INFOBOXGenre(s): Jazz/Improvised Music
From: Vienna, Austria
When speaking of Harry Sokal, you are referring one of the most outstanding and complex personalities of Austrian jazz music. There are only a few musicians from the past few decades who have had such an influential impact on the local music scene as this Viennese saxophonist. There is hardly any international significant jazz ensemble in which this award winning musician, and, as described by music experts, “most important post-coltrane saxophonist in Europe” has not been involved. Harry Sokal is a virtuoso, who creates his own free space and to whom the words “fear of contact” are a foreign term. No matter what formation he currently collaborates with, his distinctive, very soulful, stylistically diverse, but always very clear performance gives each composition its distinctive sound.
Is it only the instrumental virtuosity that lets a musician stand out? Or is there far more required to let an independent artist position himself? Maybe it also needs courage to leave already trodden ways to have the freedom for new paths. No doubt, Harry Sokal belongs to the class of musicians who defend themselves with a vengeance from, even for a brief moment, being categorized and do not want to put up with the danger of losing themselves in repetitions, and avoid this by consistently tackling new musical projects. In addition to his instrumental skills, it is his pronounced openness to new ideas, which have made the Vienna-born one of the greatest musicians of this country. No matter whether as a solo artist or as a member in a formation, the exceptional saxophonist presents himself as an artist who is often one step ahead of his time.