Elias Haslanger
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Elias Haslanger

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Acoustic

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Dec
10
Elias Haslanger @ The Elephant Room

Austin, Texas, USA

Austin, Texas, USA

Nov
19
Elias Haslanger @ The Elephant Room

Austin, Texas, USA

Austin, Texas, USA

Oct
08
Elias Haslanger @ The Elephant Room

Austin, Texas, USA

Austin, Texas, USA

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Music

Press


"Most impressive."
-Ira Gitler

"Elias's CD (Kicks) is very much in the Jazz group concept of the 90's. It is obvious he has spent the time to reach a level of excellence that is commendable."
-Ellis Marsalis

"Simply put, Haslanger is a major talent who could find his way into the upper echelons of jazz with a judicious marketing push and smaller gaps between recordings."
-Glenn Astarita, AllAboutJazz.com

"...the MVP award on Haslanger's fourth album is his pen. The 10 compositions blend Haslanger's educational theory with an honest love of the jazz pantheon, his performative skills honed by playing with Chucho Valdés, Ellis Marsalis, and Dizzy Gillespie. Haslanger's jazz is both modern, drawing from funk and blues cadences ("Street Beat," "Watch Your Step"), and traditional, informed by the idiom's history, including Wayne Shorter and Miles Davis. Opener "Eternal & Absolute" also demonstrates a deep knowledge of Coltrane's soprano sax work."
-David Lynch, Austin Chronicle

"Kicking around cheeky rhythmic conversation and contemporary classical dissonances, this sassy modern jazz combo exudes a wonderfully bossy and rebellious nature, often with rock and urban hip hop-like drums and disgruntled melodies that give way to stunningly languid ballads and downtempo numbers, pouring over with sensuality and abandonment. Stellar tenor saxophonist, Elias Haslanger, leads the way through this ten-track Kicks Are For Kids, gently pushing the songs along; and whether with a tender poke or a sharp pinch, every note seems to spill and melt out of the bell of his horn dripping onto the floor or evaporating into the air, depending on the heat of the given track. But while his playing certainly catches the ear, there's not the slightest question that this group as a whole plays as one solid entity, one voice, one daring, potent combo."
-CD Baby

"Long a well-kept secret in Texas, Elias Haslanger is a talented tenor and soprano saxophonist with warm tones on his instruments and the ability to improvise in a variety of settings. Joined by a fine local rhythm section and (on six of the ten numbers) hard bop trumpeter Tito Carrillo, Haslanger performs a set of modern straight-ahead originals in addition to sounding quite warm on Duke Ellington's "Just Squeeze Me," one of two songs that have Ellis Marsalis guesting on piano. There are no slow moments on this stimulating set, Haslanger consistently comes up with fresh ideas, and although somewhat obscure, this is one of the best jazz recordings released in 1998."
-Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

"Tenor saxophonist Elias Haslanger is the real deal, a no-nonsense modernist whose Rollins-esque rhythmatics and Coltrane-tinged harmonics surge and soar. The young titan flies with a spiky quartet whose savvy hipness recalls the best groups of Davis, Blakey and Silver...a highly appealing date with plenty of blood and thunder and seriously swinging fun"
-Chuck Berg, JazzTimes Magazine

"The Coltrane comparisons are already coming for saxophonist Haslanger, and they're not unfounded. On his second release, Haslanger proves adept at emulating 'Trane's earlier work and also evinces a strong feel for the master's spiritual side, as on the stirring, beautifully conceived "Patience." But locking this guy into a category and leaving him there is simply wrong-headed: With his slippery, multi-faceted approach, Haslanger sounds like he's at the beginning of a career path all his own. With melodic gifts that are every bit as inventive as his chops, Haslanger's composing shows a deep understanding of classic-era Blue Note ensemble invention."
-Larry Nai, JAZZIZ Magazine

"Combining an intensity and lyricism of early Coltrane with an inherent sense of fun and adventure."
-Steve Graybow, Billboard Magazine

"Haslanger, a highly accomplished saxophonist who suggests a number of influences, Coltrane for one, still projects a sound of his own. This is a swinging, cohesive ensemble."
-Marcela Breton, JazzTimes Magazine

"Haslanger is now a full grown talent, both as a composer and instrumentalist whose future has almost unlimited potential and should be regarded in national terms."
-Michael Point, Downbeat Magazine - Various


Austin Chronicle Review of Elias Haslanger's latest recording, Church on Monday - Austin Chronicle


Feature article on Elias Haslanger - Austin American Statesman


Discography

Standards, 1995
For The Moment, 1997
Kicks are for Kids, 1998
Dream Story, 2006
Church on Monday, 2012

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Photos

Bio

Over the span of his 25-year music career, native Texan and Austin resident Elias Haslanger has carved a unique and distinguished place in jazz history as a saxophonist, composer, and band leader, whose playing and writing has drawn comparisons to John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Ben Webster, and Wayne Shorter. He has performed, recorded, and toured with many world-class artists including Ellis Marsalis, Maynard Ferguson, Christopher Cross, Asleep at the Wheel, Alejandro Escovedo, The Four Tops, and The Temptations, among many others.

