Thomas Faist | Woodwinds | Composer & Arranger

Thomas Faist Quintet

Thomas Faist QuintetThomas Faist Quintet

The current lineup is: Thomas Faist woodwinds, Filip Wisniewski guitar,
Walter Lang piano, Thomas Stabenow bass, and Rick Hollander drums

Thomas Faist, woodwinds

Filip Wisniewski, guitar

Thomas Faist QuintetBorn 1982 in Posen (Poland) he grew up in a family of opera-singers.

He studied at the Musikhochschule Nürnberg-Augsburg and graduated 2008 with "Summa cum Laude".

Wisniewski participated in workshops with Bob Mintzer, Dick Oats, Jesse Van Ruller, Peter O' Mara, Claudio Puntin, Ack van Royen, Steffen Schorn, Johannes Faber, Patrick Scales, Cornelius Schmidkunz, Helmut Kagerer and Christian Diener.

As a composer he has performed his music already in different settings from trio to tentett and worked as sideman with Walter Lang, Jason Seizer, Martin Zenker, Rick Hollander, Christian Gall, Mathias Bätzel, Ralf Hesse, Heiko Jung, Steffen Schorn, Jürgen Neudert, Lutz Häffner, Klaus Graf, Carolin Breuer, Titilayo Adedokun, Guido May, Klaus Raible, Peter Tuscher, Klaus Koch, Johannes Nied, Andreas Gandela, Bastian Jütte and Andreas Kurz.

Walter Lang, piano

Thomas Faist QuintetWalter Lang was born May 13th, 1961 in Schwäbisch Gmünd, a small city some 50 kilometers from Stuttgart, Germany. He grew up with the sound of accordion and piano being played around the house by both his father and grandfather.

He studied piano and composition at the Berklee School of Music in Boston; finished his studies at the Amsterdam School of Arts.

In 1988 Walter had the fortune of becoming a founding member of the Rick Hollander Quartet, a group which has enjoyed countless tours of Europe, Japan and America. The group's 5 CD's all feature Walter's trademark piano playing. The Quartet won the 1st prize at the "Europ' Jazz Contest" in Hoeilaart, Belgium in 1990.

Since 1999 he is leading his own Walter Lang Trio with Nic Thys on bass and Rick Hollander on drums. They released very succesful CD's for the japanese M&I label such as "Walter Lang Trio plays Charles Chaplin" (1999), "Across The Universe" (2002), "Softly as in a morning Sunrise" (2005) "The Sound Of A Rainbow"(2005), that received the "Best Sounding CD Award" by the japanese "Swing Journal", as well as the recent CD "Romantische Straße"(2007) that got the Gold Disc Award by "Swing Journal".

In 2008 he regrouped the Walter Lang Trio: Thomas Markusson from Göteborg/Sweden is playing bass and Sebastian Merk from Berlin/Germany is the new drummer. in 2009 their first CD "Eurasia" came out on the M&I Label. In 2011, they recorded the CD "Someone to watch over me" with the legendary alto saxofonist Lee Konitz for Pony Canyon/Jawo Records.

Along with drummer Gerwin Eisenhauer and bassist Sven Faller he founded TRIO ELF in 2005. Their first CD "ELF" for ENJA RECORDS was a big success and the second CD "746" was released in 2008, the latest one "Elfland" featuring the great brazilian singer Milton Nascimento, came out in 2010.

His recent groups are, besides Trio ELF and the Walter Lang Trio, the World Percussion Ensemble, that features 3 percussionists from 3 different continents and his duo "Yuujou" with the japanese taiko drummer Takuya Taneguchi, Marco Lobo e Convidados, Daktarimba as well as his duo with master saxofonist Lee Konitz.

Walter Lang has also played with James Moody, Chico Freeman, Don Menza, Roy Hargrove, Jenny Evans, Dusko Goykovich, Lisa Wahlandt and many others.

Thomas Stabenow, bass

Thomas Faist QuintetBorn in Kirchberg, Germany 09/11/52

Studied double-bass with Prof. Ulrich Lau in Stuttgart from 1975-1980.

Mostly freelancing with musicians such as Johnny Griffin, Charlie Rouse, Clifford Jordan, Lee Konitz, Sal Nistico, Mel Lewis, Mark Murphy, Billy Cobham, Toots Thielemanns, Tom Harrell, Buddy deFranco, Don Menza, Bobby Shew, Jimmy Cobb, Mose Allison.
As a member of Peter Herbolzheimer's "Rhythm Combination and Brass" from 1986 to 1998 concerts and recordings with Stan Getz, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Charlie Mariano, David Friedman, Dianne Reeves.

Recordings and concerts with the Al Porcino Bigband, Joe Haider Jazz Orchestra, WDR Bigband with Rob McConnell or Jerry van Rooyen, SDR Bigband with Bill Holman or Jens Winther.

Winner of the "Jazz Prize Of Baden-Württemberg" in 1986
Member of the European Broadcasting Bigband (EBU) in 1990
Editor of the "1st German Realbook"
Professor for double-bass at the Musikhochschule Mannheim
3 LPs, 26 CDs on his own label Bassic-Sound

Rick Hollander, drums

Thomas Faist QuintetRick Hollander began playing drums at the age of 9. He studied privately with Gene Steward and Roy Brooks and later attended Oakland Community College for courses in music theory, piano and composition.

