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BAND BIOS | Edith Lettner

Alexander Lackner (bassist & composer)
He is the newest member of Freemotion, and with his wide ranging musical virtuosity and flexibility he is a natural fit. Born in Vienna in 1966, Lackner studied classical music at the Music and Art Private University of the City of Vienna (formerly: Konservatorium Privatuniversität Wien) and then classical and jazz double bass at the Vienna Conservatory . His formal training also included studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston as well as studies in Buenos Aires.

Alexander Lackner has worked as a freelance musician since the late 80s playing both acoustic and electric bass in a wide range of seemingly incongruous musical idioms – freely improvised, contemporary music, classical Viennese songs, jazz in its various modes, world music and new forms of pop. This eclectic approach to playing has come to characterize his style, fitting well with is own artistic self-image. The list of the musical collaborators and colleagues with whom he has performed over the years is correspondingly colorful: Andy Sheppard, Erich Quartett, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Adi Hirschal, Marantana, Ofer, Yta Moreno, Karl Ratzer, Zabine, Dobrek Bistro, Eli Meiri, Duckbilled Platypus, Christine Jones, Nouvelle Cuisine, Bob Mover, Fernando Paiva Group, Joe Valentin, Allegre Correa, Musikverein Orchester, Medellin Quartett and too many more to list. Plus he has performed at numerous concerts and international jazz festivals in the USA, Italy, Romania, Poland, Germany, and France. As if his busy performing schedule were not enough, he is Head of Studies in classical and jazz double bass at the Vienna Music Institute, Conservatory of Contemporary Music where he teaches acoustical and electric bass as well as ensemble classes. His composition credits include commissions for Burgtheater and other stage productions.

Gerhard Franz Buchegger (piano, keyboard, composer)
Buchegger studied classical and jazz piano at various conservatories and schools in Europe, completing a master class with Barry Harris. His focus, during his formal training, was on free improvisation and ‘new’ music. But like so many gifted musicians, he was, and still is, constantly on the lookout for new musical challenges. And he always manages to find them in a dizzying array of projects, in ever varied musical genres, such as LiLa, an Indian Jazz Project, Family Kuti Band, Franz Hautzinger, and the annual Austrian festival, “Jam In,” which he initiated. Never hesitant to travel to further his interests and hone his craft, he resided for a time in the worlds of Flamenco, Brazilian, and Indian music. Each equipped him with a new kit, opened new perceptions, and contributed to his fluid, shifting style, his keen ear and his eye-blink quick responses when collaborating and improvising.

His home turf includes traditional jazz, world music and fusions of both, but he spends much time off the property, drawn to contemporary-concept improvisation and gigs with artists working in other mediums, such as dance, poetry and visual art. Gerhard has been with Freemotion since 2016 and is the youngest member of the band. But you would never know it; the fit was immediate, a fact that is apparent to anyone who attends a Freemotion gig, or listens to the band’s new album Taking Off. (Two tracks on the album are Buchegger’s compositions.)

Stephan Brodsky (drums)
Stephan Brodsky is a dyed-in-the-wool jazz man, and a self-proclaimed autodidact when it comes to developing his musical talent. As a teenager, he spent every spare minute out of school listening to jazz and learning from it, a habit he has carried with him through the years. His approach has served him well; Stephan’s talent & musicality range over the multifaceted jazz idiom right up to its edges and beyond. Big band, straight-ahead, cultural & ethnic fusions, contemporary styles, improvised & free jazz. As he continues to master his craft as a percussionist, he began to feel the absence of harmony in his music, so he learned to play Marimba; in 1993 he formed his band, phone 3 phone, centered around this instrument and his own compositions, as well as those of other band members. The band has recorded and produced 4 albums to date (2018). Stephan has toured extensively and played in clubs and festivals throughout Europe and in Morocco. He has played with Leo Wright, Igal Foni, Alan Praskin, Karl Ratzer, Samy Price, Uli Scherer, Ruth Weiss, Leopoldo F. Fleming, Luis Ribero, Vero La Reine, Cheikh Ndao. He has been the drummer in Edith Lettner’s Freemotion band from the beginning. If there are any questions about the efficacy of his self-directed approach to learning and developing his musical chops, they will be answered in full after listening to Freemotion’s new album of contemporary jazz, TAKING OFF. This is complex, enchanting music, each track different from the others in emotional colors and intensity, yet unmistakably bound together into a whole by some magical, musical braiding; it is music that would challenge any musician, and Stephan Brodsky nails it.

Gerhard Graml (bassist & composer)
Born in 1963, Graml is one of the original Freemotion members, having joined the band at its inception in 2005. He has recently relocated abroad and is thus no longer with the group, but his legacy is still keenly felt as the bassist on the band’s most recent and widely acclaimed album, TAKING OFF

While a member of Freemotion, he maintained a busy schedule as the bassist for Stephan Brodsky’s band phone 3 phone among many others, while at the same time composing and arranging for his own projects. He has written film scores, contributed to several CD-productions, and various TV and radio specials. Graml, has traveled widely, touring and performing in Europe, The US, Northern Africa and Asia. He has recorded and played with such diverse artists, as beat poet Ruth Weiss, the contemporary music ensemble, “die reihe” jazz artists Don Preston, Gary Wittner, Edith Lettner, Herb Pomeroy, Brad Terry, Tom Snow & many others. Gerhard’s musical style ranges through Jazz, Fusion, Funk and World Music. He also writes and edits for various music magazines & blogs and for a time hosted a jazz-themed radio program for the Austrian Broadcasting Network ORF. Clearly, Gerhard Graml is a man who wears many different hats as a music professional, but central to it all – what sustains and informs him – is this solitary fact; Gerhard Graml is a damn fine bass player.

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