It took some time before Geller had gathered sufficient courage to create folk-jazz. And truth be told, the thought of this renowned saxophonist - regarded as a jazz icon from Munich to New York -playing Austrian landlers and jodlers, does sound crazy. And yet, the idea is not quite as mad as one might initially think. After all, Geller is a Swiss citizen and grew up as a child of the alps. Waltzes, traditional tunes and alpine nursery rhymes would be his favourites long before he came to appreciate Django Reinhard.
A coincidence led Geller to rediscover the music of his childhood. In his current home of Munich, a new generation of young musicians had taken to playing folk music; not the typical, commercialised kind, but their own, original songs. The tone of their performances is raw, alluding to punk and rock and their approach to improvisation resembles that of jazz-musicians. One night, Geller stumbled into a jam session at one of the legendary musical meetings at the Hofbräuhaus. That night, something deep inside of him clicked.
From this moment on, he would turn into a frequent visitor. Geller would personally get to know many of the folk musicians on the scene, most notably Herbert Pixner from South Tyrol, a virtuoso performer of the ziach (a local variation of the accordion) and arguably the community's biggest hero. It would take until 2011, however, before he was finally able to conquer his own fear and record Alpenrosen (Alpine roses), an album daringly fusing jazz and folk and wrapping old melodies up in new songs.
Fast forward to 2012. This time around, Geller has taken his idea one decisive step further: His new album of folkmusic-jazz contains 14 songs, all originals. Magical music. Jazz and folk. Dreamy, dancy and full of passion. Written by Geller in conjunction with Herbert Pixner, Walter Lang and Lisa Wahlandt.