Best of Two Worlds

Although his musical roots are in Germany, Stefan Bauer, vibraphonist, composer and bandleader, has been living in Canada for a number of years. In 1992, he released a Cd with Matthias Nadolny that was convincing with its beautiful compositions and flawless performances. Now this intercontinental musical nomad presents a CD for which he assembled an American line-up for instance, drummer Adam Nussbaum and guitarist Mick Goodrick, both not at all unknown to the jazz scene. This current edition of the Stefan Bauer Band, with guitar, trumpet, drums, bass and vibes provides for a more open and differentiated sound. Vibes and guitar take turns at harmonic and sonic backing-up which suits the tunes well. Trumpeter Tim Hagans shines with brilliant Miles-ish passages. Bauer’s playing consistently proves that he is one of the best vibists. The classic “My Favourite Things” becomes the absolute highlight of a very successful production. As a special feature, an interesting and interactive data track is integrated into the CD, so that the recording “Best Of Two Worlds” comes with a contemporary virtual experience.

– United Jazz Society

Come feel the vibes given off by Stefan Bauer and his band on their latest release, “Best of Two Worlds”. Stefan has assembled an all-star lineup for this release. Stefan comments by saying, “I had envisioned this lineup of musicians for some time, and I had written music for them, taking into consideration their musical personalities. In November 1994 we finally got together for five nights of playing at “L’Air du Temps” in old Montreal and a subsequent recording.” Stefan, born in 1956 in Recklinghausen, Germany, started playing piano at age six and at fourteen, the trombone. He further pursued is love of music by studying at the Musikhochschule Dortmund from 1975 to 1978 at the masters level. In 1976 he turned to the vibraphone and attended the Berklee College of music to study with David Friedman. Stefan showcases his mastery of the vibraphone by delivering a performance to remember. Featured with Stefan are: the very talented and crisp Tim Hagan on trumpet and fluegelhorn, Mick Goodrick on guitar (You would think that it was really Pat Metheny), Jim Vivian on the smooth bass, and Adam Nussbaum keeping an unfaltering yet energetic beat on the drums. We loved this release because of its life and vigorous style accented by the light and airy sounds of the vibraphone. On the track, “My favorite things”, the group takes a old classic favorite and creates a “new” favorite of mine, with their modernistic take on this song. If you love vibes, you’re gonna love these!

– The Jazz Review/Feb. 1, 1998