25th Anniversary 2014 !!!
... the music of pianist Georg Graewe, cellist Ernst Reijseger and percussionist Gerry Hemingway is so fresh, so special. They have found a way to create music unburdened of stereotypes, cliches, and precedents, music that is not dependent upon jazz or classical music for a context, and refers to them only tangentially. This is Improvised New Music, which is free to draw on any source without selling its soul to do so. Art Lange, Chicago 1989
Graewe,Reijseger and Hemingway sound as if they have been rehearsing for years. There is an exactness and a sweetness that seems almost unfeasible. Brian Morton THE WIRE, London 1990
Graewe,Reijseger and Hemingway are consistently establishing themselves as some of the most unique and challenging improvisers. Michael Rosenstein CADENCE, New York 1995
[The GRH] Trio specializes in communication of the highest order. Tom Sekowski May 2006 Gaz-Eta
25th Anniversary European Tour
October 3, 2014 - Brugge, BE
October 8, 2014 - Vienna, ÖS
October 11, 2014 - Ulrichsberg, ÖS
October 12, 2014 - Essen, D
review from July 18, 2014 performance at the 35th edition of the Nickelsdorf Konfrontationen Festival
Den musikalischen Höhepunkt der 20 Konzerte lieferte das Trio Georg Gräwe (Piano), Ernst Reijseger (Cello) und Gerry Hemingway (Drums), zumal diese äußerst dichte Textur im hoch inspirierten Interplay ihresgleichen suchte. So individuell jeder Einzelne, so homogen das Ganze. Ein Kuss auf die Ohren.
Otmar Klammer Kleine Zeitung, 21.07.2014
The longstanding working trio of Georg Gräwe (piano), Ernst Reijseger (cello) and Gerry Hemingway (drums) followed, and the level of extreme virtuosity that these three musicians displayed was nothing short of breathtaking. In fact, they stole some tears from my eyes during this set, I just couldn't believe how beautiful and assured and yet also how relaxed and human their music was.
Even though I've seen him play at least two dozen times before, Gräwe's ultrasoft touch on the piano keys utterly enthralled me. They were pillowtime caresses, so erotic, even when abrupt changes of tone or velocity were involved. The smallest wrinkles of expression or tonality set off developments in the trio's music, not reactions. A subtle change then pounce pounce pounce wade quiver shave shine. Phenomenal listening and decision-making, reminding me that the highest caliber musicians in the world play this kind of music, and they play it here.
I could really see these musicians testing themselves in front of us, confronting their medium and themselves and each other in real time. Nothing else provides the opportunity to look so directly into the face of creation as this music, and this trio responded with the most fruitful possible alacrity, even while sometimes evoking the shadow of melancholy that haunts even the most celebratory of moments.
Shimmering upper-register glissando from Gräwe poised along a hairclip-and-octopus-finger sequence of both top and bottom string-striking from Reijseger, Hemingway blowing into a glass tube for the bass that only breath provides. And that's what provoked some light tears from me, feeling so lucky to hear such music and to have found such an incredible home to hear it in.
They didn't need to play an encore, but they did, and it was wonderfully gritty, wafting in jugular sentiments. Death is so foretold it's ancient and welcome because of that. From Classicalite Blog - Photo and text by Andrew Choate
GRH soundcheck at the Museum in Bochum November 14, 2009
Vienna - Porgy & Bess 2009
Photo Credit: Helmut Rizy (Wien)
GRH Trio in Essen, Germany October 12, 2014
GRH Trio in Nickelsdorf in 2014 (Pt 2 of 2)
GRH Trio in Nickelsdorf in 1995 (Pt 1 of 3)
The GRH Trio, returned to performing and recording with a tour marking the 16th year since the trio's inception. In that tour we recorded three hours of music for Winter and Winter in a beautiful acoustic room in Munich (the reherasal room for the Munich Opera Orchestra). The recording and performances are nothing short of outstanding. Winter and Winter released "Continnum" from this session in January of 2006. Click here for a review by Tom Sedesko in May 2006 issue of Gaz-Eta.
a pic from the studio session in Munich (January 2006):
Graewe/Reijseger/Hemingway celebrated their 10th anniversary with a tour in the US in November of 1999. In June, 2001 nuscope recordings is released a recording of their performance in Ann Arbor from this tour.
I am slowly at work on an evolving work for three improvisors and orchestra entitled "Sideband". The three improvisors intended for this project are of course this trio and I will keep you informed of performances of this work when it happens, hopefully in the not too distant future (maybe 2016 or 17).
