The Alaska Sessions - Accidental Tourists

The Alaska Sessions - Accidental Tourists

Markus Burger / Peter Erskine / Bob Magnusson

Label: Challenge Records
Format: CD
Barcode: 0608917346824
Catalog number: CR 73468
Releasedate: 15-02-19
- The follow up to Accidental Tourists - The L.A. Sessions (CR 73332)
- With acclaimed drummer Peter Erskine, whom Markus Burger know since being a student
- Combining European elegance with American drive: it is chamber music with an improvised concept and beautiful melodies.
Markus Burger:
"Since I was a child, I have loved the outdoors and fell in love with the vast wilderness of Alaska and Iceland. In 2000 I visited Iceland for the first time and wrote most of the songs for my solo piano release Ultreya, which came out in 2001 on Jazzline Records.
It took me until 2002 to go to Alaska and visit Valdez and the Kenai Peninsula.
I was blown away by the beauty of Alaska and the uniqueness of the folks that live there. Through my affiliation with Idyllwild’s Jazz Academy director Marshall Hawkins, one of the finest bassists on the Westcoast and a great Jazz Educator, I was fortunate enough to start teaching for a few summers in Homer, Alaska.
In 2015 and 2016 I got to visit Kodiak Island, which left a lifetime impression on me.
The songs on this album were written in Alaska over the years of my trips to this wilderness state. When planning this album’s recording session, I asked Bob Magnusson to play bass, because we share the love of musical elegance and simplicity - and because I truly love Bob’s bass sound (like so many others before me). I have admired Peter Erskine since I first heard him perform with his ECM Trio featuring John Taylor and Palle Danielsson. I love his playing and his compositions, and I was thrilled when he agreed to be part of this musical project. We had a great two days in the recording studio and produced this collection of “Music for the years.” Jim Linahon has been the “sound wizard” behind all of my albums for Challenge Records and he is in my humble opinion one of the finest engineers and producers for Jazz in the U.S. today. He was delighted that Microtech Gefell and DPA send him their finest microphones to capture every nuance of our trio’s playing.

It was an honor and privilege to play with two of my musical influencers and heroes. What made the session even more special as a pianist was that I got to record on the new Bösendorfer VC 280 - their premier ‘Vienna Concert Grand Piano’ (compliments of Ferdinand Bräu in Vienna) which they brought to Los Angeles for this recording session!

I have been working hard to make this release a very special one and was excited when Challenge Records shared the vision with me and decided to release the album. A special dedication goes out to my loving wife Cibelle and daughter Sasha Marie. They continue to encourage me to be creative and working and it means the world to me to have them be a part of my life and musical journey.

I hope you enjoy the music!"
Markus Burger is a German born, L.A. based pianist, composer and band leader. His music has been performed in Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, and most recently in the United States. He began studying piano at age six and later earned his Diplom in Performing Arts from the Essen Folkwang Hochschule in Germany, a B.A. in piano and Composition from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands and a Certification in Popular Music from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He studied with Peter Walter, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler and Kenny Werner. He has released 11 albums, featuring his own compositions and arrangements, among them, his most recent release, "The L.A. Sessions" with his newly formed jazz collaborative, Accidental Tourists. “The L.A. Sessions," released by Challenge Records in 2012 (2013 worldwide), is the first of what Burger hopes will be a series of albums, and sees him launching his collaborative by teaming up with jazz veterans, drummer Joe LaBarbera (Bill Evans, Art Pepper and Tony Bennett) and bassist Bob Magnusson (Art Pepper, Bill Evans). After months of composing and arranging, sifting through his favorite standards, and figuring out where and with whom to record first, Burger found himself serendipitously (and accidentally) launching his musical trek in his own “backyard" of Los Angeles, collaborating with the former rhythm section of his idol and early jazz influencer, piano legend Bill Evans. In addition to Accidental Tourists, Burger has been playing to sold-out audiences around the world with his Spiritual Standards duo project, with Berlin-based saxophonist Jan Von Klewitz. Spiritual Standards, the project, is a collection of contemporary jazz improvisations of Johann Sebastian Bach’s greatest chorals and masterpieces, which at one point, made it into the Top 20 in the German Jazz charts in 1999. The duo were also the winners of the coveted 2000 Bach Award of the city of Erfurt, Germany. His second album, The Smile of the Honeycake Horse, with his quartet Septer Bourbon, received rave reviews from the European press and Down Beat Magazine in the United States, and achieved something of a “cult following” in Germany.