My first Wolfgang Muthspiel album was “Real Book Stories” with Marc Johnson and Brian Blade. I loved that album and played along with it quite often. I was drawn to Wolfgang’s crystal clear way of playing and the space he created for his ensembles. Other influential albums for me were “Air Love & Vitamins”, “Friendly Travelers” & “Bright Side”. Since discovering him I closely followed Wolfgang’s musical activities and found much joy and inspiration in them.
I was eager to get to know and that finally happend in 2011. It was during recording sessions for two records I played on as a sideman which he produced for his own label Material Records. Right from the start we got along very well. I got an opportunity to invite him to play with my trio in 2013 which was a really great experience for me. We kept in touch after that and worked together again when he asked me to be part of the jury for the Focus Year auditions at Jazzcampus Basel, a fantastic study program which is the brainchild of Wolfgang.
In this conversation we talk about my admiration for Wolfgang’s clarity, his ability to put together great combinations of musicians, practicing, working with Paul Motian, composing, playing with Brian Blade & Marc Johnson, important concerts he witnessed, Oliver Messiaen, Johannes Brahms and much more. Enjoy!