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Stan Sulzmann

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Biography of Stan Sulzmann

For over twenty years Stan Sulzmann has been at the forefront of European contemporary jazz. An instantly recognizable sound coupled with breathtaking technique, as well as a boundless creative imagination, has meant that his talents have been sought after by a host of discerning musicians, including Kenny Wheeler, Gil Evans, Gwilym Simcock, Mike Gibbs, Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland, and John Taylor.

In recent times he was a featured soloist with the N.D.R. Big Band in Hamburg alongside Chet Baker, and has been seen on major British fours with David Murray and the New York Composers Orchestra. In his work as a leader Sulzmann has constantly striven to explore fresh approaches to making jazz music. Take, for example, his Aspects of Paragonne band, which featured two keyboard players and tuned percussion, or the two bass player line up of the Steam Bass Band.

Never one to rest on his laurels, his current quartet sees him alongside the major talents of guitarist John Parricelli ,Laurence Cottle on bass and drummer Ian Thomas. The duo with pianist Nikki Iles has received great acclaim both for its live performances and the stunning debut album Treasure Trove.

An accomplished and distinctive composer, Sulzmann has written for small groups and large jazz orchestras alike. Recent work has included pieces for the London Trombone Quartet and the Guildhall School of Music Jazz Orchestra. He has also written a number of pieces for The European Jazz Ensemble. He recordred his own Big Band album 'Birthdays Birthdays' on Village Life label with soloists such as Paul Clarvis, Ken Wheeler, John Parricelli, Julian Siegel.
Sulzmann's project 'Jigsaw' released in 2004 was made in New York with pianist and long standing friend Marc Copland which also featured Bill Stewart on drums and Larry Grenadier on bass.
'Neon' is Sulzmanns latest venture, a trio with pianist Gwilym Simcock and Jim Hart on vibes and marimba. The music is new, exploring a brighter and more upbeat approach to the trio setting without bass or drums. A new CD of the group is due for release very shortly on Basho Records.
The Guardian has described his music in glowing terms

": . . . meticulously written, sometimes echoing the imaginative and much missed orchestra of Michael Gibbs."

While creative work remains a priority Stan Sulzmann is an experienced and enthusiastic educator, equally at home working as a tutor at a summer school or taking a masterclass at a conservatoire. He places emphasis on developing an approach where technique remains at all times at the service of personal musical expression. February 1997 saw him leading a major projet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and he continues to work regularly at The Royal Academy of Music, and Trinity College of Music.

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