Liner notes

When I was first introduced to the Argentinian jazz scene in Buenos Aires in the spring of 1984 I never dreamed that it would lead to a lifelong connection...but I toured with Jorge Navarro, Alfredo Remus and Pocho Lapouble in autumn of the same year and since then hundreds of concerts in Europe and South America, seven albums and over 60.000 kilometers together in the band bus have deepened our relationship both musically and personally, as well as expanding the band itself to a quintet.  If the faces or instrumentation have occasionally changed over the years, that’s the way of the music--the professionalism and character of my friends has always remained the same and has exerted a strong influence on my music and my life.

I’ve taken the twentieth anniversary of our first meeting to thank them musically, and have tried to express the various moods and styles of our first two decades together.  A few of the songs are dedicated to my colleagues, such as “Para Pochin” (to drummer and composer Pocho Lapouble, the only remaining member of the original band) and “Funk a Claaro” (to trumpeter Gustavo Bergalli, who has a unique way of saying the Spanish word for “definitely”).  “El Zurdo” is devoted to our left-handed bassist, Alejandro Herrera, who could play faster on the bass than I could on flute.  I even wrote my first tango, no small challenge in the Argentine environment: “Palomar” is the neighborhood in Buenos Aires where our guitarist, Marcelo Mayer, lives.

By the time you hear this music we’ll already have been playing together for another two years, which only makes my desire to celebrate a thirtieth anniversary with the “Quinteto Argentina” stronger.  Our shared enjoyment of the music should keep us young enough.

Karlheinz “Carlitos” Miklin

"all about jazz"
"Aniversario" - Sketches from Illyro-Argentina

Karlheinz Miklin & Quinteto Argentina | Extraplatte (2007)

Austrian saxophonist Karlheinz Miklin may not be a household name.

Nevertheless, collaborations with trumpeters Art Farmer and Randy Brecker, trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, bassists Chuck Israels and Graham Collier, and saxophonist

Michael Brecker (not forgetting his long association with bassist Ron McClure and drummer Billy Hart) testify to the esteem in which his peers hold him.

Aside from his trio with McClure and Hart and his own Austrian quartet of nearly thirty years standing, Miklin has led the Quinteto Argentina since 1984 and his association

with Argentina and its music goes back to the beginning of the 1970s.

Aniversario—Sketches from Illyro Argentina (Extraplatte, 2006) is the band’s eighth recording and this double CD captures Miklin in energetic and at times inspired form.

The band visits bossa nova and flirts with tango, yet despite this and the presence of Pocho Porteno on conga, this is not overtly Latin jazz; it is rather jazz from Argentina

by way of Graz, Austria and the influences in the music are too myriad to label it

“this jazz” or “that jazz.”

The opening notes of the impressive “Baguala de Illyria” emanate from Miklin’s bass clarinet, a deep leviathan rumble. His sound mutates into a plaintive lament, in turn

picked up by trumpeter Gustavo Bergalli. The two harmonize over a funereal drum and sound sweetly melancholic. Miklin’s aching bass clarinet solo which closes the song has something of the blues of bandoneon maestro Astor Piazzolla.

Miklin’s virtuosity is much in evidence. His tenor is muscular and assertive on the percussion-driven “Cambio,” is reminiscent of late-night (saxophonist) Ben Webster

at the start of “Palomar,” and cries and screeches on the swinging, breezy “Calypso.”

His playing is notable for its economy of notes, and he shows some of Argentinian saxophonist Gato Barbieri’s liking for the dramatic, exclamative approach to soloing.

The quintet has the feel of a little big-band with its tight ensemble playing and brass harmonies and the stylish arrangements allow the instruments to drop in and out without lessening the momentum of the music.

On an album of strong compositions, a highlight is the delightful “Para Pochin,” a slow, languid number dedicated to original surviving band member and drummer

Pocho Lapouble. Marcelo Major on guitar and Alejandro Herrera on bass play a seductively simple melody over a metronomic percussive beat which sets the scene perfectly for Miklin and Bergalli to give full voice to their respective instruments.

Aniversario—Sketches from Illyrio-Argentina celebrates twenty years of this quintet’s activity. The evidence presented here suggests that there is enough enthusiasm and creativity to carry the band for many more years to come.

Track listing: Baguala de Illyria; Cambio; Catalypso; Tal Vez; Funk a Claaro;

Joltz Waltz; Para Pochin; El Zurdo; Palomar; Kali Ipso; Patagonia.

Personnel: Karlheinz Miklin: saxophones, alto flute, bass clarinet; Alejandro Herrera: electric bass; Pocho Lapouble: drums, percussion; Gustavo Bergalli: trumpet, flugelhorn; Marcelo Major: guitar; Pocho Porteno: congas, percussion.    Published: July 12, 2007