Austrian Launch of the Union CSLI Big Band (September 2012)
We want to express our thanks here especially to the musical representative of the LAZARUS UNION, CSLI BgdrGen Bandmaster Fritz Lentner who not only made his debut by providing the sophisticated white tunics but also formed the Big Band in the constellation as it presented itself.
The premiere concert itself was brilliant and the setting in the large round hangar at Stockerau airfield was a perfect background to experience and above all enjoy the big band sound of the "Glenn Miller Swing Time" authentically and eyeball to eyeball.
A vintage aerobatics bi-plane decorated the stage and the band grouped itself around it. The banners and flags of the LAZARUS UNION, handcrafted embroideries by our Pakistani CSLI group, made for the icing on the cake.
Unfortunately our bandmaster could not conduct the concert personally (he was "stuck" in Moscow and could not return before the day after) so our keyboarder Max Höller took the musical lead and our President and Union Commander provided the narrative framework at short notice.
Both of them completed their job with superior ease and the information provided between the musical pieces with all the legends connected to them broke up the concert in a most pleasant way and were acknowledged very well by the audience.
Especially worth mentioning was the performance of our soloists, ahead of all our singer Bernd Kreuzberger. His husky and sensual voice combined with his talent for improvisation must be labelled as "most extraordinarily" (his singing of "My Way" would have rendered Frank Sinatra green with envy). Just like in the time of Glenn Miller the audience could listen to pure and authentic sound with boosters only used for the singer‘s voice, the e-bass, and the keyboard.
An unexpected but nevertheless terrific highlight was to be experienced when exactly while "American Patrol" was being given the Antonov AN.2 departed, shifting ourselves into "The Glenn Miller Story" movie, to the scene when bombs were falling on London during a Glenn Miller concert. The musicians got afraid and stopped performing or continued only in a very low voice (every big band worth its money can show this interpretation today). While the audience took cover Glenn Miller stoically continued to conduct and suddenly the music came back to its full sound once more. With the sound from the Antonov as background music together with the piano followed by a fortissimo the timing could not have been better and not only the author of this report but the complete audience were given goose-pimples.
With the final encore "In the Mood", being acclaimed with roaring applause, the premiere concert and also the 6. CSLI Handicapped Air Day finally came to an end, leaving only the final question from our guests "… when is the next air day scheduled?"
After this recognised success of the LAZARUS UNION BIG BAND the next air day will most definitely again end with a concert. We thank our musicians for the good time and hope that the big band will be booked frequently by other organisers for various events. All clear profits from such appearances will go straight into the Lazarus Union project fund.