz von Hermann Quartet: NAPO And The Giant Flute
Mons Records MR 874-350
from Rüdiger Böttger

If I were to count some of the top European jazz musicians who have been playing for decades and are still very active today, the saxophonist/flautist Heinz von Hermann would rank very highly on the list. He has not only been one of the main solo supports of many renowned big bands (he still is today in Peter Peter Herbolzeimer's Rhythm Combination & Brass), he is an indispensable addition to the intercontinental jazz scene with his combos, from duo to quintet. As renewed proof of this Heinz von Hermann presents this CD, which has been produced with his current quartet comprising Erwin Schmidt, piano; Uli Langthaler, bass; Bruno Castellucci, drums. Appropriate to the album's title, Heinz von Hermann is to be heard here exclusively on flutes (including the bass flute, alto flute and the Eb flute) in compositions from Thad Jones ("Three In One") and Victor Feldman ("Joshua"), as well as standards from Harald Arlen to Irving Berlin. And there are also Hermann originals to be heard ("You Stepped On My Flute," "Crocus" and "Giant Flute"), which also show the flautist to be a notable composer. It is all presented by the "straight ahead" quartet at a very high musical level. "Those who don't find the need to tap their feet to "Limehouse Blues" are either already dead or avant-garde fans," maintains Klaus Schulz in his liner notes, of which their informative and entertaining value alone almost justifies the purchase of the CD. But then there is this devilishly swinging music and interpretations, which fully and validly define the "flute in jazz" as a theme.
P.S. NAPO is simply the name of a duck, which is among Hermann's house pets and is apparently madly enthusiastic about "Giant Flute".

Flachgauer Nachrichten 8th May 2002

A True Jazz Export
Heinz v. Hermann's Jazz ahead Quintet played into the hearts of the fans in Mexico.

The tour was arranged by the Austrian Consulate in Mexico City. This time on the road with the core of the group (H. v. Hermann, Uli Langthaler, Erwin Schmidt) was singer Inés Reiger and drummer Christian Salfellner.

The start of the ten-day tour was a concert at the almost sold-out Conaculta (National Center of Arts) Hall in the capital. "There were not only standing ovations following three encores, but all of the people - between the very old and teenagers - were really enthused and delighted," maintains manager Katrin Kowalski. "The Latin American audiences are simply different, they are very emotional. It is a wonder that there is only one school for jazz musicians in Mexico City," Kowalski says.

The Austrian quintet held a charity workshop at the Escuela Superior de Musica. Heinz von Hermann, well-known as a big-band leader, concluded with a rehearsal with the school's big band.

Further concerts took place in the neighbouring province of Morelos at the Hacienda de Cortés (a former corn mill). The mill had been rebuilt as a hotel and the city's culture centre. The Mexican "Jazzificando" quartet played as the opening group at the "Jazz ahead" concert in a newly constructed museum in Puebla. The end of the tour took place in Morelia, a four-hour drive west of Mexico City.

The ensemble is currently touring at home throughout Germany and Austria. And their new CD - "Napo and the Giant Flute" - is a part of the luggage.

Allgemeine Deutsche Zeitung for Rumania

By Martin Ohnweiler- 19th October 2001

.....The Austrians caused a great deal of excitement from the word go for everybody in the hall last night. Heinz von Hermann, although 65 years old, with his partly younger but just as equally talented and lively group from the Blue Danube offered jazz with a Latin flavour that is as spicy as a Viennese melange and as powerful as the mocca from Sacher near St Peter's. An additional kick, however, was given to this quartet by the vocal soloist from overseas, Judy Niemack. The pupil of Warne Marsh has already been in concert with the likes of Toots Thielemanns, James Moody and Dave Brubeck. She is now touring with Heinz von Hermann and lured, quiet unforeseen but emphatically, with a foretaste of their performance together the following Wednesday at the Transylvania Night Club for an audience that clamoured for an encore at the Festival Hall.

The Jazz Ambassador

Salzburger Nachrichten
By PAC - 22 October 2001

65th birthday of saxophonist and resident by choice in Salzburg, Heinz von Hermann

Heinz von Hermann has rarely had to combat boredom in the past five decades. The list alone of the jazz greats with whom he has shared a stage is witness to an extremely varied career. For the saxophonist, however, his 65th birthday, which he celebrated last Sunday, is not the only reason for looking back with satisfaction. "The best part is that I have made my great love into my profession. I have therefore nothing to compensate and can easily be a balanced person."
Heinz von Hermann succumbed to jazz in the fifties in his city of birth, Vienna, where a scene blossomed around such musicians as Fatty George, Friedrich Gulda and Carl Drewo, which was "certainly five to ten years in advance of the rest of Europe." That the saxophonist would spend the rest of his life travelling was yet to be established. He landed up in Italy, Spain, France and North Africa, and then later returned to Germany. Versatility and openness was required if one wished to earn one's living by making music. These qualities contributed to make Hermann a much sought after sideman who felt as equally at home with Max Greger's Show Orchestra as with Peter Herbolzheimer's "Rhythm Combination & Brass" or as a guest with the Berlin Philharmonic - and at the same time playing with jazz greats such as Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie or Lionel Hampton. "That has a lot to do with attitude. I don't just play for me, I play for the people. And I have to give them something."
Hermann has long ended his years of travel. He has lived in Salzburg for some years, teaches at Klagenfurt and plays in various of his own formations such as the "Jazz ahead" quintet. With his Oy.Oy.Oy. Big Band he will bring sound once monthly in the future to the Nonntal Cultural Complex. He doesn't consider retiring. After all, "...music is a sphere that never ends. And the longer I play the more I become aware of all the things I still don't know."

