Pianist and composer, Uli Geissendoerfer, originally from Munich, is a versatile and remarkable musician exploring rhythms and melodies across many styles of music, with a special emphasis on World Jazz and improvisation. He worked with among others Tito, Puente, William Cepeda (awarded a Grammy nomination), Groove Collective, Giovanni Hidalgo, Blood Sweat & Tears, Leslie Uggams, Cirque du Soleil, Kofo the Wonderman, Ute Lemper and many more.
His current projects include, Colors a World Jazz Quintet, with their debut CD featuring Pascale Elia, the Beregovsky Project, a duo with fabulous Klezmer violin virtuoso Alicia Svigals and Bangalore Breakdown an Indian World Jazz project featuring Premik Russell Tubbs. Premik and Uli also just recorded a Duo CD Passport due out at the end of the year.
His first two albums, The Extension and Transformation 9/11, were released on the Caramella d’Oro label. The Extension features some of New York’s finest Latin Jazz artists and Transformation 9/11 is a highly emotional, completely improvised piano solo CD dealing with events of September 11.
As a film composer, Uli composed together with Emmy nominated composer Steve Sandberg the critically acclaimed short film, Climbing Miss Sophie, winner of the NYU film festival 2002, and was invited to the Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival among other prestigious festivals worldwide. Bill Plympton’s new cartoon Idiots and Angels features three works of his and Nicole Renaud. He was awarded best sound design at the 48 hour film festival earlier this year and one of his and Nicole’s songs, Red, made it to the short list for the Oscars.
Currently Uli resides in Las Vegas where he is teaching at the University of Las Vegas and is working on single handedly reviving the Jazz Scene. He started a Jazz Club, instituted a lecture series at the University and promotes his and other creative endeavors.
A former editor often cautioned me about getting too excited over a release. I wonder if artists like Geissendoerfer become passionate when working on a new project? Music in general and jazz in particular are steeped in passion not arbitrary and archaic stylistic guidelines that would impose absurd self limitations on the artist. Virtually flawless and groundbreaking in many respects. A perfect reason why I get excited about a review and why the word "former" appears before word "editor." -Brent Black, Critical Jazz
Geissendoerfer scales inordinate musical heights to the date's climactic end. He appropriates the lever of creativity, and the fulcrum of deep understanding, to elevate and intensify the richness and authenticity of (Turkish) with invaluable help from special guests violinist, Valeri Glava and Dafer Tawil - aud, doumbek, tambourine, to transform inspiration from Paganini's op.24 into a spirited, stirring, energetic Turkish romp. From this creative apogee, he and the quintet contemplate the arresting spirituality, and sprawling serenity of (Where) "...nothing else needed to be done". -CJ Bond, JazzMusic
Colors [the album] is pretty upbeat affair, with some cool improvisation layered over the Latin rhythms that reference Sergio Mendez. Colors [the band] are: Uli Geissendoerfer - piano/rhodes/synth/percussion, Pascale Elia - vocals, Charles McNeal - saxes, Derek Johns - basses, Ryan Rose - drums/percussion, plus guest musicians: Valeri Glava - violin, Michito Sanchez - percussion, and David Tawil - oud/doumbek/tamberine. Ms Elia's vocals are a highlight - commanding and sensual, full of intimate detail on the lyrics. The eleven tracks are: Intro, 3-41, Honey Pie, Tango, Intro To Soulful, Soulful, Lily (Have You Seen But A Bright Lily Grow, Norwegian Wood, Song (For Maya), Turkish, Where. Colors are an impressive band and Colors is an impressive album - Uli Geissendoerfer is an intriguing composer, utilizing a rich palette of sounds and his arrangements bring out the best in the musicians around him. He isn't that shabby on the various keyboards, either. If you like your music with a world vibe and some musical depth to it I point you in the direction of Uli Geissendoerfer and Colors. This an album I will heartily recommend as being well worth seeking out. -John M. Peters, The Borderland