In early 2016, vibraphonist Dizzy Krisch, bassist Karoline Höfler, drummer Bill Elgart, and vocalist Lauren Newton released their Lonely Woman album on Germany’s JazzHausMusik label.
The CD and digital release of improvised music from the Dizzy Krisch, Karoline Höfler, Bill Elgart trio and vocalist Lauren Newton features original compositions by Krisch including “Green,” “Moments of Love,” “Minatur 2 Hadenei,” “Evolutienne,” the title track by Ornette Coleman, “Evolutism,” “Minatur Farben 1,” “Contenance au Lit,” and “Setup.”
A video for “Green,” Dizzy Krisch’s opening composition, featuring Dizzy Krisch on vibes, Karoline Höfler on bass, Bill Elgart on drums, and Lauren Newton on voice is on YouTube:
Seven of the nine tracks on Lonely Woman were recorded live at SWR Studio Tübingen in Germany on 21 October 2014–“Miniatur 2 Hadenei” and “Miniatur Farben 1,” with Dieter Schumacher replacing Bill Elgart on drums, were recorded 5 November 2013. Andreas Renz recorded, mixed, and mastered the JazzHausMusik release.
Vibraphone player and band leader Dizzy Krisch has been active in Germany’s jazz scene since the early 1960s when he played in a children’s band founded by his father Franz Krisch. In 1985, Dizzy Krisch formed the fusion group Wide Open.
In the 1990s, Dizzy Krisch formed a vibraphone quartet and in 1997 the contemporary improvisation duo Echoes. Bassist Karoline Höfler has played in several bands with Krisch over the years.
“Evolutism,” a Dizzy Krisch composition featuring vocals and lyrics by Lauren Newton, is on YouTube:
Karoline Höfler started out studying guitar before switching to double bass after attending a concert by Elvin Jones. She later studied at Hochschule für Musik Stuttgart. In 1992, Höfler founded her Charly Haigl’s festival band, with saxophonist Matthias Stich, pianist Ull Möck, and drummer Matthias Daneck. Besides playing in several groups with Dizzy Krisch, Höfler has been in the Geneva formation Four Roses, the Lucas Heidepriem Quartet, in the Timeless Art Orchestra by Klaus Graf, and with the Bobby Burgess Big Band Explosion.
Höfler also teaches and performs theater productions, and has given solo performances at art exhibitions with her sister’s music, Susanne Höfler, and the dancer Katja Erdmann-Rajski. In 1995, Höfler received the Baden-Württemberg Jazz Prize.
The double bassist recently agreed to answer a few questions about the making of the album.
Blue Note: How did you first meet Bill Elgart?
Karoline Höfler: Bill used to play in Germany quite often, so first me and my friends visited his concerts and dreamed that one day we might get a chance to play with him. Later, I met Bill at a little gig in Ulm organized by a friend.
BN: Did you get a chance to jam together?
KH: Yes, and it was a lot of fun. It inspired me to organize a concert for a trio, together with Dizzy Krisch because I knew he wants to play more freely, yet still rooted in a traditional background. I also knew that Bill used to play a lot with different vibraphone players and, thus, would be the perfect drummer for the trio.
BN: When was your first concert?
KH: November 2013. It went well, so we decided to continue as a trio. From time to time, we invite Lauren [Newton] as a guest, as well, because the quartet makes a very good combination. Since our first concert, we have averaged about seven gigs each year, and we plan to continue as a trio and quartet.
BN: Does the group still find time to practice much?
KH: We like to rehearse as a trio from time to time to develop our “band style” and chemistry but our underlying concept is firmly focused on free improvisation. We try to keep the music open, so it can go in any direction. Wherever the music or one, two or three of the players wants to journey …
Bill Elgart has been a well-known player on the Germany jazz scene for several decades, appearing regularly in clubs, festivals, as well as on a number of jazz albums recorded around Europe. In the early 1960s, Elgart, was a student of Alan Dawson at the Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts. Later, Elgart played with Carla Bley, Marion Brown, Lowell Davidson, Roswell Rudd, and John Tchicai. In 1968, Bill Elgart made his recording debut on Mr. Joy with pianist Paul Bley and bassist Gary Peacock.
