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Ernst Bier - Mack Goldsbury Quartet


In 1994 Mack Goldsbury and I decided to put together a co-operative group. At that time guitarist Frank Möbus and bassist Ed Schuller were our partners. We released our first CD, "At night when you go to Sleep" (Phonector) in 1996

Photo : Sigi Klee

Trumpeter Herb Robertson moved from New York to Berlin, and since he had already played a lot with Mack and Ed when they were all living in New York, we invited him to join us. Our second CD, "Next Move" (BEV-Records), with Herb as Guest, followed. Meanwhile, Ed married and returned to New York, and Frank decided to concentrate on his own group, "Der Rote Bereich" and his recording projects with ACT records.

That left us free to experiment and led us directly to Hammond B3 organist Matthais Bätzel. A new quartet was formed - and a new CD was recorded: "A-Live at the A-Trane" (Konnex Records).

Later Herb Robertson moved back to New York and ever since the instrumentation of the Quartet constantly changed with:

Herb Robertson - trumpet

Wilson de Oliveira - sax

Rolf Römer - sax

Frank Möbus - guitar

Önder Focan - guitar

Karl Schloz - guitar

Matthias Bätzel - hammond B3

Reggie Moore - piano

Ed Schuller - bass

Martin Lillich - bass

Stefan Weeke - bass


the current Band since 2016:


Mack Goldsbury - reeds

Saxophonist and flautist Mack Goldsbury was born in Texas, and lived and worked in New York for many years. He moved to Berlin in 1992, and has since made it his permanent residence.

A professional musician since he was 17, Goldsbury has contributed to been involved in) a large number of CD productions. The borderline between jazz and pop has never gotten in his way: he has worked with such pop stars as the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Cher, and Frank Sinatra Jr., and with such jazz greats as Jaki Byard, John Scofield, Paul Motian, Billy Hart, Tim Berne, and Ray Anderson. He is equally at home with traditional and more experimental big bands - he has been a member of the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the RIAS Radio Big Band, and the New York Composer's Orchestra under the direction of Wayne Horowitz and Bobby Previte. With his deep personal commitment to the music and unique "expansive, full-bodied tone" (Jazz Podium), Mack infuses creative excitement into every project he is involved with. This is particularly true for the current band. Besides his recordings with the Ernst Bier - Mack Goldsbury Quartet, he has recorded the album "Songs I love to Play" (Timescraper) with his own group, the Mack Goldsbury and the New York Connection, and the CD "Art of Duo - Savignyplatz" (Tutu Records) with bassist Ed Schuller.


Rolf Zielke - piano

Since the mid-eighties, Rolf Zielke has been an active member of the international jazz scene, presenting his own projects or accompanying renowned artists such as Charlie Mariano.

Through years of intensive concert touring in Germany, Europe, Asia, Africa and the USA he has developed an individual but international sound. He currently teaches jazz piano at the ‘Hanns Eisler’ College of Music, ‘Universität der Künste’ and the ‘JAZZ INSTITUT BERLIN.’ Rolf Zielke is the author of the music book: “Global Groove - Working with ‘Odd Meters’ in Contemporary Music - method for learning ‘uneven’ rhythms, polyrhythm and polymeters”.


Erik Unsworth - bass

A native of Northern New York State and a graduate of Indiana University, Erik Unsworth has been a member of music faculty at the University of Texas at El Paso since 2003, where he has served as Professor of String Bass, Electric Bass, Jazz and Commercial Music studies.

Since moving to El Paso, he has been heard in performances with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, Ernie Watts, Bobby Shew, Allan Vache, Brad Leali, Wycliffe Gordon, Dave Pietro, Karrin Allyson, Tia Fuller, Maciej Fortuna, Joe Gallardo, Ray Vega, Harry Allen, Randy Sanke and Roseanna Vitro, among many others. Mr. Unsworth can be heard on a host of recent internationally-released recordings, including Dream Dances (Al Hermann and the New Impressions Trio – Summit Label), Live at CoCo’s (Mack Goldsbury Quintet – Cadence Label), and Place/Space Project for the Konnex label out of Berlin, Germany. 


Ernst Bier - drums

A former student of master drummers Billy Brooks, Charlie Persip, Vernell Fournier, and Elvin Jones. His drumming has been lauded for its "high level of sensitivity, self-abandon, and invention"

The Magazine Bonner Rundschau highlighted his "musicality and scintillating play". Like many European jazz musicians, Bier felt the magnetic pull of jazz's Mecca, and so in 1982 Bier turned up on the New York scene where he would remain until 1987. It was in New York that Bier began his continuing musical relationships and personal friendships with Mack Goldsbury, Ed Schuller, and Herb Robertson. Whether with the Perry Robertson Quartet, the Christoph Adams Trio or with such stars as Atilla Zoller, Chet Baker, Lester Bowie, and Walter Norris, Ernst Bier is seldom involved simply as a sideman. Besides his solid musical input, he is known for his enormous organizational talent. Since returning to Europe, Ernst has been continually on tour, working on and in a number of different projects. Looking for the liveliest music scene he could find, Bier settled in Berlin. His continuing series of workshops keeps Ernst in contact with the fundamentals: for young musicians his "Living School" has developed into an institution.












Persuasive Freedomm



Arteisa Sunrise



A-Live at the A-Trane



Next Move



"At Night When You Go To Sleep







What the press has to say:

In the endless night of the soul your thoughts and feelings slide towards the pit of your stomach and you forget about whether or not improvisation requires rules. The music reverberates off the walls - walls that are solid enough to delineate the borders, and yet pliable enough to allow the borders to be broken through at any time. The Ernst Bier/Mack Goldsbury Quartet escorts the listener across these borders.

                                                                                                                   Zitty/ Berlin

Hammond B3 Organ, saxophone, trumpet, and drums...the combination is reminiscent of the Larry Young LPs Mothership and Unity - both albums are productions that are indicative of their period. And one can say the same about A-Live at the A-Trane. Goldsbury, Robertson, Bätzel, and Bier's music overflows with an exhilarating enthusiasm















mail: ernst.bier(at)jazzdrumming.de

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