“How to get” is the title of Christiana Uikiza´s new album produced in her adopted city of Vienna. The album hasn’t yet won a Grammy but many musicians who can be heard on it who have a Grammy lying around at home. Who, then, is Christiana Uikiza and why does one of the best Jazzpop albums of the year come from Vienna?
A Child of Fortune
Destiny means well for some people. They can sing wonderfully, dance fantastically, play a multitude of instruments or just look damn good. Others may speak 6 languages, write song texts or compose music at the highest level. And as if the mere existence of people with such an endowment wasn’t depressing enough, there’s also Christiana Uikiza. This exceptional lady is gifted with all of the above.
When Christiana sings, music becomes vivid, emotionally palpable. The skill required to generate this effect is innate and she conjures it up with a snap of her fingers and a casual naturalness that it disappears “offstage”.
“How to Get”
Christiana began to work on her personal vision of a really good jazzpop album together with jazz pianist Joe Meixner in 2011. The motto of the collaboration was: good is not good enough. They began by composing the music together and Christiana wrote the lyrics. The result is something beyond the expectations that anybody could realistically have had with regard to an Austrian album, until now! The quality of the songs demanded unequivocally an adequate musical transformation and, of course, production.
“Go for it”, she thought and made contact with some of her favourite musicians. Over the years, Christiana had made the acquaintance of many in the music business and soon the phone began to ring. They listened to the music, found it excellent and agreed to play on the album. Vinnie Colaiuta (Zappa, Sting, Herbie Hancock…) played drums and David Sanborn (Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, David Bowie, Miles Davis …) can be heard on the saxophone.
As a duet partner, Christiana wanted to realize her dream and asked her old friend, the US Jazz luminary Kevin Mahogany, if he would assist. He was enthralled. Completing the ensemble is the Crème de la Crème of everything Austria has to offer in terms of instrumentalist, like Martin Fuss, Willi Langer, Werner Feldgrill and Bertl Mayer.
Whoever listens to “How to get”, believes they are witnessing an outrageously expensive high end US production. From the songwriting, over the arrangement, production and musical quality, there isn’t a single aspect that isn’t sublime. Snootily said; exactly the right environment for Christiana’s voice. Then it is her voice that makes the album what it is: a multifarious solitaire. A racy number like the intro “Mr Right” convince to the same degree as the high class ballad “Symphony of life” or “They told lies”, a divine duet with Kevin Mahogany.
By the way, the only thing that is better than “How to get” is seeing Christiana perform live with her band. So, unplug your earholes and listen to the “still” relatively unknown world star…she won’t be for long!
Joe Meixner – pianist / composer / arrangements / producer
Dieter Libuda – sound engineer (recording / mix / master) / guitarist
Werner Feldgrill – jazz guitar / fretless bass
Willi Langer – bass
Bertl Mayer – harp
Martin Fuss – saxophone
Nelson Williams – percussion
Josef Burchartz – trumpet
Dominik Stöger – trombone
Ola Egbowon – singer
Verena Podiwinsky – cd cover art-work
Dado Pokec – Official video “Mr.Right”