Garnet Tales

out May 14th 2020


Vienna-based PRIM’s new release – Garnet Tales – sees them challenging the expectations of the piano trio format.

Their second album contains a compelling programme of original music, with influences as wide-ranging as J.S. Bach, 20th Century classical music and drum & bass.

“How jazz in Austria can and should sound”  –

Christoph Karas (drums) contributes polyrhythmic illusions; Felix Biller (keys) brings a lyrical approach that is inspired by classical and film music; Martin Melzer’s (electric bass) melodic bass lines bring a contrapuntal quality to the music. They are joined on one track by guest rising star saxophonist Victoria Pfeil.

“Complexity, dichotomies and colourful variety rule the lands… Our decisions were driven by the desire for stylistic variety, and to experiment with contrasts.”

Background info

PRIM was formed in 2015 by three musicians steeped in Vienna’s vibrant music scene. Since then they have impressed critics and crowds alike with their progressive sound and technical virtuosity.

The cultural landscape of Vienna – the world’s classical music capital – serves as an interesting background for their experimental but nonetheless accessible style. Their intriguing compositions and innovative use of the standard piano trio line-up differentiate them from standard jazz trios. Despite their diverse musical inspirations and individual manner of playing, the three musicians complement each other perfectly.

Their collaboration results in imaginative, visually evocative music that challenges expectations.

Their debut album, More & Less Diminished, released in 2016 with a different line-up (Biller, Konuray Mutluer, Ralph Dammerer) was described as demonstrating “how jazz in Austria can and should sound” (

One year later, the EP 40 Days (Biller, Mutluer, Sherif Abdalla) proved the band’s willingness to constantly experiment with sounds and schemes to achieve great narrative quality.

They were enthusiastically received by the public in many settings (Jazzahead Clubnight in Bremen, at Jazz Brno, ACF Bratislava, on tour in China etc.) and featured on radio shows like the Ö1 Jazznight and Radio Proglas’ “Jak se vám líbí”.

With its diverse influences, clever compositions and unique ensemble sound – augmented on one track by rising star saxophonist Victoria Pfeil – Garnet Tales demonstrates that Vienna and its jazz scene have much to offer.

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