Photo Credit: Gert de Ruyter
GEORG GRAEWE/ERNST REIJSEGER/GERRY HEMINGWAY - Recordings
SONIC FICTION (1989) Hat Art CD 6028 ("Demure Scuttle" posted on YouTube)
ZWEI NACHTE IN BERLIN (1990) Sound Aspects CD 049
POINTS WEST (1991) Music & Arts CD 820
FLEX 27 (1993) Random Acoustics CD 007
SATURN CYCLE (1994) Music & Arts CD 958 ("Fortyfications" posted on YouTube)
LA BONNE VITESSE (1994) Random Acoustics CD 014
COUNTERFACTUALS (1999) NuScope CD1010
CONTINUUM (2006) Winter & Winter 910 118-2
CLEPTON (2006) THE GRH Trio with Earl Howard - New World Records 80670-2 ("Clepton" posted on You Tube)
REVIEWS of select recordings:
GRAEWE/REIJSEGER/HEMINGWAY: Counterfactuals (NuScope Recordings)
This is the seventh provocative and engaging release for this striking trio of international improvising masters for the consistently challenging Nuscope label. It was recorded live in Ann Arbor, Michigan in November of 1999 - the tenth anniversary of this excellent trio. Georg Graewe plays piano, Ernst Reijseger is/was the amazing cellist for the ICP Orchestra and the Clusone Trio and Gerry Hemingway is perhaps the finest of all local improvising drummers and percussionists. Like all Nuscope releases, this one has well defined sound.
"Menuet" is the opening piece and it begins tentatively at first, but quickly builds as the abstractions get thicker and more certain. Gerry plays with his hands on the drums in a most natural way, as the cello and piano playfully expand their palettes - slowly things get more heated and ascend as the reactions and ideas are exchanged more quickly. "kindling" also starts out delicately, but soon the trio begins to buzz in sections - darker and more suspenseful eruptions take place as the fog becomes more dense and difficult to absorb readily. There is a completely natural flow of events, an undercurrent which connects the trio to another and to all who listen closely.
By the third track - "une geste plus rapide" - the waters get even more dense and difficult and engaging - the piano and drums start to fly quickly together, spinning a furious web as Ernst also plucks more intensely - eventually exploding together in a frenzy of dense activity and then winding down to a more haunting and minimal section. On "zer-streuung" the trio flies with a smoother, more swinging jazz flow - taking off into the skies with inspired energy. Gerry takes a marvelous, inventive percussion solo with more hands-on-drums wackiness while Ernst begins bowing weird sonic spirits on his cello. These cats consistently match each other's ever-inventive spirit - never letting go of the cosmic flow - each section moves in waves from quiet and trance-like to quick and explosive. This is a challenging and moving set which is captured perfectly.
Downtown Music Gallery web site review from Bruce Gallanter
GRAEWE/REIJSEGER/HEMINGWAY: Zwei Nachte in Berlin (Sound Aspects 049)
Anyone working under the misconception that all free piano must sound something like Cecil Taylor, lend an ear to German pianist Georg Graewe (pronounced Gray-vuh). Forceful and deliberate, he recalls Lennie Tristano's linear fluidity and Bill Evans' harmonic delicacy, filtered through the 12-toned, tone-colored lens of Anton Webern. The trio with Hemingway and Reijseger has been around since 1989, and these two live discs offer a glimpse of the free-improvising threesome as it develops its singular identity. Zwei Nachte in Berlin,recorded over two nights at the Total Music Meeting in '90, is the more animated and directly interactive of the two. It's also a sharper recording, with Hemingway's bright metals and Reijseger's cello mixed to the foreground. Listen, about six minutes into the half-hour-long opener Muss Musik Nun Erklingen? as the trio simultaneously grazes a static patch, Graewe riding a damped note, Reijseger performing some arco alchemy, and Hemingway summoning shimmering harmonics by rubbing his cymbals. Reijseger alone is astounding, practically turning his instrument inside-out, using it as a percussion box, guitar, miniature bass, and sometimes sounding as cellistic as Pablo Casals. As the track pulls to a close, Hemingway's swinging hard, Reijseger's speed walking, and Graewe's doing his best Lennie-Bird. John Corbett March 1995 DOWN BEAT
GRAEWE/REIJSEGER/HEMINGWAY: The View from Points West (Music & Arts 820)
The View From Points West documents a transcendent evening seven months later at the du Maurier Jazz Fest in Vancouver. Working in a limited dynamic mid-range - they never raise too raucous a ruckus and rarely dip down into hushville - the trio manages to generate tension, movement, drama, and points of devastating intensity. Like Zwei Nachte, this disc begins with a long, constantly morphing piece Lighthouse followed by a series of shorter excursions.On Monk-ey-ing Graewe drops Thelonious-licks into a scattered field of sound. The ever-welcome ghost of Tristano reappears on the disc's most openly playful track Strange Picnic (fusionheads, check Reijseger's hot chops!), while on Dig, Drill, Dump, Fill the unit turns pointillistic, Hemingway mixing wood blocks, vibes, and kit for maximum color. John Corbett March 1995 DOWN BEAT
GRAEWE / REIJSEGER / HEMINGWAY, FLEX 27, RA 007
