Their previous album, “Hart Genossen von ABBA bis Zappa” was pointed out as his favourite record of 2009 by Clawfinger guitarist Bård Torstensen. About the same album Dweezil Zappa said: “Very well done. Normally, I don’t like people re-arranging my father’s music but this was a pleasant surprise.” Not at least, Randy Brecker said: “Panzerballett is the first band I’ve heard that really leads Music into the 21st Century!”
So, what Panzerballett are actually playing? This is an intense, extremely technical Jazz-Rock with some powerful Metal infusions. In-your-face type of riffs are smartly built-in into the classy, but modern flavored Jazz-Rock constructions. “Vulgar Display of Sauerkraut” sounds like Pantera versus Al Di Meola (I’m thinking of songs such as “Alien Chase On Arabian Desert”) – eventually. Double-bass drum slaughterings and killer riffs are merged with mystic flavored Jazz breakdowns.
This is actually a very groovy, very colorful, hard to fit in into any genre kind of riding. Panzerballett manage to shift smoothly between styles and genres in the same song repeatedly without being hard to follow or extensively sophisticated. Complex polyrhythmic build-ups with intense Metal riffing, Funk versus Metal and Hard’N’Heavy twisted in and out with quality Jazz.
“The Ikea Trauma” reminds me of Zappa’s humor fueled musical extravaganzas, but mainly they stay an build upon the solid ground of Jazz adding to this different flavors and grinding Metal riffs.
01 Some Skunk Funk (Feat. Randy Brecker) 05:57
02 Mustafari Like Di Carnival 07:11
03 Giant Steps 05:05
04 Zehrfunk 06:37
05 (I’ve Had) the Time of My Life 06:06 (Feat. Conny Kreitmeier & Ron Van Lankeren)
06 Vulgar Display of Sauerkraut 05:24
07 The Ikea Trauma (Feat. Mattias ”ia” Eklundh of Freak Kitchen) 04:12
08 Take Five 07:07
Jan Zehrfeld (guitar) founded Panzerballett in 2004, since then writing and arranging the music and producing the albums. He studied jazz guitar at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria, at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich, Germany and went to GIT in Los Angeles, California. He has performed with Klaus Doldinger’s Passport, The Hilliard Ensemble as well as the German National Jazz Orchestra and was invited by Mattias “IA” Eklundh to teach at his Freak Guitar Camp in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Josef Doblhofer (guitar) studied at Bruckner-Konservatorium Linz, Austria and toured with Deep Purple’s Ian Paice
Alexander von Hagke (sax) studied saxophone and clarinet in Munich and in New York City. Besides two album releases of his own projects he toured Europe, as well as in USA and Asia, with various groups. He was a member of both the Bavarian Youth and German National Jazz Orchestras and received the Bavarian Cultural Funding Award as well as a scholarship of the German National Merit Foundation. Nota bene: He also holds a university degree in mathematics.
Heiko Jung (bass) concluded his studies at the Richard Strauss Conservatory, Munich, with high honours, and was a member of the Bavarian Youth Jazz Orchestra. He won first prize with his group “Fourscore” at the “Young Jazz Players” contest in Bavaria and played with high-profile artists like Julian Rachlin & Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Doldinger’s Passport, Martin Grubinger jun., Claudio Roditi, Jay Ashby or Bobby Shew. Furthermore he is a writer for the magazine Bass Quarterly.
Sebastian Lanser (drums) studied at Bruckner-Konservatorium Linz, Austria, played with T.M. Stevens, toured extensively with highly acclaimed percussionist Martin Grubinger jun. and performed numerous drum clinics for Meinl Cymbals and TAMA Drums.
“Hart Genossen von ABBA bis Zappa” (ACT 2009)
– #25 of German jazz charts
– CD of the month in drum magazine “drums & percussion”
“Starke Stücke” (ACT 2008)
– #26 of German jazz charts
“Panzerballett” (Bad Land 2006)
– Approx. 200 shows in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, USA, France, Armenia, Lithuania
– 2009: third album release “Hart Genossen” on ACT (rank #25 German jazz charts)
– 2008: second album release “Starke Stücke” on ACT (rank #26 German jazz charts)
– 2006: first album release (self-titled)
– Opening act for Chick Corea & John McLaughlin, MacAlpine/Sheehan/Donati, Bill Frisell, Freak Kitchen, Mattias “IA” Eklundh, Christophe Godin’s Mörglbl, Nick Barrett & Clive Nolan (Pendragon), Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Nina Hagen
– Appeareance on German television (WDR, 3sat, ARTE)
– Live appereance at ProgDay, The Baked Potato, Festival Crescendo, Rock in Opposition, MAI Nancy, Yerevan Summer Music Festival, Dresdner Drumfestival, Zappanale, Burg Herzberg Festival, Leverkusener Jazztage, Leipziger Jazztage, Baltic Prog Fest, Freakshow Artrock Festival