JAZZPODIUM CD Review: “Andreas Brunn is a dedicated guitarist and composer, an active mediatorial and reconciler and particularly fond of the East, nota bene Bulgaria. (…) “Perpetuum five” comes as electrified post-bop, grippy, squared, edged, angry, mad, jazzy. Karparov is lively and striking. And there is the uncomfortable “Magic Friday” or the title track, in which Karparovs tendency to occasional lyricism and Brunns occasional “circuit-with-funny outbursts” provide the contrast that generates voltage and excitement.
Or view the “East Side Gallery”’s story as the story of a quartet who, without doubt, would be able to find a comfortable place for themselves in the world, but instead they use the burden of time and the historical workup and responsibly turn it into harmless music that otherwise must have been uncomfortable to make. And it is just then that they are at their best. And on the double bass, George Donchev still plays exactly the bittersweet mix of boundless joy and all what lurks just beneath that joy.” Alexander Schmitz
Modernícolas, Malaga: FOR FREE HANDS @ MALAGA JAZZ FESTIVAL: “… a New Way of understanding the Jazz … Synergy is the word to define this Berlin quartet. For Free Hands stands for contemporary jazz. Dissonant sounds developed into beautiful melodies that hover over a richly varied rhythm rug. This impressive quartet hit with his music, which united different cultures, all present in their spell …“
JAZZ Thing CD Review: “Those who can count have a clear advantage, and being able to do fractions does not hurt either. 5/8, 7/8 & 13/16 are some of the rhythmic fabrics that together form the outfit of the multicultural Berlin-based quartet FOR FREE HANDS on its new CD “Kaleidoscope Freedom”, and it teems with surprising twists and turns, pitfalls and tricky cliffs.
Biographical references also play a central role, like the openness of the many facets with which they encounter the former city wall. But biography and identity are not all that matter, rather the self-evident certainty with which the quartet drives the various facets of electrified jazz and charges of energy – and also, crucial is the exuberant joy of playing.” Stephan Hentz
Gaildorfer Rundschau: “… Specialist in infernal rythyms – effusively, intoxicating– that´s how the quartet “For Free Hands” presented themselves. Compositions from their new studio-album „Kaleidoscope Freedom“ surprised the audience. The polymetric concepts produced an unusual tension in the music. When in “Magic Friday” guitar- and saxophone cadences mixed over a 13/16 beat, the musicians took it like ducks to water. “For Free Hands” left the audience flabbergasted. …”
Kieler Nachrichten: “The Fantastic Four in the Balkans noise“ … The exceptional saxophonist Karparov understands it in a unique way to combine the traditional, sometimes oriental-style way of playing his home with innovative jazz technique. Bandleader Andreas Brunn, alternately armed with 7-string acoustic guitar and electric guitar, calling repeatedly awake memories of John McLaughlin. His play and his talent for composition are profound and intelligent wit; a Jazz fugue like “Wizards‘ Cube” finally writes not of itself. …”
Westfälische Zeitung: “… The ensemble FOR FREE HANDS to the known strings virtuoso and composer Andreas Brunn offered the enthusiastic audience with his energetic way of playing a best example of contemporary jazz. In a true “Kaleidoscope Freedom”, the quartet showed his view of the world, appeared sound-picturesque images of haunting beauty. …“
Braunschweiger Zeitung: “ … Is For Free Hands a programmatic name? Approximately unrestricted freedom of musical expression? Well, the music brings it to light. For example, “Perpetuum 5”. Slow onset, stepping up the pace. Very fast chord changes, in any quarter time, if not on the eighth. Andreas Brunn ‘s guitar solo: In the best John Scofield style, liquid melody lines and rapid chord changes merged. … “
Rhein Press: “… “For Free Hands” combines searing friction full improvisation with folk, help themselves among rock, pop and classical and suck hungry honey from the avant-garde. With all his senses to their traditional roots, the musicians look far forward. Four musicians from three nations who take at stage, as equal active players, all the freedom in the world to do with their instruments what is possible. Four restless commuters! …”
Lausitzer Rundschau: “East and west can meet at eye-level, and at least musically, together have something to say. The proof for that is the german-bulgarian-grecian ensemble For Free Hands, playing together with Floros Floridis (Sax, Clarinet) and Alaa Zouiten (Oud).
In the first set the ensemble introduced some self-composed pieces from the band leader Andeas Brunn. Those and more could be found on the album “Kaleidoscope Freedom”. Brunn has that passion for odd-meters and polyrhythms that could be found in the bulgarian music. So is the “Magic Friday”, written in a 13/16 bar. Did the listener notice ? “I hope not, it wasn´t ment to sound complicated”, said the composer. In the second set it came to an intensive encounter with the music from Floros Floridis and Alaa Zouiten. The musicians from For Free Hands met Alaa Zouiten in Marocco. L. Hoberg