BIO 

 

Born in Berlin to an american father and a german mother, Benny Lackner, moved to California at the age of 13. He received his BFA from the California Institute of the Arts under the direction of Charlie Haden and David Roitstein. From 1997 - 1998 he studied privately with his mentor, pianist Brad Mehldau. He has performed at numerous jazz festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreux and Monterey. He has worked with artists such as the late Billy Higgins, Marc Ribot, BradShepik, Pheeroan akLaff and is now residing in NYC and Berlin where he is working with his internationally touring trio as well as a sideman and composer.

The Benny Lackner Trio just finished its fifth huge world tour playing 19 concerts in 19 cities starting with Auckland, NZ and ending in Lausanne, CH.  The trio featuring Benny Lackner (piano,  electronics),  Jerôme Regard (bass) and Matthieu Chazarenc (drums) was founded in New York City in 2002. Past concerts include five extensive Asia – Australia – New Zealand  tours taking them to places such as  Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Jakarta. Other tours included Brazil,  South Africa, Canada, Portugal, Spain, United States, Germany, France, Croatia, South Africa, Austria, Turkey, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The trio has headlined at jazz clubs such as the Blue Note in NYC, Joe’s Pub in NYC, Smalls in NYC, Birdland in Vienna and the A-Trane in Berlin, sharing the stage with John Scofield at the Traumzeit Jazz Festival,  the American Jazz Festival in Paris, as well as concerts at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival, Viersen Jazz Festival, Leverkusener Jazztage, the Augsburger Jazzsommer and the Düsseldorfer Jazz Rallye.

Siskiyou, the trio’s 5th album was released by Unit Records in April 2015 (http://www.unitrecords.com/).

 

 

“Benny Lackner has a distinctive compositional voice that sounds lucid and fresh. He’s found a cool way to write for this trio.”-Brad Mehldau

 

 

PRESS

ABOUT SISKIYOU

ALL ABOUT JAZZ 2015: "Siskiyou is Lackner’s fifth trio outing, and his second with this particular line-up, after 2012’s Cachuma  (BMH Productions). It is his best and most focused outing. The trio has gelled into a tight and beautifully synchronized unit, tinted with rock stylings and drum & bass beats. The leader’s compositions haves a distinctive melodic containment—notes don’t fly all over the place, but rather stay channeled within a relatively narrow range, making, with his trio mates, a relentless, alluring, almost machine-like rhythms. Lackner has perfected the mix of electric and acoustic. Using devices like the Musser Ampli-Celesta, Wurlitzer, Solina String Synth and Nord Lead alongside the piano, he crafts multi-toned soundscapes. Where Cachuma had more of a Bill Evans vibe, Siskiyou leans in the direction of Nik Bartsch’s Ronin, on a more inward, reflective, and overtly beautiful style in the telling of its tales." (Get full article here :http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=50828 )

 

JAZZ PODIUM 2015: "After listening to Siskiyou, one is left with a magical, trancelike feeling." (Get full article here: Jazz Podium 2015 )

 

CONCERTO MAGAZINE 2015: " In the legacy of Esbjorn Svenson: The balanced soundscape is a direkt result in the respect for one another. Their approach is intimate, impressionistic and flows back and fourth from deep streams of consciousness to firey bursts with electronic embellishments, while always keeping the acoustic piano in the main focus of the band. The way he deals with his modernistic, european approach and his relaxed, american way of handling things, makes you realize that Benny Lackner combines his american with his european influences seamlessly and remains true to his roots." (Get full article here : Concerto2-15 )

 

JAZZTHING 2015: "Benny Lackner, Jerome Regard and Matthieu Chazarenc manage to keep every song unique and interesting with poignant effects and driving beats, clear phrasing and atmospheric grooves. They have toured all over the world with their music and “Siskiyou” will give them more material to continue on their journey." (Get full article here: Jazzthing108 )

 

Leipziger Volkszeitung 2015: "The new Album Siskiyou sounds almost too perfect,  as if it could fill the void left by the defunct Esbjörn Svensson Trio. The German-American pianist Benny Lackner can immerse himself in contemplative depths and then suddenly shake off those moments by jumping into heavy groove.  He doesn’t imitate nor does he belabor his own ideas. He is sufficient unto himself, whether drawing from his own inventions or from David Bowie, and with bass player Jerôme Regardand percussionist Matthieu Chazarenche has the perfect partners. Their extensive excursions allow their mutual intuitive understanding to grow into an ever tightening and solid union. Lackner and his crew’s suggestive collaborations escalate into electronics and effects, but without getting into blather, and they culminate in a distinct full-fledged drive, so that these unfortunately mere thirty-five enthralling minutes could easily have continued much longer."  Dr. Ulrich Steinmetzger (Jazzthing, Leipziger Volkszeitung, March 2015)

