Virtuosic Dutch trio of the European Free Improv scene in deft and meticulous live recordings taken from different performances including the 2006 Ring Ring Festival.
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UPC: 5 024792 050420
Catalog ID: CDLR 504
Squidco Product Code: 9490
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded by Alfred Habelitz and Winfried Christmann for SWR radio at Jubez, Karlsruhe, June 8, 2006 (1, 6, 7); by Wolfgang Stach at Loft, Koln, June 6, 2006 (2, 5); Frank Gratowski at Kulumi Centar Rex, Belgrade, May 14, 2006 (3, 4).
Frank Gratkowski-clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, alto sax
Wilbert de Joode-bass
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7 Tracks, 60 minutes.
Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
descriptions, reviews, &c.
"The three virtuosos of the new music scene live and breathe like one organism to such an astonishing degree that their improvisations sound like meticulously rehearsed compositions. Belonging to the "older" school of Dutch and German improvisors, these seven pieces were recorded live at different locations."-Leo
"These three stalwart European improvisers often convey a semblance of four or more instrumentalists engaging in semi-structured dialogues. It's a study in sound-sculpting design awash with expansive and minimalist-type musical vistas. Whether it's Wilber de Joode's hammering acoustic bass lines or Frank Gratkowski's gruff clarinet iterations, the trio's freethinking outlook is often-centered upon pianist Achim Kaufmann's multi-purpose phrasings.
They embark upon fast and furious maneuvers that profess an angular and at times, introspective string of events. Kaufmann toggles the flow via subtle voicings and brisk flurries where the music is apt to mimic a notion of windblown soundscapes. The artists' deft expressionism proclaims a myriad of emotive aspects that include notions of confrontation and ominously engineered flows, especially when de Jode's arco passages serve as the axis of construction.
During various movements the trio elicits imagery of a slowly stepping gait. In other regions of the program, Kaufmann executes avant-blues choruses and interludes atop his band-mates' gentle accompaniment. Nonetheless, they render happenstance-like exchanges via quirky sub-themes and heated intersections of cantankerous evolvement. In a way, the free element does indeed sound choreographed, but it's more about the musicians' intuition and like-minded goals that pave the way for improvisational excellence. (Recommended...)"- Glenn Astarita , Jazz Review
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• Show Bio for Frank Gratkowski
"Frank Gratkowski, saxophone. Born in Hamburg, 1963.
Started playing the saxophone at 16 and, following a period at the Hamburg Conservatory (Hamburger Musikhochschule), moved in 1985 to study at the Cologne Conservatory of Music with Heiner Wiberny, graduating in 1990.
Further studies with Charlie Mariano, Sal Nistico and Steve Lacy.
Frank Gratkowski has been working as a soloist in various international formations (Grubenklang Orchester, Klaus Koenig Orchester, Musikfabrik NRW, Tony Oxley Celebration Orchestra, Bentje Braam, BikBentBraam, All Ears, Zeitkratzer, WDR Big band, etc.). Since 1990 he has been giving solo performances throughout Europe, Canada and USA. With his first solo program, he was a 1991 prizewinner in the Musik Kreativ contest. The release of the solo CD "Artikulationen" followed the same year and a new one "Artikulationen II" in 2002.
Since 1992 he has been working in a duo with the pianist Georg Graewe (CD "VicissEtudes"). The duo is often extended through the participation of different additional musicians, such as drummer Paul Lovens (CD "Quicksand") and bassist John Lindberg (CD "Arrears").
In 1995 he founded the "Frank Gratkowski Trio" with Dieter Manderscheid (Germany), bass, and Gerry Hemingway (USA), drums, (CDs "Gestalten" and "The Flume Factor" ). In 2000 the trio has been extended to a quartet by Dutch trombonist Wolter Wierbos (CDs "Kollaps", "Spectral Reflections", "Facio" and "Le Vent et la Gorge"). Since 2003 also appearing as a Double Quartet plus Tobias Delius, Herb Robertson, Wilbert DeJoode and Michael Vatcher. In 2005 he got the SWR Jazzprize.
In 1999 the duo with the Italian trombonist Sebastiano Tramontana has been formed and since 2001 Frank Gratkowski has been performing with a trio including Wilbert De Jode (NL) on bass and Achim Kaufmann (D) on piano (CDs "Kwast" and "Unearth"). Since 2006 he's working with the Trio Gratkowski / Brown / Winant (CDs "Wake" and "Vermilion Traces/Donaueschingen 2009"). He is also a co-leader / composer of the Multiple Joy[ce] Orchestra and got a commission to compose for the ensemble Apartment House by "November Music " (Den Bosch NL) and the "Huddersfield Comtemporary Music Fesitival" (England) in 2009. Further actual projects are Fo[u]r Alto, a saxophone ensemble dedicated to microtonal music and "Artikulationen E" a solo program for saxophone with 8 channel live electronic.
Frank Gratkowski played on nearly every German and on numerous international Jazz and contemporary music Festivals including Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Quebec, Les Mans, Muelhuus, Groeningen, Nickelsdorf, Barcelona, Lithuania, Warsaw, Zagreb, Prague, Bratislava, Sofia, Bucharest, Odessa and Roma, Huddersfield, London.
He has been teaching saxophone and ensembles at the Cologne, Berlin and Arnhem Conservatory of Music and is giving workshops all around the world.
Furthermore he has performed with Robert Dick, Phil Wachsmann, Radu Malfatti, Herb Robertson, Marcio Mattos, Eugenio Colombo, Peter Kowald, Ray Anderson, Michael Moore, Ken Vandermark, Greg Osby, Kenny Wheeler, Louis Sclavis, John Betsch, Jane Ira Bloom, Connie and Hannes Bauer, Xu Fengxia, James Newton, Muhal Richard Abrams, John Lindberg, Michael Formaneck, Ernst Reijseger, Fred van Hove, Theo Jörgensmann, Phil Minton, Peter Brötzmann, Mark Dresser, Mark Feldman, Hamid Drake, Michiel Braam, Han Bennink, Mal Waldron, Misha Mengelberg a.m.o."-Frank Gratkowski Website (http://gratkowski.com/biography/)
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• Show Bio for Wilbert de Joode
"Wilbert de Joode (1955) is a veritable research scientist of bass pizzicato and bowing techniques. A self-taught musician, he has been playing the double-bass since 1982. He began working in groups that improvised within a jazz framework. Other musicians were soon drawn to his idiosyncratic style, and in the mid 80s he played in groups led by Vera Vingerhoeds, Armando Cairo and Ig Henneman where he further developed his improvisation skills. He came into contact with such musicians as J.C.Tans, Rinus Groeneveld, Michiel Braam, Han Bennink, Han Buhrs (Schismatics) and Ab Baars.
De Joode is currently one of the most active bass players on the European improvised music circuit. His individual style and musicality transforms the double bass into an equal partner in the most varied ensembles. A personal tone colour, exploration of the outer registers, quirky improvisations and the use of gut strings contribute to an instantly recognizable and intriguing sound.
The seventeen improvised pieces on his first solo cd Olo (distributed by ToonDist) show how rich and complex his sound on the double bass is."-DOEK Festival Website (http://www.doek.org/project/wilbert-de-joode/)
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