"Extremen" investigates Bik Bent Braam's outer limits with an approach of no play list, no bandleader, no set tempi, making each performance an adventure.
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Catalog ID: BBBCD10
Squidco Product Code: 10358
Country: The Netherlands
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded at Bimhuis, Amsterdam, February 1, 2008.
Jan Willem van der Ham-altosax and bassoon
Bart van der Putten-altosax and clarinet
Frank Gratkowski-altosax, clarinet, bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet
Peter van Bergen-tenorsax, clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet and tárogató
Frans Vermeerssen-tenorsax and baritone sax
Carl Ludwig Hübsch-tuba
Angelo Verploegen-trumpet and piccolo trumpet
Wilbert De Joode-double bass
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1. Frankx 11:57
2. Michielx 6:14
3. Wollox 6:08
4. Michaelx 5:59
5. Puttex 4:06
6. Angelox 7:16
7. Wilx 6:19
8. Erix 5:00
9. Franxs 7:13
10. Haeks 4:36
11. Pjax 6:00
12. JWX 5:47
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
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"Jazz orchestra Bik Bent Braam occupies a unique position internationally. Composer and pianist Michiel Braam started the 13 piece band in 1986 and since then it’s become increasingly hard to pin down what’s going to be played during any given performance. Bik Bent Braam is now at the point where it performs without a play list. “I want to play as freely with Bik Bent as with a trio”, says Braam. ”Decisions that I usually make while writing, over solos, orchestration and background, are made by the musicians on the spot.”
Michiel Braam writes his material with his musicians in mind, thus getting the best out of each orchestra member. His love of instrumental boundaries is characteristic. He’ll let the tuba play really high for instance and the trumpet extremely low, giving the orchestra its unique sound.
The program ‘Bik Bent Braam Goes Bonsai’ resulted in ‘the best jazz record of 2002’ according to national newspaper critic Koen Schouten. The 2004 CD ‘Growing Pains’ earned the band praise as ‘the most exciting music machine around’.
The 2008 program 'Extremen' investigates the outer limits of musical possibilities. The typical Bik Bent Braam approach stays the same: no play list, no bandleader, no set tempi; anyone can begin a piece or an improvisation at any time and see if the others will play along. It turns each performance into an adventure."-Jazzserver.org
• 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 Wolter Wierbos
"Wolter Wierbos (born 1 September 1957 in Holten, Overijssel) is a Dutch jazz trombonist.
Wierbos has played throughout Europe, Canada, USA and Asia. Wierbos has many awards to his name, including the Podiumprijs for Jazz and Improvised music and the most important Dutch jazz award, the VPRO/Boy Edgar Award in 1995.
Since 1979 he has played with numerous music ensembles: Cumulus (with Ab Baars and Harry de Wit), JC Tans & Rockets, Theo Loevendie Quintet, Guus Janssen Septet, Loos (Peter van Bergen), Maarten Altena Ensemble and Podiumtrio. He led his own band, Celebration of Difference, and has been involved in theater, dance, television and film projects. He has been invited to play with The Ex, Sonic Youth, Gruppo Sportivo and the Nieuw Ensemble (led by Ed Spanjaard).
He has also played with Henry Threadgill, The Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (led by Alexander von Schlippenbach), the European Big Band (led by Cecil Taylor), the John Carter Project, Mingus Big Band (Epitaph, directed by Gunther Schuller). He is currently active with Misha Mengelberg's Instant Composers Pool (Down Beat Poll winner 2002, Talent Deserving Wider Recognition), Gerry Hemingway Quintet, Franky Douglas' Sunchild, Bik Bent Braam, Albrecht Maurer Trio Works, Nocando, Carl Ludwig Hübsch's Longrun Development of the Universe, Frank Gratkowski Quartet, Available Jelly and Sean Bergin's MOB.
Wierbos also maintains a solo career. He has a running project under the name Wollo's World, where he brings together different artistic combinations, ranging from duos with tap-dancer Marije Nie and bassist Wilbert de Joode to a quartet with Misha Mengelberg, Mats Gustafsson and Wilbert de Joode.
Wolter Wierbos can be heard on more than 100 CDs and LPs. He has released two solo CDs: X Caliber (ICP 032, 1995), "a round-trip tour of his horn, from buzzing mute mutations, grizzly blurts and purring multiphonics to radiant melodies", and Wierbos (DATA 824), a reissue of his 1982 solo LP with an additional track."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolter_Wierbos)
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• Show Bio for Michael Vatcher
"California native Michael Vatcher, now residing in Amsterdam, quickly progressed from hitting household furniture to taking vibraphone and snare drum lessons as a child. In California, he played with reedist Michael Moore, with whom Vatcher has had a long musical relationship, John Handy, and Terry Gibbs. After spending a year in New York City, Vatcher moved to Holland in 1981.
Since arriving in Holland, Vatcher has played with such groups as the Tristan Honsinger Sextet, the Martin Altena Ensemble, John Zorn, The Ex, Roof (with Phil Minton, Tom Cora, and Luc Ex), and Van Dyke Parks. Vatcher is also a regular accompanist with the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, and has an ongoing musical relationship with dancers Katie Duck and Eileen Standley."-All About Jazz (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/michaelvatcher)
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