PRIM (c) Johannes Raimann
PRIM (c) Johannes Raimann


Genre(s): Jazz/Improvised Music
From: Vienna, Austria



Check band website for international concerts.


“In spite of all the wild things that are in a flow here, this music always has that calming clarity that otherwise only happens when listening to Bach’s cello suites, but which is also immensely warm.” – Victoriah Szirmai, JAZZTHETIK (DE)

It was the broken coffee machine, the resulting trouble and the sleepy mood that inspired Coffeebean Breakdown. PRIM skillfully packs the bassist’s travels into rhythmic soundscapes (Trails) and paint pictures in front of the audience’s eyes.

Musical transgressions, classical forms mixed with grooves reminiscent of drum & bass, and polymorphous rhythmic concepts – PRIM may share its name with numbers, prayer rituals or cities, but the Viennese trio – consisting of pianist Felix Biller, bassist Martin Melzer and drummer Christoph Karas – is musically unmistakable.

Always searching for the appropriate sound, they are influenced by jazz greats like the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, classical luminaries like Johann Sebastian Bach, new music composers such as John Cage and ethnic music, among others. Nevertheless, they always create something of their own in the end. “Our music is a bit like ordering a scoop of everything at the ice cream parlour and then mixing it wildly,” Martin Melzer explains. From modern jazz, to funk and soul, to classical, there is a little bit of everything.

The trio experiments with sounds and schemes; stories are told with childlike joy; narratives are built up; sounds are sketched and then broken up again. In doing so, they playfully move between tranquillity and intoxication, volatility and meditative minimalism, fast caffeine flashes and slow coffee indulgences.

Through concerts at home and abroad – at Jazz Fest Wiesen, Æquinox Jazz Festival, Jazzfestival Steyr, jazzahead! Bremen, Lublin Jazz Festival, Intl. Jazz Piano Festival Kalisz, Central European Jazz Showcase Brno, Mladi Ladi Jazz Prag) or tours through China and throughout Europe – as well as features or reviews in media such as Ö1 (AT), the Wiener Zeitung (AT), Jazz FM (UK), JazzonPRX (US), WartaJazz (IDN), Jazzpodium (DE), Jazz’halo (BE), Český rozhlas Jazz (CZ), and Jazzit (IT), they have established themselves on the international stage. Founded by Biller, they have been performing together in their current line-up since the end of 2018. Their previous album Garnet Tales (2020, Alessa Records)  proved their willingness to experiment; with their latest, highly inventive, record Meridian Steps (2023, Alessa Records), the trio steps into a new era.


5 Million Pesos: PRIM

Photo of PRIM (c) Johannes Raimann

“5 Million Pesos” is the monthly concert series of young jazz in and from Austria, a presentation of Radiokulturhaus Vienna and the Ö1 jazz department. The next concert, taking place on October 13th at Vienna’s … read more »

The CENTRAL EUROPEAN JAZZ SHOWCASE Premiere – Czech/Austrian Spotlight

Photo of Purple is the Color by Georg Buxhofer

On June 28th and 29th, the first Czech-Austrian showcase festival, CENTRAL EUROPEAN JAZZ SHOWCASE, will take place at the Goose on a String Theater in Brno. The festival is organized by JAZZFEST BRNO and JAZZWERKSTATT … read more »

New Austrian Jazz Releases 521

Check out some of the finest and latest albums popping their musical buds out of the ever-fertile AUSTRIAN JAZZ field. Whether the bands are new to you, or already on your list of all-time faves, … read more »