 

ABOUT Cachuma

“Benny Lackner, der dt- amerikanische Pianist, braucht mittlerweile überhaupt keine Vergleiche mehr mit den großen Namen wie Jarrett oder Mehldau zu scheuen. Sein großer Vorteil allerdings ist, dass Lackner schon seit Jahren seine eigene Pianosprache und seinen eigenen Kompositionsstil gefunden hat.. Somit kommt er auch keinem der oben Genannten in die Quere. Der Pianist hat[…] seinen Platz in der Oberliga der Jazz Klavier Trios gefunden…”. 5 Sterne Höchstwertung (hervorragend)– Concerto Feb 2012

 

“Lackner may be the first established pianist to come from the Mehldau school. With acontemporary approach, he helps give the piano trio a much-needed facelift.”-John Kelman, All About Jazz

 

“Where the BadPlus goes for the jugular on it’s recordings, the Lacknerites keep it understated, a rarity for any jazz album”. JazzTimes

 

Not the Same, featured funked up jazzy versions of both Hendrix and Nena. Their sophomore effort includes interpretations of Gershwin; Prince, as the deliciously funky title cut has Derek Nievergelt’s bass pumping it up; Björk, with her darkly isolative “Isobel” portrayed more organically than originally thought possible as Lackner switches between acoustic and electric; and a standard, “How About You”, injected with a huge shot of rhythmic gas by Nievergelt and drummer Robert Perkins (read full review…) 
-Elliot Simon, All About Jazz

 

"Benny Lackner Trio Lackner mixes originals, Mingus and Monk tunes, and some eclectic covers. He also blends acoustic and electronic keyboards as well as anyone, allowing Derek Nievergelt (bass) and Robert Perkins (drums) to etch out some deep dancefloor grooves." Gehr, The Village Voice

 

Lackner, through carefully chosen accents on synthesizer, elevates to bold and daring musical moments.Even with complex patterns Perkins’ rhythms flow effortlessly and are carefully differentiated in their dynamics while never losing sight of the groove. Nievergelt’s bass lines comment upon the offerings of his partners while staying in constant communication with them. And Lackner has mastered the art of controlling the dosage of musical ecstasy, leaving himself time and space to develop and process his themes. The overall effect is one of tastefully jazzy collaboration, not oriented to soloskills but imparting a  sense of the performers truly sharing the concert experience with the audience. A song like “If Six Was Nine” builds from its first reserved bass motifs to wild eruptions of temperamental outbursts, whereas a contrasting piece such as “Will It Matter” could hardly be any “cooler.” Ralf Dombrowski, Sueddeutsche Zeitung

 

"Lackner also uses Fender Rhodes and a variety of other keyboards to texturize his work. Lackner also shares a penchant for simple melodies that, while singable, are sometimes a little oddly askew also, something he no doubt learned from his time studying with Brad Mehldau." John Kelman, All About Jazz

 

ABOUT Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times proves itself a wonderfully realized work of art, every tune a highlight, and with it Lackner steps into the ranks of fully developed jazz artists. “Rambo Sex Party.” The title might suggest slash and burn carnal carnage, but the tune has a genuine tenderness, insistent yet gentle, as if our man Rambo has a softer side. Excellent! (read full review…)  Dan McClenaghan , All About Jazz

The recorded sound of this album is brittle. Everything glares. Robert Perkins’ cymbals sound like glass shattering in an echo chamber. Sign of the Times is piano trio music not for the faint of heart. Indeed, Prince’s title track kicks and twitches and hammers and has more in common with punk culture than jazz as we have known it. “Dresden Blues” has a bent blues form and a nasty stuttering syncopated groove. This trio is multi-dimensional. Its raw creative energy and brute force is directed by Lackner’s musical sophistication and imposing technical facility Thomas Conrad, JAZZTIMES, Nov 2006 

“Red Hook,” with its lightly funky groove, and “Sheep’s Dog,” with its more driving bottom-heavy rhythmic conceit, demonstrate a style that combines the pop sensibility of E.S.T., the quirky disposition of the Bad Plus (albeit less aggressively so) and the reflective personality of Mehldau into something that feels familiar in all those spheres and yet has a personal voice of its own. John Kelman, All About Jazz

“Where the BadPlus goes for the jugular on it’s recordings, the Lacknerites keep it understated, a rarity for any jazz album.”). All About Jazz

