Edi Köhldorfer

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The Riddance



The title is intended to describe a liberation on two levels. On the one hand, "getting rid" of a creative idea that I've been carrying around with me for a very long time and, on the other hand, this virus that has held our planet hostage since 2020. Since the music on this album is very "orchestral" and it is hardly possible to gather all the artists in the studio at the same time, the pandemic year 2021 was the ideal time to tackle the realization. Around the world, musicians were already forced to work more from their home studios. During my career I have had the great opportunity to play with wonderful musicians from all over the world, throughout the world. I studied classical guitar and jazz, but I've also been involved with Indian and African music for years and decades. All these inspirations flow into the compositions and arrangements of "The Riddance". For my realization to be authentic, I asked 26 musicians from 4 continents to be a part of this production. Some of them I had worked with before, others I admired from afar. To my great delight, all the artists I contacted agreed and contributed great tracks.

The music on this CD reflects wonderfully what can happen when artists from different cultures, societies, countries work together in a creative way and I hope you can hear the joy, beauty, power and dynamism that arises! In that respect, the album also has a political dimension. The pandemic has shown that humanity responds best in unity to global threats. This album is supposed to show that music can never stand alone, but always reflects the inner and outer influences of the creators. With my music I want to capture the exciting, the beautiful, the new and the interesting side of those influences!

1. HeR&I
Mythili Anantharaman - voc, Kaveri Sageder - konnakol, Philipp Sageder -voc, konnakol, Dominik Fuss tr, Florian Fuss - sax, Uli Datler - e-piano, Stefan Först - e-bass, Bernhard Schimpelsberger - perc, konnakol, Lukas Böck - drums, E. K. - e- & a git, synth 2. Baobab
Philipp Sageder -voc, Dominik Fuss tr, Florian Fuss - sax, Georg Schrattenholzer - tromb, Uli Datler -piano, Stefan Först - e-bass, Lukas Böck - drums, E. K.- classical & egit, additional perc 3. Old Souls
Raphael Wressnig - hammond organ, Martin Heinzle - double bass, Christian Stolz - drums, E. K. - e-git 4. Les Cissokos
Mamadou Diabaté - balafon, Horst-Michael Schaffer - tr, Johannes Dickbauer - violin, viola, Vera Dickbauer - cello, Uli Datler - piano, Stefan Först - e-bass, Lukas Böck - drums, E. K.- e-git, additional perc
5. Midwest
Juan Garcia-Herreros - e-bass, Werner Zettinig - drum programming, E. K. - e-git, acoustic 6 & 12string git, mandolin
6. Goodbye Armando
Chiao-hua Chang - erhu, Valerie Köhldorfer - flute, Uli Datler - piano, Martin Heinzle - double bass, Bernhard Schimpelsberger - perc, E. K. e- & classical git
7. Suite de Covid
Simon Plötzeneder - tr, Uli Datler - piano, Ivar Roban Krzic -double bass, Herbert Pirker - drums, E. K. e-git, e-bass
8. Anthem for those we left behind
Uli Datler - piano, Martin Heinzle - double bass, Lukas König - drums, Christian Stolz - snare, Werner Zettinig - drum programming, E. K. - classical git
9. Aeternum
Philipp Sageder -rap, Fabian Rucker - sax, Uli Datler - piano, Martin Heinzle - double bass, Christian Stolz - drums, Werner Zettinig - additional drum programming, E. K. e-git
10. Vanishing
Dominik Fuss tr, Werner Zettinig - sound programming, E. K. classical git, e-bass, e-piano


