Austrian bassist-composer-bandleader Gina Schwarz responded to the Covid-19 lockdown that was imposed on Vienna in November 2020 in the only way she knows. Schwarz withdrew to her countryside hometown and wrote six new compositions in six days, all reflect the unsettling moods of the new era: «Communication in Isolation», «Motion in Freeze», «Structured Chaos», «Wistful Euphorism», «All Alone – Together in the Long Run» and «Farewell to Resignation». These compositions were recorded live during «Ö1 Radiosession» at the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Service) Funkhaus in Vienna in the spring of 2021.
«All Alone 2020» is the sophomore album of Schwarz Pannonica nonet (obviously, titled after the outstanding woman, Baroness Pannonica de Köenigswarter, member of the Rothschild family and patron of Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker, among other musicians). The six compositions highlight Pannonica as a well-rehearsed working band, relying on the driving rhythm section of Schwarz and her daughter drummer Judith Schwarz and the articulated solos of trumpeter Lorenz Raab, cellist Clemens Sainitzer, violinist Florian Sighartner, reeds player Lisa Hofmaninger and pianist Philipp Nykrin. Despite the somehow melancholic titles, the music of the nonet evokes a hopeful and life-affirming spirit and offers a delicate and clever interplay that balances strong collective dynamics and individual solos. «Structured Chaos» captures best the atmosphere of these new compositions – well-crafted arrangement and collective dynamics but with high degrees of freedom that enable impressive and intense solos, all anchored by the precise, tasteful double bass rhythmic patterns of Schwarz.
Schwarz added two short intimate pieces that address further emotional challenges. The double bass-drums playful soundscape «Duolouge» highlights the almost telepathic familiarity of Gina and Judith Schwartz. The double bass solo «Monologue» closes the album with lyrical improvisation, all alone but speaking to many attentive listeners.
Lorenz Raab (tp, flh), Lisa Hofmaninger (ss, bcl), Alois Eberl (tb), Florian Sighartner (vio), Clemens Sainitzer (c), Philipp Nykrin (p), Christopher Pawluk (g), Gina Schwarz (b), Judith Schwarz (dr)