Original Jazz & Contemporary Music

Edith Lettner – alto & soprano sax, duduk
Gerhard Buchegger – piano, keyboards
Alexander Lackner – upright bass
Stephan Brodsky – drums, percussion


freemotion ist ein offenes musikalisches Spielfeld für kreative Ideen ohne stilistische Begrenzungen. Gespielt werden Eigenkompositionen der Bandmitglieder, die den Musikern viel Freiraum für Improvisation und dynamisches Zusammenspiel lassen. So entsteht sehr abwechslungsreicher Jazz, der mal ein breites Spektrum an Emotionen durchläuft und mal einfach pure Freude am kreativen Umgang mit Klang und Rhythmus wider-spiegelt. Atonale Melodien und Soli stehen dabei gleichwertig neben harmonischen Klängen. Die komplexen Kompositionen enthalten eine Vielfalt von Rhythmus- und Groovekreationen, die manchmal von Afrikanischer Musik, Minimal Music oder Hip-Hop-Beats inspiriert sind- auch Swing findet da seinen Platz. Die Saxophonistin und Komponistin Edith Lettner, die seit einiger Zeit halb in Wien, halb in New York lebt, spielte Anfang des Sommers mit ihrer Band Freemotion eine neue CD ein Freemotion- Taking Off, Label: artdialogue 007) In dem 2005 von ihr gegründeten Bandprojekt freemotion vereint sie Klangkünstler, die alle auf einen reichhaltigen Erfahrungsschatz aus Jazz und Worldmusic zurückgreifen können. (siehe Beiblatt „Musikerinfos“)


Edith Lettner is an unique and versatile musician and composer who plays alto and soprano saxophone as well as the duduk, an Armenian woodwind instrument. She is known for her performances of African and Middle Eastern music as well as Jazz and improvisational music, where her primary interests and exceptional musicality lie.

For years she had envisioned an open musical landscape for creative ideas without stylistic limitations. She realized that vision in Vienna in 2005 when she founded Freemotion, her own quartet of remarkable, like-minded musicians dedicated to playing all original compositions.The result has been the ever evolving creation of groovy, melodic and varied jazz, which at times sweeps dramatically through a broad spectrum of emotions and sound imagery, but just as frequently imparts pure, simple joy in the creative flow of sound and rhythm. Theirs is complex music; harmonies are simultaneously juxtaposed with atonal melodies and solos, and rhythms vary over a wide spectrum both within and between compositions in what Lettner describes as original “groove creations” influenced by African and minimal music and hip hop beats and swing. But make no mistake, complexity does not come at the expense of accessibility; this is a music of universal enchantment, appealing equally to the finely tuned sensibilities of the long-time jazz aficionado and the general appreciator of good music regardless of genre.

Lettner, who is well known in the New York jazz scene, composes most of the group’s music, although she regularly brings in compositions from the other band members, whom she thinks of as “sound artists”: Gerhard Graml (upright & electric bass), Gerhard Franz Buchegger (piano & keyboard) & Stefan Brodsky (drums & percussion) are widely known and respected musicians in Vienna. This is a tight band. It has to be given the complexity of the music nested within a governing spirit of Free Motion which opens up plenty of space for improvisation and dynamic interaction.


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Freemotion’s Latest CD “Taking Off” (artdialogue)

DownBeat Magazine Review

When it comes to incorporating various ethno-musics – particularly those culled from the African and Middle Eastern diasporas, respectively-then recontexualizing them through the lens of modern jazz and asserting a definitive voice, Edith Lettner has few peers.

The Austrian alto and soprano saxophonist accomplishes the lofty artistic pursuit with graceful ingenuity, as she fronts her longstanding combo, Freemotion. She wields a grainy, vigorous tone on saxophones, and often favors searing melodies that brim with braying and growling dissonance. And while the compositions on Taking Off undoubtedly tilt toward the avant-garde, the music still can swing hard.

It’s on Lettner’s “Treibholz/Driftwood,” the disc’s final cut, however, that it seems as if all of the band’s powers coalesce. Recorded live in Vienna during 2016, the episodic composition features Lettner play­ ing the duduk (an Armenian double-reed instrument) and alto, as the rhythmic pulse continuously morphs while the ensemble crafts alluring melodicism, virtuosic showmanship and surging emotional warmth.

-John Murph – Downbeat Magazine, July 2018


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