Faced with a sheer never-ending flood of new releases, it’s rare enough when a musician is discovered who not only attracts attention but promptly leaves you speechless. Wreathing him in the trappings of a prodigy myth wouldn’t do justice to describing this 20-year-old’s capabilities because, alongside an astonishing sense of musicality, what captivates the most about this violinist is a seldom seen ‘universalness‛. Whether violin concerts by Bach or Glasunov, Sarasate’s “Gypsy Melodies”, Viennese ditties by Kreisler or jazz standards like “Tune Up” by Miles Davis, Sandro Roy carries himself with an aplomb that more than matches the task: he crafts these templates to create something all his own.
Though it won’t take any time at all for able critics and audiences to show their appreciation for the way he plays live when he hits the concert-hall stages touring for his debut album entitled “Where I Come From”, first a few facts to match the title: The son of a family of musicians from Augsburg, Germany, he received his first violin lesson at the age of 7. At 13 he was a national prizewinner in the German “Jugend musiziert” competitions, followed by master courses in Salzburg, Bern and Lichtenberg, classic training in Munich, appearances with orchestras there and in Augsburg, in 2011 the recipient of a special prize from the city of Augsburg promoting the arts. The versatility of his development as an artist, now comprehensively documented for the first time on his album premiere, makes him ‘the right man’ for a concert-hall, festival-stage or jazz-club venue. His respect and love toward musical traditions blend with an ability to fill them with new life. Jazz Podium distinctly praised “his amazing spectrum of expression and the equally highly emotional energy that never succumbs to the temptations of a pseudo-romantic attitude in violin-playing, and instead always retains a healthy distance away from sentimentality.”
Two thirds of “Where I Come From” is dedicated to a coalescence of European Gypsy Swing and American Jazz, yet a broad range of styles from Hungarian Csárdás to Brazilian Bossa is equally represented. “A Child Is Born”, “Limehouse Blues” or “Someday My Prince Will Come” are just as home here in these pieces recorded as a quartet together with Paulo Morello (guitar), Sascha Köhler-Reinhardt (guitar) and Joel Lochner (double bass) as a tune called “J.L. Swing”, an original composition. Jobim’s “Triste” or Mancini’s “Two For The Road” are additionally backed up by pianist Jermaine Landsberger, on “My Favourite Gigue” listeners are reacquainted with vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid. Last but certainly not least, four chamber-musical duo gems together with pianist Jerome Weiss (Sarasate, Kreisler, Kroll and Michel Legrand) conclude this rollercoaster ride through the violin cosmos. One factor they all have in common is the authenticity and insouciance with which Sandro Roy turns these very different works into a repertoire he can call his own.
Right after the release NMZ (Neue Musik Zeitung) made the album “debut of the month” and Kultur SPIEGEL wrote: “Phantasic start of a supertalent.”
“Jazz history has only produced a handful of truly superb mainstream violinists: Stéphane Grappelli, Joe Venutti, Stuff Smith, and Svend Asmussen. And now Sandro Roy, as well.”
– Rondo, DE