“Lackner may be the first established pianist to come from the Mehldau school. With a contemporary approach, he helps give the piano trio a much-needed face lift.”
John Kelman,AllAboutJazz.com

Sign of the Times proves itself a wonderfully realized work of art, every tune a highlight,  they give the piano trio a much-needed facelift.”) Their sonic embellishments on the sound of the acoustic piano trio (slight electronic enhancements by Lackner and some drum programming by Perkins) give the overall sound a subtle yet modern, ambient feel.
-http://cdbaby.com/cd/bennylacknertrio

 

About Pilgrim

Lackner and company definitely fit into the Mehldau mold: a mix of subtlety and insistence, understatement and delicate beauty underlain by a firm melodic path. The sound is introspective and understated— no flash or pyrotechics—with lots of breathing room and first-rate musicianship, reminiscent (delving into the pop world) of Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Harding (Columbia, ’67) or Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks (Warner Brothers, ’68). A sound that caresses, seduces, and lasts. (read full review…) Dan McClenaghan

 

 

Presse Text

Deutsche Version:

Der deutsch-amerikanische Pianist Benny Lackner verbrachte seine Kindheit in Berlin und lebte seit seinem 13. Lebensjahr in Kalifornien und New York. Er studierte am California Institute of the Arts unter der Leitung von Charlie Haden und David Roitstein. Während der Studienzeit erhielt er Privatunterricht bei seinem Mentor, dem Pianisten Brad Mehldau. In New York gründete er 2002 das Benny Lackner Trio, mit dem er als Headliner in den etablierten New Yorker Clubs wie dem Blue Note, Joe’s Pub und Smalls auftrat. Daneben arbeitete Benny Lackner zuletzt mit Künstlern wie Billy Higgins, Marc Ribot, Brad Shepik, Pheeroan akLaff, Hillary Maroon und teilte die Bühne mit John Scofield und Elvis Costello. Seit einigen Jahren spielt Benny Lackner wieder zunehmend in Deutschland, unter anderem an der Seite von Nina Hagen, Eva Mattes, Charlotte Greve, Lisa Bassenge, Ignaz Dine, Rainer Winch, Paul Kleber und Felix Wahnshaffe.

Das Benny Lackner Trio besteht derzeit aus Benny Lackner (Piano, Wurlitzer, Electronics), Jerôme Regard (Kontrabass, E-Bass, Effects) und Matthieu Chazarenc (Schlagzeug). Ihre bereits 6. erfolgreiche Asien Tournee führte sie unter anderem in den Cotton Club in Tokyo und das Motion Blue in Jakarta.

In Europa spielte das Trio in zahlreichen Städten wie Berlin, München, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Zürich, Lausanne, Wien, Mailand, Istanbul, Zagreb, Prag, Lissabon, Madrid, Barcelona und Paris. Weitere Tourneen führte das Benny Lackner Trio nach Sydney, Melbourne, Hongkong, Jakarta,Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, New York, San Francisco und Chicago.Festivals wie das Traumzeit Jazz Festival, das American Jazz Festival in Paris, das Montreux Jazz Festival, sowie Konzerte auf dem North Sea Jazz Festival, dem Monterey Jazz Festival, dem Viersen Jazz Festival, dem MIB-Night Festival Bremen, den Leverkusener Jazztagen, dem Augsburger Jazzsommer und der Düsseldorfer Jazz Rallye gehören zu den erfolgreichen Festivalstationen von Benny Lackner.

Alben:

Not the Same (Nagel-Heyer)

Sign of the Times (Nagel-Heyer)

Pilgrim (Straydog / BHM)

Cachuma (BHM)

Siskiyou (Unit / P-Vine Japan)

Benny Lackner, der deutsch - amerikanische Pianist, braucht mittlerweile überhaupt keine Vergleiche mehr mit den großen Namen wie Jarrett oder Mehldau zu scheuen. Sein großer Vorteil allerdings ist, dass Lackner schon seit Jahren seine eigene Pianosprache und seinen eigenen Kompositionsstil gefunden hat.. Somit kommt er auch keinem der oben Genannten in die Quere.

Der Pianist hat [...] seinen Platz in der Oberliga der Jazz Klavier Trios gefunden...". 5 Sterne Höchstwertung (hervorragend)- Concerto Magazine

“Benny Lackner has a distinctive compositional voice that sounds lucid and fresh. He’s found a cool way to write for this trio.”-Brad Mehldau

„Das neue Album Siskiyou klingt fast so perfekt, als könnte es die Lücke, die der verstorbene Esbjörn Svensson mit seinem Trio hinterlassen hat, füllen.“ Leipziger Volkszeitung 2015