Jazz Zeit 9/2001-10-30
Clemens Panagl

"I played for eighteen months at a club in Madrid where a constant turnover of guest stars such as Lee Konitz or Donald Byrd were booked. And I played with them in the house band. Musically, it was actually one of the most satisfying periods in my life," Heinz von Hermann reminisces. Having achieved his 65th birthday in October, many good and less good times arise when the Austrian saxophonist looks back to his past. In his long years as a jazz ambassador Heinz von Hermann not only saw a great deal of the world, he can also remember countless meetings with the great names of jazz.
It all began in Vienna in the fifties. "In those days there was an excellent little scene with Uzi Förster, Friedrich Gulda and Joe Zawinul, who were all certainly five to ten years in advance of the rest of Europe. My idol was Carl Drewo. I wanted to learn to play the way he did. "Alone the intention to become a saxophonist could easily lead to failure in those days through mere detail: even finding a saxophone was no easy task for the aspiring jazz musician. Sheet music or current jazz recordings, through the help of which one could begin to unravel the secrets of jazz, were as equally rare. "In this respect many other musicians helped me to progress. Fatty George allowed me to drop in at his club every day to warm up and always showed me a couple of things." The pianist Friedrich Gulda gave especially important impulse to the jazz scene in Vienna. "He was already a world star in those days; he got around a great deal and always brought back the latest records from New York, such as those by Horace Silver and The Jazz Messengers. Listening to the latest stuff with Fritz was an absolute must!"
Nevertheless, Austria was not to hold Heinz von Hermann. He went first to Germany with Uzi Förster, which was followed by a job with Herman Wilson. One could still live from jazz in Germany at the end of the fifties. But that came to an abrupt end in 1960 because many jazz clubs went broke. "The music became more commercial, jazz was no longer wanted; but straight dance music was not what Heinz von Hermann wanted to play for the time being: "that would have been too painful." So he began travelling, which in the years following took him to France, North Africa and Spain. After his return to Germany, Heinz von Hermann worked first in the Max Greger band, and later in the Paul Kuhn big band and, above all, in the Peter Herbolzheimer big band of which he is still a member today. The list of stars for and with whom Heinz von Hermann has played jazz includes such resounding names as Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson and Gerry Mulligan.
In retrospect the much sought after sideman can relate that "...there really were some experiences whereby one could say 'wow, that was it'." The engagement with Lee Konitz at that time was over a period of three weeks and was so frustrating because he played in such an utterly introverted way and just didn't get it together. But sometimes at around two o'clock in the morning he would suddenly play something wonderful and I could only think that I was happy to have been privileged to experience it. And when for the rest of his life he plays only a lot of nonsense, he will still remain a genius for me."
Heinz von Hermann teaches jazz saxophone today at Klagenfurt, cultivates band projects in smaller formations (such as a quintet with trumpeter Andy Haderer and drummer Bruno Castellucci), and the Salzburg "Oy.Oy.Oy." Big Band. The most important thing of all for the man - according to the philosophy of the resident by choice in Salzburg - is that it is not self-realisation as a soloist, but interaction. "Jazz begins right there where I can communicate with somebody else." The matter of style, whether bebop or avant-garde, standards or his own compositions are somewhat incidental. "What is really important is not what I do, but the way in which I do it." Standards are the starting point for my personal means of expression. It is the long-standing discipline of jazz musicians to take songs that sound terrible in the original and to make something of one's own out of them. Sometimes it works, sometimes not." The time to retire - after his 65th birthday - is still a long way off. "As long as the strength is there," Heinz von Hermann will "...naturally keep playing." Because "...music is a theme that is never ending. The more I know about music the more I come realise what I don't know."

EU- Jazzfestival Athen / Griechenland
24. bis 28. Mai 2001

It was fantastic that our band as a Quartet had the chance to play at the 1st EU-Jazz-festival in Athens. The festival was organized by the Swedish cultural institute and at this point I really want to thank Mrs. Bodil Nordström for her endless work with all13 bands, included us.The Heinz von Hermann Quartet opened the 2nd evening and we were faszinated of the athmosphere of this closed gaz-factory belonging to Technopolis of the Municipality of Athens. The ambiente was beautiful and the accustic was very good. We were guarded absolutely fantastic by the Austrian ambassadress Mrs. Gerlinde Paschinger. Although 2 days before she just moved with the whole family over to Athens, she and her husband found time to organize our transportation, a Sightseeingtour, a marvellous dinner and a boat trip in the nighttime in the harbour of Pireus. She sweetened our 4 days Athens trip. On Sunday evening there was as well a nice jam session, and again we were amazed about how big the audience had been. Jazz can be a natural magnet. Maybe 1 point was, there was free entrance or maybe the quite warm evenings.....
I as the manager, going to the first big EU-Jazzfestival, just can say it was a big pleasure going there with my band and I wish we could go to more of these fantastic festivals.





supported by edithbreckner