After moving to Europe permanently in the mid-1970s, Bill Elgart played with Karl Berger, Dave Holland, John Lindberg, Ed Schuller, Eric Watson, and Kenny Wheeler in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as co-founding the trio Sun Dial with Peter O’Mara and Wayne Darling. More information about Elgart’s extensive performing and recording career is located in the biography found on this site.
A video for Krisch-Höfler-Elgart’s final cut on Lonely Woman, the uptempo Dizzy Krisch piece “Setup,” is a showcase for drummer Bill Elgart:
Lauren Newton, like fellow expatriate Bill Elgart, was born and raised in the United States. Newton grew up on the West Coast, graduating with a degree in music from the University of Oregon in 1975. Two years later, she earned a degree in vocal performance from the School of Music in Stuttgart.
Since relocating to Germany in the mid 1970s, Lauren Newton has appeared at numerous music festivals in Europe, Russia, North America, and parts of Africa. She also is a frequent visitor to Asia, doing a series of ongoing concerts and recordings with different Japanese artists that began in 1982.
Krisch-Höfler-Elgart’s Lonely Woman featuring Lauren Newton is now available in CD from JazzHausMusik as well as in digital format at iTunes and similar online music retailers in most markets including Germany and the United States. A review of the album, in German, is on Lauren Newton’s website.
At this time, auto-generated videos for all of the remaining album cuts from Krisch-Höfler-Elgart featuring Lauren Newton’s Lonely Woman are on YouTube in most regions.
Krisch-Höfler-Elgart-Newton Live in 2016
Vibraphonist Dizzy Krisch, bassist Karoline Höfler, drummer Bill Elgart, and vocalist Lauren Newton have been playing an ongoing series of live performances across Germany between October 2016 and January 2017. This includes a show by the trio plus one on 28 December 2016 at Dieselstrasse in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany.
A live version of Dizzy Krisch’s “Green” at the show, shot by Koho Mori, has just been uploaded to YouTube:
Krisch-Höfler-Elgart Trio Live in Stuttgart in 2013
In November 2016, Krisch-Höfler-Elgart-Newton played at the Laboratorium in Stuttgart. Three years earlier, The Krisch-Höfler-Elgart trio were at the same German venue.
Parts 1 and 2 of that performance of vibraphonist Dizzy Kirsch, bassist Karoline Höfler, and drummer Bill Elgart are both currently found online.
Krisch-Höfler-Elgart at the Laboratorium in Stuttgart, Germany on 2 November 2013, Part 1:
Krisch-Höfler-Elgart at the Laboratorium in Stuttgart, Germany on 2 November 2013, Part 2:
More Music from Lauren Newton in 2016
On 12 March 2016 Lauren Newton appeared with an improvisational group at the Festival Jazz Geht Baden in Switzerland.
The group features Lauren Newton on voice, Sebastian Strinning on bass clarinet, and Emanuel Kuenzi on drums.
A video excerpt of Lauren Newton, Sebastian Strinning, and Emanuel Kuenzi performing “Blindflug (Blind-flight)” live is online:
More info about Krisch-Höfler-Elgart and Lauren Newton
Dizzy Krisch’s website:
Karoline Höfler’s website:
Lauren Newton’s website:
Bill Elgart Sampler on SoundCloud
An excerpt from the Christian Hassenstein Trio’s Cause & Consequence (2017); with Elgart and Sven Schuster; “Plaything” and “Contusion” from Gianni Lenoci, Kent Carter, and Bill Elgart’s Plaything (2014); “Puppet Party” from Jan Klare, Jeff Platz, Meinrad Kneer, and Elgart’s Modern Primitive (2011); the title track of Zollsound 4 feat. Lee Konitz’s Open Hearts (2000), with Elgart, Mombelli, and Thomas Zoller; the title track from Dancing In A Museum (1992) by Carlo Mombelli’s Abstractions, with Elgart, Mick Goodrick, and Mariano; and “Remember Lucia” from Carlo Mombelli and Charlie Mariano’s Happy Sad (1990), with Elgart and Peter O’Mara are now on SoundCloud: