The task: To capture the lifetime achievements, and the essential essence of the best ACT-artists. The solution: ACT Signature Editions. Much more than a usual “Best Of” album, on these double CD-sets the musicians themselves picked out 24 pieces, which they feel represent the most important, significant and personal selections from their repertoire. Remastered and given the best possible post-production. An excellent introduction for established fans as well as newcomers, who have yet to discover the musicians and their art…
Born in 1965, the son of a church music director, Wolfgang Haffner’s career started early: he was just 18 when Germany’s most famous jazz musician, Albert Mangelsdorff, selected him as a member of his band. Today, Haffner is without a doubt the most renowned German drummer in the world. Not only has he played with the cream of the jazz musicians in his homeland - across the generations, from Mangelsdorff to Till Brönner, from Klaus Doldinger to Michael Wollny - he also is one of the very few German players who has had widespread international success. American icons like Michael and Randy Brecker, Pat Metheny or John Abercrombie, as well as Scandinavian heroes such as Nils Landgren or Lars Danielsson, all put their trust in his unmistakable pace and his inspiring creativity. And because of his highly dynamic playing Haffner is also one of the most indemand accompanists for pop-acts like Chaka Khan, “Die Fantastischen Vier” or even Nightmares On Wax.
Like many of the best in his profession, Haffner was never satisfied with just playing the drums, and he soon began to compose and produce, setting off on own projects early in his career. He is an equitable member of the US fusion band Metro and co-founder (together with Roberto Di Gioia) of the NuJazz ensemble Zappelbude. As a producer he was the mastermind behind the Icelandic superband Mezzoforte (album: Forward Motion).
For his Signature Edition, Haffner exclusively chose his own compositions, and in order to let the listener follow his path he decided in favour of a more or less chronological order. Starting with the title track of his 1992- album Movin’ On and “Round and Round” from Last Exit (his first CD produced in New York, from 1993), continuing with essential contributions to the all-star-band Old Friends (“Song For Bam Bam”), the Scales Brothers (“Cascatas”) and his Zappelbude (“The Real Thing”), and then with four songs, concentrating on his Metro experience and finally leading to his magical ACT albums; Round Silence, Shapes, Acoustic Shapes and Shapes Remixes; now everyone can explore the incredible richness of Haffner’s imagination, the development of his compositional skills and the continuous underlying themes present in his work.
Still one of the younger stars in the business, with his Signature Edition Haffner took an opportunity to show that the sources of his inspiration are sparkling more than ever and added four new, previously unreleased compositions to the album - final proof of his unbroken creativity and mastery of his art.