Elias has performed around the United States and Europe at clubs like Snug Harbor in New Orleans, Jazz Alley in Seattle, The Elephant in Austin, and The Blue Note in New York. He has also served as a guest artist/lecturer at universities around the nation. Mentored by the legendary saxophonists Harvey Pittel and Dick Oatts, Elias began to explore the instrument’s vast potential by studying saxophone at the University of Texas and then at the Manhattan School of Music. His interest in writing music culminated in a Master’s Degree in Composition at Texas State University (TSU) in San Marcos.

In 1996, Elias recorded his second CD as a leader entitled For the Moment, which received substantial national airplay, reaching #11 on the Gavin Jazz charts and #14 on the Jazziz Radioactive chart. Herb Wong from JazzTimes magazine wrote, “Haslanger is clearly in the forefront of the young, new, fresh players. He has respect for tradition as well as being himself. He is a merger of the past and the future.” Elias was awarded “Best Horn Player” by the Austin Chronicle in 1997, as well as the Jazz Instrumental Soloist College Outstanding Performance for the 20th Annual Downbeat Student Music Awards. In 1998 TSU awarded Elias the Mitte Scholarship for academic achievement, and Elias began to teach music theory and composition at the university.

That same year, Elias collaborated with the patriarch of the modern jazz scene, Ellis Marsalis, to release Kicks Are for Kids, of which DownBeat magazine writer Michael Point wrote, “Haslanger is now a full grown talent, both as a composer and instrumentalist whose future has almost unlimited potential and should be regarded in national terms.”

Kicks Are for Kids won praise from fans and critics around the world, and the recording was recognized as one of the top five jazz records of the year by Rick Mitchell of the Houston Chronicle, while the Austin Chronicle’s writers Jay Trachtenberg and Christopher Hess voted it the #1 and #3 best records of all Austin artists. DownBeat’s writer Michael Point voted Kicks Are for Kids as one of the top ten best CDs to come out of Austin in the 90's, and it reached #4 on the Gavin Jazz charts with 180 radio stations around the country playing it. Elias was also awarded “Best Jazz Group” by the Austin Chronicle later that year. During this time, Elias continued to teach theory, saxophone, and composition at TSU before moving to Brooklyn, New York in 2000.

While living in Brooklyn, Elias was contacted by jazz trumpeter and musical icon Maynard Ferguson and invited to tour the United States as part of his Big Bop Nouveau band. As the featured tenor soloist in the band, Elias held the same chair Wayne Shorter had held many years earlier, and the experience touring with Maynard helped to shape Elias’s philosophy as a band leader and performer.

Since returning to his hometown of Austin in 2004, Elias has kept an active performing and recording schedule, including releasing the 2006 recording Dream Story and performing weekly engagements in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and New Orleans. Elias recently celebrated the release of his 5th CD as a leader, Church on Monday, featuring Texas jazz icon Dr. James Polk, the former musical director for Ray Charles.

Says Jay Trachtenberg from the Austin Chronicle about Church on Monday, “Haslanger has consistently demonstrated a penchant for ageless chestnuts, and this session is no exception. His version of “On a Clear Day” is simply divine, fashioning a creamy, satin-smooth tone that harkens back to an earlier era of big-toned tenor men. Four stars.”

Elias and the band, which also features guitar virtuoso Jake Langley, hold a residency at Austin’s famous Continental Club Gallery every Monday at 8:30 pm. The CD is currently in rotation on radio stations around the country and is receiving positive reviews from writers and fans across the globe.

In February of 2013, Elias was short-listed by the Texas Commission on the Arts for the role of State Musician of Texas. This prestigious position has previously been awarded to Lyle Lovett, Ray Benson and Willie Nelson and is a reflection of Elias’s hard work and dedication to advancing the arts in Texas.

Says Glenn Astarita of AllAboutJazz.com, “Simply put, Haslanger is a major talent who could find his way into the upper echelons of jazz with a judicious marketing push and smaller gaps between recordings.”