Hollander moved to New York City in 1979 and Europe in 1987. He's gained a wealth of experience working and recording with jazz greats such as Woody Shaw, Cameron Brown, Arnett Cobb, Roy Hargrove, Bob Mover, Mark Murphy, Rufus Reid, Steve Grossman, Robin Eubanks, Tim Hagans, Walter Lang and many more.

He is also the leader of his own group which has been in existence for over eight years.

El Pais, Madrid wrote: His work beneath the solos of his fellow musicians could be a complete short course on jazz for the listener.


Thomas Faist Trio


The combination saxophone, guitar and bass without a drummer is rare in jazz, it's a very special challenge for the musicians. This chamber music ensemble like line up impresses especially by its transparency and dynamics. Thomas Faist, Sava Medan and Helmut Nieberle harmonise perfectly in their stylistic conception and convince through their virtuosity and interplay.

Thomas Faist TrioThomas Faist, woodwinds

Helmut Nieberle, guitar

Helmut Nieberle is one of the most accomplished jazz guitar players in Europe. Besides he is one of the rare 7-string-players.

Clinics and private lessons with Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Joe Pass, Jim Hall, Attila Zoller, Peter Leitch, and Karl Ratzer.

Bands: Cordes Sauvages, Jim Mullen & Helmut Nieberle Sextett, Helmut Nieberle Quartett, Jazzgitarren-Duo Kagerer & Nieberle.

Discography: 1984 Cordes Sauvages, 1987 Duo Kagerer & Nieberle: Takes Two to Tussle, 1992 Duo Kagerer & Nieberle: Wes Trane, 1993 Roots with Don Pullen, Arthur Blythe, Sam Rivers, Chico Freeman, Cordes Sauvages: Sommer in Wolfsegg, Clarinet Jazz Trio: Live at Birdland, Birdland Neuburg, 1995, Milorad Romic & Helmut Nieberle (Jazzgitarre): Solo Due, 1998 Duo Kagerer & Nieberle: Skyliner, 1999 Charlie Meimer & Helmut Nieberle: Life at Berkely Square, Bobtale Records, Helmut Nieberle & Cordes Sauvages: Salud to Django, 2000 Duo Kagerer & Nieberle: Flashes, 2001 Jim Mullen Helmut Nieberle Sextett: ...but beautiful, 2002 Helmut Nieberle & Charlie Meimer: It's oh so nice!, 2003 Helmut Nieberle & Cordes Sauvages: Gipsy in my Soul, 2004 Helmut Nieberle & others: Santa Baby.

Sava Medan, bass

Studium an der Musikhochschule in Graz

1987-1998 he was working with the Andre Jeanquartier Trio

Festivals: Belgrad, Laibach, Zagreb, Havanna (Cuba), Aspen (Colorado),
Austria, Germany, Switzerland

Concerts with: Chet Baker, Tony Scott, Mark Murphy, Bob Mover, Sheila Jordan, Dusko Gojkovich, Leo Wright, Fritz Pauer, Douglas Sides, Claudio Roditi, Lee Harper, Andy Bey, Alan Praskin, Tony Lakatos, Johannes Enders, Peter Tuscher, Klaus Graf, John Betsch, Martin Schmitt, Joja Wendt, Colin Dawson


Sweet Separation with the Bulgarian female choir "Cosmic Voices", Sofia 2000
Capricorn with Martin Schmitt, 2000
Look ahead with Martin Schmid, 2001
Future Days with Christian Elsässer, 2001
Changes in Life with Klaus Graf Quartett, 2002


Al Porcino Big Band


Al Porcino began playing professionally in 1943, playing in many big bands of the 1940s and 1950s, including those of Georgie Auld, Louis Prima, Jerry Wald, Tommy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, and Chubby Jackson. He played with Woody Herman in 1946, 1949-1950, and again in 1954. He also did two stints with Stan Kenton, in 1947-48 and 1954-55. In the 1950s he played with Pete Rugolo, Count Basie, Elliot Lawrence, and Charlie Barnet.

In 1957 he moved to Los Angeles and played in studios. While there he played in the Terry Gibbs Dream band between 1959 and 1962. In the 1960s he often played in orchestras backing vocalists, and also did time with Buddy Rich in 1968, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis in 1969-70, and Herman again, in 1972. In the 1970s he formed his own big band, who recorded behind Mel Torme in addition to their own work.

In the 1970s Al Porcino moved to Germany, leading big bands there through today. His ensemble played on one of Al Cohn's final recordings in 1987.

Thomas Faist is a regular member of the Al Porcino Big Band for many years.


Other Lineups


Thomas Faist is also occasionally playing with the Rich Laughlin Ensemble and the Dani Felber Big Band, Switzerland.

Thomas Faist can also be heard in duos, trios and other combinations with musicians like Peter Tuscher trumpet, Hermann Breuer trombone/piano, Helmut Kagerer guitar, John Brunton guitar, Joe Kienemann piano, Tizian Jost piano, Rocky Knauer bass, Ernst Techel Bass, Matthias Gmelin drums and many others.


Listen to some samples of Thomas in various lineups

Website, Design & Photos: Harald Fersch, Munich.