Roman Schwaller

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Roman Schwaller at the Unterfahrt jazz club (Munich 2008)

Roman Schwaller (born January 18, 1957 in Frauenfeld , Switzerland ) is a Swiss tenor saxophonist , composer, band leader and university professor.


Schwaller made contact with local jazz musicians in Munich in May 1977 . A first live radio production followed during the recruitment school as the youngest participant with the "Jazz Live Trio" on Swiss radio DRS 2 in October 1977. He gave his first professional concerts in Germany with Dusko Goykovich , Klaus Weiss , Frank St. Peter and Joe Haider .

In 1978 Schwaller had his first record production with the Klaus Weiss Quintet feat. Mal Waldron (p); 1979 followed a six-month stay in New York City with the recording of the first record under his own name with Don Friedman and Marc Johnson . From 1979 to 1989 he was a member of the Vienna Art Orchestra , with which he toured worldwide. Since 1980 he has played in bands under his own name. In 1983 he founded his quartet with Thomas Stabenow , with whom he continues to have close musical ties, Paul Grabowsky , piano and Joris Dudli , drums. In 1985 and 1987 he was a member of "Three Generations of Tenor Saxophone" with tenor giants Johnny Griffin and Sal Nistico . From 1990 to March 1993 he was the first tenor saxophonist in the big band of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Hamburg; has been a freelance jazz musician again since April 1993. Since then he has played in a quartet with Oliver Kent , piano; Thomas Stabenow, bass; Mario Gonzi , drums and sextet with Derrick Gardner, trumpet and Adrian Mears , trombone (same rhythm section).

As a guest soloist he played in the orchestras of Radio DRS, EBU Big Band (Stockholm) 1983, NDR Hamburg, hr-Bigband , Metropole Orkest (Radio Hilversum), Al Porcino Big Band, Harald Rüschenbaum Big Band, Paul Kuhn Big Band and the Sunday Night Orchestra (Nuremberg / Cologne). In the spring of 1999 Schwaller went on a European tour with the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Grover Mitchell and the New York Voices. He is the initiator and was artistic director and festival director of the “generations - International Jazz Festival Frauenfeld” from 1998 to 2016. In December 2000 he received a composition commission from the Swiss cultural foundation Pro Helvetia for the nonet project “The Original Tunes”. In 2005 there was a production and tour with "Schwaller-Eckinger-Cobb ... play the Billie Holiday Songbook" and a tour with the novel Schwaller Sextet - "The Thurgovian Suite". In 2007 the program "Further Expectations" followed with CD release on TCB Records - The Montreux Label. He has been a member of the Thomas Gansch Big Band since 2015 .

Schwaller played u. a. with Dizzy Gillespie, Carla Bley, Mel Lewis, Connexion Latina, Munich Saxophone Family, Thomas Stabenow, Mal Waldron, Horace Parlan, Don Friedman, Johnny Griffin, Sal Nistico, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Pass, Benny Bailey, Buster Williams, Conte Candoli, Billy Brooks, Isla Eckinger, Charly Antolini, Art Farmer, Thad Jones, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Jimmy Woode, Vladislav Sendecki, Mark Murphy, Daniel Humair, Ferdinand Povel, Alvin Queen, George Gruntz, Franco Ambrosetti, Red Holloway, Steve Swallow , Attila Zoller, Aladar Pege, Walter Norris, Fritz Pauer, Herb Geller, Lex Jasper , Joachim Kühn, Alex Riel, Butch Miles, Benny Golson, George Mraz, Adam Nussbaum and Lewis Nash.

In 1985 Schwaller received the cultural promotion award of the state capital Munich , in 1987 the "Star of the Year" from the Munich evening newspaper and in 1990 the culture award of the canton of Thurgau . From 2008 to 2018 Schwaller was a university professor, head of department and course director at the Conservatory Vienna Private University and, after renaming, Music and Art Private University of the City of Vienna. He can be heard on 67 records and CDs.

Discography (selection)

  • Child's Prayer , Klaus Weiss Quintet, MRC / EMI (1978)
  • On Tour , Klaus Weiss Quintet, Calig (1979)
  • Roman Schwaller Quartet , Four Leaf Clover (1979)
  • Tango From Obango , Wiener Art Orchester, Art Records (1979)
  • The Bizarre Is Open , Roman Schwaller Jazzquartet, JPV / Plans (1984)
  • Live In Vienna , Roman Schwaller Jazzquartet featuring Mel Lewis, Bassic Sound (1987)
  • Club date , Roman Schwaller Jazzquartet, Jazz4Ever (1990)
  • Joe Baudisch and Friends , Kagerer-Schwaller-Stabenow-Baudisch, Acoustic (1995)
  • Welcome Back From Outer Space , The New Roman Schwaller Jazzquartet, JHM (1995)
  • Basic Instinct , Grooveyard meets Red Holloway , Houston Person and Roman Schwaller, Organic (1997)
  • Joe Baudisch Presents The Meeting Of Two Tenors , with Johannes Enders , Acoustic (1997)
  • Three Generations Of Tenorsax , Johnny Griffin-Sal Nistico-Roman Schwaller, JHM (1997), recorded 1985
  • Live At The Nachtcafé Munich , Roman Schwaller Jazzquartet featuring Jimmy Cobb, Bassic Sound (1999)
  • The Original Tunes , Roman Schwaller Nonet, JHM (2002)
  • The Thurgovian Suite , Roman Schwaller Sextet, TCB (2006)
  • Further Expectations , Roman Schwaller Sextet, TCB (2008)

Web links

Commons : Roman Schwaller  - Collection of images, videos and audio files