The Flutist Quarterly – Review of Our Story by Kathy Melago (Winter, 2020 ed.)

Composer and flutist Christian Artmann grew up in Germany and Austria, where he was immersed in classical music but discovered an affinity for jazz when he moved to the United States as a teenager. His conception of this album comes from principles of the interrelatedness of humans, which is part of his Buddhist faith.

The title track, “Our Story,” is especially inspired by that concept. With the exception of “Amazing Grace,” this CD features original works by Artmann, whose engaging jazz style features unexpected and mixed meters, extended techniques that serve to give greater depth to the flute’s voice, and great grooves. While each of the 10 tracks is quite different, they are united in their fresh approach realized through Artmann’s command of the flute and his ability to push boundaries through singing and playing, multiphonics, and technology.

All the musicians on this recording—pianist Laszlo Gardony; Johannes Weidenmueller, acoustic and electric bass; Jeff Hirschfield, drums; and Elena McEntire, voice—perform with versatility and a solid command of jazz style. This is an unparalleled jazz flute CD that could easily serve as background music for a party, music for personal relaxation, and a model of what is possible with jazz flute. After Artmann’s well-received performances at the 2019 National Flute Association convention in Salt Lake City, this recording should become a favorite among flutists.