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Moods by Michaela Rabitsch & Robert Pawlik Quartet

Michaela Rabitsch and Robert Pawlik are a pair of Austrian jazz musicians who have been working together for over ten years. Rabitsch carries the vocal and horn duties, even though she began her musical development as a classically trained violinist. Pawlik is the harmonic center of the keyboard-less group, as well as a frequent soloist.

All of the music on Moods is original, penned by either Pawlik, Rabitsch, or the pair. Their diverse musical experiences show in the range of music: from vocal-centric tunes in the tradition of jazz standards ("In Silent Moments, "The End," "Moon in the Dark") to the world dance form of "Afrika;" from the light jazz-rock of "Put it in the Pocket" to the modal, almost classical-crossover style of "Quartual Guitar Madness." Rabitsch seems to favor more straightforward vocal-swing writing, in contrast to Pawlik, who offers more complex and intense instrumentals. There are a couple of tunes - "Tren Número Uno" and "Dance" - which seem out of place for being pop jazz - simplistic and bubbly - even though Pawlik almost redeems "Tren Número Uno" by stretching out with some excellent solo choruses.

Overall the record is pleasant but unremarkable. It is inconsistent, mixing solid jazz performance with moments that border on amateurish. To be sure, there are some highlights of very good individual artistry: the percussion solo by Kornél Horváth on "Afrika," the nice swinging guitar solo by Pawlik on "Knozen beim Mnozil," the drum work and solo by Joris Dudli on "Quartual Guitar Madness." Rabitsch's vocals feel overdone, too much like a lounge singer who long ago gave up her dream of being taken seriously. She is at her best when playing the Harmon-muted trumpet, as on "Knozen beim Mnozil."

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Michaela Rabitsch & Robert Pawlik Quartet
  • CD Title: Moods
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Extraplatte
  • Tracks: In Silent Moments, Afrika, The End, Put it in the Pocket, Moon in the Dark, Tren Número Uno, Moods, Quartual Guitar Madness, Dance, Knozen beim Mnozil
  • Musicians: Michaela Rabitsch (vocals, trumpet, flugelhorn), Robert Pawlik (guitar), Karl Sayer (double bass), Joris Dudli (drums); Special Guests Albert Kreuzer (electric bass) and Kornél Horváth (percussion)
  • Rating: Two Stars
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