Vienna-based Austrian guitarist Edi Köhldorfer has been exploring many styles of music since the beginning of his career. Even while studying classical guitar he played in rock bands and jazz formations. After studying jazz (guitar and composition) he began a varied career. Edi has played in classical orchestras (Vienna Philharmonic, Wiener Symphoniker…), in funk, soul and pop bands (Stella Jones, Global Kryner, Dancing Stars…) and due to his versatility had the opportunity to work with internationally renowned artists such as Biréli Lagrène, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Barbara Dennerlein, José Carreras, Stewart Copeland, Stephane Grappelli, Benjamin Schmid, Thomas Gansch and many more. With the trio "Speak" his first album as a leader was released in 1994. Since then, recordings under his name have appeared at irregular intervals – solo, in a duo, trio or in larger ensembles. Since 2019 he has been touring intensively with the Czech jazz legends František Uhlíř and Jaromír Helešic as "The KUH Trio". While he devotes himself to traditional jazz with "The KUH Trio", a preoccupation with Indian and African music can be heard on his new CD "The Riddance" The songs The opener HeR&I is a bow to Indian culture, joie de vivre, diversity and of course Indian music. I have already played this composition live in various ensembles, but the Konnakol part only came about through the participation of Philipp Sageder. Philipp, his wife Kaveri and percussion wizard Bernhard Schimpelsberger implemented the vocal percussion part with virtuosity. In Bengaluru (Bangalore/India) I met the wonderful singer Mythili Anantharaman and learned a lot about Indian singing from her. She spontaneously agreed to be a part of this song and added the vocal Indian flair. The Baobab tree, not only resident to gods and spirits but also a common meeting place and sanctuary, plays a prominent role in many African legends. Places with "sacred" baobabs are often used as symbols of the Garden of Eden. I've always wanted to write a piece about this fascinating tree, but ultimately Hans von Loesch's book „African Chess" was the decisive factor in writing a dance anthem.I originally composed Old Souls for my Czech friends and colleagues František Uhlíř and Jaromír Helešic. I've been touring with these two jazz legends since 2018 and our first album is also named „Old Souls". I’ve shown my love towards the blues and the Hammond organ through my collaboration with Barbara Dennerlein. Now I'm happy to finally release a piece together with my old friend and "neighbor" (he’s a Styrian like me) Raphael Wressnig. Enjoy! The music of West Africa and specific artists like Bassekou Kouyate have inspired Les Cissokos. Not only many extraordinary musicians but also a person I hold dear to my heart, carry this surname. Another inspiration is of course Mamadou Diabaté, who gave my piece a magical intro with his balafon. Horst- Michael Schaffer plays a great solo in the shadow of Hugh Masakela and Lukas Böck drives the band ahead with his pulsating drums! Let’s dance Playing a duet with Grammy Award winner Juan-Garcia Herreros (Snow Owl) was a big wish of mine for this album. Not only did Juan beautifully interpret the melody and play a great solo on Midwest, but he also created exact the atmosphere that this piece needs. The perfect soundtrack for a ride through Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota...Goodbye Armando is a threnody for Chick (Armando) Corea. I found out about his unexpected death reached me during a recording session and that same night I had this tune in my head. To pay tribute to him, I have hidden some quotations from his compositions in this piece. During Uli Datler's great piano solo, the lamentation becomes a celebration for Chick and towards the end it changes back to a calm, introspective character. With the wistful sound of the erhu, Chia-hua Chang beautifully supports the basic mood of this requiem. This is my piece intended for coping with Corona probably describes the mood of many artists during this crazy time. We were separated from our audience overnight, suddenly had a lot of time for contemplation and many were able to use this time to implement creative ideas - like me, with this album. At the same time, we also had financial worries, lockdowns -were faced with difficult mental situations. This is exactly what I tried to describe with Suite de Covid. A breeze of Zappa, a pinch of Indian rhythm and such fantastic soloists such as Simon Plötzeneder and Herbert Pirker and the madness has a method!Anthem for those we left behind is the second pandemic-inspired track on this album. As the title suggests, it is dedicated to all those who have been forgotten by society, who do not have a large organization behind them or who have found themselves in a hopeless situation due to their economic situation. Uli Datler understood the music immediately and recorded the piano part as a first take. Sound magician Werner Zettinig has created a gloomy atmosphere that, together with Lukas König's drums, supports the solitary mood. Philipp Sageder plays an important role in Aeternum. When I once played the song with my trio at a concert, Philipp spontaneously started with a rap. I found that the lyrics perfectly matched the intention of the piece and so I expanded the arrangement around the rap part. Fabian Rucker contributed a phenomenal solo and the band with Christian Stolz, Martin Heinzle and (again) Uli Datler grooves mercilessly!In 2012 my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Our family and friends have been watching her deterioration in slow motion ever since. On the one hand the illness is terrible, but on the other hand it gives us the chance to say goodbye very slowly. I tried to present this long farewell musically in my song Vanishing. The ostinato bass figure is the merciless passage of time that continues unabatedly. Above that, the guitar tells a story of love and closeness and comfort, while Werner Zettinig's effects and sounds produce a threatening background noise that represents the relentless disease.