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Karl Ratzer - JPop.com
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Karl Ratzer

Karl Ratzer

Karl Ratzer


Vienna-born Karl Ratzer ranks among Austria's internationally best-known jazz musicians. Like a lot of fusion guitar heroes, he came under the spell of blues-rock in the '60s before encountering jazz. Ratzer moved to the United States in 1972 where he got involved in a project called High Voltage - later better known as "Rufus & Chaka Khan." Ratzer stayed in Atlanta for several years where he adopted a strong Southern touch to his guitar playing. When he came to New York in 1977 he started a band with Jeremy Steig Read more on Last.fm
Vienna-born Karl Ratzer ranks among Austria's internationally best-known jazz musicians. Like a lot of fusion guitar heroes, he came under the spell of blues-rock in the '60s before encountering jazz. Ratzer moved to the United States in 1972 where he got involved in a project called High Voltage - later better known as "Rufus & Chaka Khan." Ratzer stayed in Atlanta for several years where he adopted a strong Southern touch to his guitar playing. When he came to New York in 1977 he started a band with Jeremy Steig, Dan Wall, Eddie Gomez, Joe Chambers, and Ray Mantilla.

In those years he also gigged and/or recorded with the likes of Chet Baker, Bob Mintzer, Tom Harrell, Bob Berg, Joe Farrell and Steve Grossman. After his return to Europe in 1980, Ratzer continued to work with American artists such as Art Farmer, Clark Terry, Lee Konitz, James Moody, Chaka Khan and Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis, easily crossing borders between blues, jazz, funk and pop and gaining a definite cult status among guitar aficionados. One would be hard-pressed to identify Ratzer's sound or sensibility as European; in fact, American guitar specialist Bill Milkowksi says: "Possessing a rich, creamy tone, a daring improvisational streak, a vibrato technique to die for and a penchant for real-deal blues, funk and soul, Ratzer rates as an authentic guitar hero on par with the best plectorists, six-stringers and chicken-pickers on this side of the pond." For "Saturn Returning", his impressive ENJA debut, Ratzer emblazons his soulful signature on nine smokin' tracks ranging from aggressive and powerhouse funk sounds to mellow blues and samba rhythms. Says Milkowski: "In a blindfold test the names of All-American guitar heroes like John Scofield, Danny Gatton, Roy Buchanan, Lowell George, Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Sonny Landreth or Amos Garrett may come to mind." And Chaka Khan adds: "Karl sings and plays like one of my people.

It is unbelievable." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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