"The municipality of Lech is increasingly becoming a venue for more or less exclusive festivals. Between the fifth Lech Classic Festival, which ended on the weekend with a Wagner focus, and the fifth LegeArtis Festival from 16 to 24 September with concerts and a competition, Jazz am Arlberg has now also positioned itself. Already last year the first festival "Jazzbuehne" in Lech was a great success with 130 visitors at each of the three concerts in the Postgarage. This year, the enterprising association under Philip Waldhart has extended the second season from August 10 to 13 by a fourth evening and added a Norwegian focus. Most of the exquisite artists come from the "stable" of Munich's legendary ECM record boss Manfred Eicher (73), whose unerring sense for the quality of music of any kind is a distinction from the start. The star among them will make the start on 10 August, the pianist Tord Gustavsen, born in Oslo in 1970, whose playing the FAZ called "a miracle of expressiveness and musical delicacy" in a review. On his current album "What was said" he explores the tradition of Norwegian church music in an adventurously unconventional way in a trio with the ravishingly breathy German-Afghan singer Simin Tander and the drummer Jarle Vespestad. On August 11, violinist Gjermund Larsen follows with his trio, who already received the New Artist award in 2007 and subsequently recorded his first album with Andreas Utnem, piano/harmonium, and Sondre Meisfjord, double bass. "Reise" is the third production of this trio with its own style that combines elements of jazz, baroque music and Nordic folklore.
The trumpeter Mathias Eick, a high-flyer among Norwegian jazz musicians, is considered by experts to be the top act and will perform on 12 August. He has released atmospheric, beautiful, perfectly played albums on ECM, such as his production "Midwest", in which his trumpet reaches an expanded dimension in dialogue with the violin of Gjermund Larsen. In Norway, Eick also plays totally groovy jazz and rock. On August 13, the trio of pianist Anat Fort, which she founded in 1999 together with bassist Gary Wang and drummer Roland Schneider and which has won acclaim at many international festivals, will close the festival. The current ECM album "Birdwatching" contains the exciting encounter of the three with the Italian clarinet master Gianluigi Trovesi as "special guest".