...hört man Jazz, wie er sein soll: erdig und fantasievoll, treibend und griffig, poetisch und zupackend. Jeder bringt sein Ich ein und alles addiert sich zu etwas Größerem. Beseelte Finesse und kraftvoller Groove, detailscharfe Interaktionen und unverbrauchte Solos machen diese CD so spannend.

                                                                                                            "Jazzthing" (Deutschland)

...bleiben Energie und Sensibilität, Melodie und Abstraktion, Transparenz und Dichte, Groove und Emotion, Licht und Farbe in stets wohltariert ausbalanciertem Schwebezustand. Die Interaktion der drei könnte kaum behutsamer, aufmerksamer, telepathischer sein. Zeitlos!

                                                                                                            "Jazz Podium" (Deutschland)

...ein schnörkelloser Livemitschnitt, der die zeitlose Klassik (Hawkins bis Shepp in etwa) und das voll ausgereifte Zusammenspiel der drei gut repräsentiert... Deep, dedicated
und toll!

                                                                                                            "Falter" (Österreich)

...faszinieren ob ihrer irisierenden Klangschönheit das für Altflöte geschriebene "Emilia" und das zehnminütige "Purgatory", wo Miklin auf der Bassklarinette die Meisterschaft des Melodikers in einen aufregend-aktiven Dialog mit Bass und Schlagzeug bindet.

                                                                                                            "Concerto" (Österreich)

...mit der Schlagzeuglegende Billy Hart verbindet Karlheinz Miklin eine lange musikalische Partnerschaft, die in diesen Live-Aufnahmen einen Höhepunkt findet. Auf die Spur gebracht durch den melodisch virtuosen Bass des Schweizers Heiri Känzig, wurden die Kompositionen des Saxophonisten, der u.a. mit virilem Tenorsound glänzt,
zum Meisterwerk.

                                                                                                             "Kleine Zeitung" (Österreich)

Liner notes

I listened to this music several times,  for several reasons.

One, being that this is a „live“ recording, I wanted to get as close to that live music environment as possible. I tried to get right up front, center to the music making experience. Also,  a composer can spend so much time writing musical phrases,  grappling with harmony,  agonizing over rhythms, that, by giving an original music only one listening,  it does not seem to give respect to the process. Only by listening several times, can a person come closer to composer’s original intention. Even with that,  it’s a far cry. I really wanted to get as close to this music as possible.

Odds Are Low

The thing that immediately hit me, was the dramatic sense of melody of this composition. I suppose it’s only natural to walk away with this feeling, given Miklin’s (Austrian)  homeland’s rich history of melody makers,  Schubert,  Haydn, Beethoven, and Mozart are but a few. The bass line on this piece supplied by the very capable, Heiri Känzig,  creates a supporting groove that invites improvisation such as this to occur. Karlheinz’s sound really, REALLY takes me back to the days of Texas saxophone sound—big, strong, and engulfing. Billy Hart is the „Ravel“ of this piece. He offers so many colors of the spectrum. This music goes forwards (the future) and backwards (tradition), all at the same time. This music is perfect for me. Heiri’s solo is beautiful, completely—in the upper register, the middle of the instrument or the low end.

Almost immediately, one is given the sense that this IS a band, rather than players coming together for a session. One does not get this high level of interplay from a pickup band.

Around D

Once again Karlheinz contributes a very strong melody, indeed one can walk away from this recording and sing any of these melodies.  The band gives a „Bill Evans“ approach on this composition—they play very conversationally,  where everybody solos, but does not solo. There is so much cohesion here,  collective breathing, and anticipation. This IS a working band. Billy Hart’s solo, a brief, yet complete solo is given here,  with (for these ears) a high snare drum tuning, reminiscent of Roy Haynes.

Born To Be Mild

Karlheinz and Heiri are kindred spirits. This one starts with an unaccompanied offering,  totally setting the mood. Karlheinz is truly in his element here. What he plays, logically and smoothly leading into the bass part. This coupling of bass and horn, especially doubling parts of the melody, is extremely effective here.


This music is homage to the Blues. The music here really does wonders for me. A ship sailing in the night, the saxophone leaves no one wondering about who the captain of this ship really is. Karlheinz, again, takes us back to one of the tenants of saxophone tradition—The Big Sound. Coming straight out of Coleman Hawkins, this sound could fill a theater, all by itself. Hart reminds us (as if we really need reminding) of his undeniable importance to this music. The words are chosen carefully here,  Importance to this music,  not only drumming.


One is immediately overpowered by the dark, haunting beauty of Miklin’s flute sound here. This beauty captivates completely,  from the melody statements, to it’s improvisational flights. Once again, for these ears, the flute sound is totally balanced. A creative, yet controlled nuance.

Point G

This reminds me, in a sense , of the spirit of saxophonist/flutist, Charles Lloyd. A veteran improviser who, over the course of time has been taught to deliver a music, completely devoid of excesses. Almost as if the body goes, but leaves behind the skeleton. What is performed here, is the essential. The necessary. It really is essential music. Billy offers the listener, a complete solo. Virtuosity, yes, but more than only that. A highly developed sense of structure,  wit,  and pacing. The saxophone makes an incredible entrance (like „Coltrane, Live at Birdland, when Trane comes in on Afro Blue, after McCoy’s solo) after the drum solo like an announcement of Royalty.  Everything here is so well crafted.

Take One

The opening line,  quickly conjures images of Ornette. The bass line of Heiri is supporting, buoyant, and most importantly,  swinging. Karlheinz and Billy have a telepathic connection to the music. This is such a superb and perfect interplay, between horn and drums.


Bass Clarinet is singing a song. Pausing. Expanding. If poetry could sing,  it would be this. Bass Clarinet,  later drum commentary—this is master improvisation,  conversing at the highest level. The melody is certainly an attractive one,  beautifully commented on by the bassist. What an amazing chemistry these players set up. The bass clarinet offers an important lesson to any student, a lesson of pacing,  phrase construction and spacing.

Instant Two

One man. Playing two horns. All at once.  A musician,  asking musical questions,  and giving cogent answers, immediately. One man. Who else is doing this today? Paying his respects to Shepp, Pharoah, Billy Harper,  this is spirtual music. It makes me think of John Coltrane’s, „India“. Billy’s back beat is Gospel inspired, giving a nod to the sanctified Holiness Church. I keep expecting to hear a tambourine at any minute. Music coming from another realm is, „Instant Two“. It is indeed a fitting closer to this recording.

I truly appreciate live Jazz performance. Years of listening merely confirms my long held belief that, the best jazz is live jazz. One wonders if the conclusion of “Encore“, did indeed bring about an „encore“.

Karlheinz Miklin, certainly deserves one.       

Howard Curtis

drummer, percussionist and educator