Take Gerry Hemingway, add his long - time companion, Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger, and German pianist Georg Graewe, mix this concoction together and stir for a few years, then watch the fireworks fly! No doubt, what this drum-cello-piano trio achieves on their fourth album, Flex 27 (following on the heels of the hot as hell marvel of Zwei Naechte in Berlin), is pure magic. Sure, they're exclusively involved in pure, instantaneous improvisation, which is not always the easiest stuff for the more conservative jazz crowd. Georg's piano delivery (light and precise one minute, stop-and-go and fiercely moving the next) blends in so well with Ernst's cello plucking and Gerry's persisitent, understated (hushed!) but swinging drum work, it's too difficult to list all the superlatives that come to mind. Mind-boggling music.Tom Sekowski, EXCLAIM, March 1996
Pianist Georg Graewe has been working with Reijseger and Hemingway for some years. Flex 27 is a spare, judicious album of miniatures. There's no expressive Improv overload in sight - restraint dominates the game, and the trio play with immense mutual confidence. They have a disciplined way of building a succession of distinctive episodes within the slightly longer pieces, which amounts to exemplary group work. It's highly mobile music, stubbornly resistant to definition or stasis. Graewe presents his ideas in an fleeting, elusive way, Reijseger tends to fuller elaboration, and Hemingway makes an extraordinarily sensitive arbiter of what goes or doesn't go. It is perhaps his uniquely open approach that gives the trio its unusual flexibility. Will Montgomery The Wire - July 1995
GRAEWE / REIJSEGER / HEMINGWAY, SATURN CYCLE, Music & Arts CD 958
The new release from this amazing trio was recorded live in Koln, Germany in 1994. Improvisational for the most part, structural motifs guide the listener through an dazzling array of mind bending virtuosity. While the improvisation is astounding, one gets the feeling that these pieces were composed and rehearsed; the uncanny ability of these three to anticipate complex chord changes and tempo shifts are unique attributes.
The first two cuts "La Bonne Vitesse (approximation 1&2)" commence with the whirling dervish piano voicings of Graewe. Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger provides the bass, rhythm and arco cello solos. Hemingway is a "musicians" drummer. Known for being a fine and inventive percussionist, Hemingway has over the years also led a brilliant ensemble which included Reijseger and Micheal Moore (thus, two thirds of another great band called Clusone). Hemingway's subtle percussives and Reijseger's walking and talking cello run complement to Graewe's introspective and probing ideas.
Things heat up again. On ensuing cuts like "Future Reference" and "Saturn Cycle," tempos change on a dime, the band swings hard and everyone is having a blast. The pace is remarkable. Twists and turns, sudden stops adds up to obvious group awareness. The ability of this trio's internal cognizance is awe inspiring.
Fear not, this not a blatant chops fest. The compositions are collective works. Thoughtful, penetrating and unpretentious, this music takes you on a journey. A journey of ideas, interplay and fascination.
Graewe is a singular talent with a sparkling voice that deserves to be heard. Saturn Cycle contains the various elements of free-jazz, chamber music, and hard swing, and is an appropriate title for this recording, as the musicians all put themselves to the limit. Reviewed by: Glenn Astarita, 1998
GRAWE-REIJSEGER-HEMINGWAY TRIO (preview for performance in Chicago & review of Saturn Cycle
This Monday the trio--Grawe's most consistent and artistically successful group in the early 90s--makes its long-awaited Chicago debut as part of its tenth-anniversary tour. Though this decidedly experimental ensemble often functions as a standard piano trio, with Reijseger playing bass lines, the musicians rarely rely on familiar, swinging structures; instead they seamlessly fuse the European classical tradition, free improvisation, and the early trio work of Bill Evans. At its best the group makes daring, spontaneous leaps from elegiac tiptoeing to cubist seesawing to cacophonous rumbling, animated by a dazzling collective intuition. And all three members are gifted with incalculable range: Grawe switches easily from fragile romanticism to galvanic post-Cecil Taylor bass clusters; Reijseger moves from tactile arco screeches to finger-snapping walking lines as casually as he might shift his weight from foot to foot; and Hemingway is just as comfortable dropping percussive bombs as he is bowing a delicate, infinitely variable tone from one of his cymbals. I haven't heard their latest release, La Bonne Vitesse (Random Acoustics), recorded at a concert in 1994, but Saturn Cycle (Music & Arts), recorded the same year, displays the arresting give-and-take they'd achieved at the time. There is no single leader; instead every musician regularly takes the fore, influencing what comes next by isolating and accenting an element from the current episode. Chasing epiphanies is standard procedure in free improv, but it's a rare group that can combine such a spontaneous approach with a gorgeous, dramatic compositional flow. review from: November 04, 1999, Chicago Reader Peter Margasak