Andy Middleton: tenor, soprano saxophone
Lukas Oravec: trumpet
Kálmán Oláh: piano
Klemens Marktl: drums
Tomas Baros: bass
The absolute best jazz players from 5 different countries in middle Europe have come together to create a band that is musically very alive and truly more than the sum of its parts. With compositions from each of the critically acclaimed and award-winning band members, this quintet weaves powerful, compelling and heartfelt music grounded in the American jazz tradition yet also reflecting the European roots of the musicians.
Swinging, spontaneous, adventurous and sensitive, the rhythm team of Oláh, Baros and Marktl support and inspire the front line of saxophonist Middleton and trumpeter Oravec while they spin webs of lyric melody. The band is sophisticated yet earthy, deep while still absolutely accessible, totally grooving yet able to fracture and reconstruct forms and meter as the music demands. The band’s repertoire covers a wide range of contemporary jazz styles while maintaining an unmistakable expressive core that creates the unique identity of this exciting and inspired new ensemble. With resumés that include legends like Lionel Hampton, Lee Konitz, Jack DeJohnette and Benny Golson as well as contemporary jazz stars Joe Locke, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Maria Schneider, Joe Lovano and John Patitucci, the musicians of the Middle European Quintet collectively have played and recorded in 5 continents with many of the world’s finest players.
Kalman Oláh: "....extraordinary pianist", 2007 – Downbeat; winner of the 2006 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers Competition; winner of the "Liszt Award" - the most prestigious music award from the Hungarian government, 2006
Andy Middleton: "There is one soloist who truly stands apart from the rest of the crowd, and that is Andy Middleton.” - Saxophone Journal
“…. his playing is consummate” - Cadence Jazz Magazine
“Here is the sax player with the courage to pursue his own voice. Here is improvising and writing in its best form - really pretty amazing!” - Michael Brecker
Klemens Marktl: „Klemens Marktl is one of the biggest talents to come out of Europe on his instrument.“ - Ralph Peterson; “He is a wonderful drummer, and a writer possessing a high degree of creativity“ - Joe Locke