Drummer Martin Blume put this quartet together by request of the Festival "Scene Ungarn in NRW", choosing frequest associate reed player Gratkowski, cellist Albert Markos, and Markos' pick of violist Szilard Mezei.
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Label: Red Toucan
Catalog ID: RT 9341
Squidco Product Code: 14690
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded May 3rd, 2010 at LOFT, Cologne, by Christian Heck.
Frank Gratkowski-alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet
Martin Blume-drums, percussion
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1. in Just 10:55
2. spring 6:57
3. balloonman 6:29
4. mud-luscious 4:00
5. hop-scotch 6:34
6. jump-rope 5:50
7. far and wee 2:26
8. goat-footed 10:21
Vancouver and Western Canada
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
sample the album:
"In the spring of 2010, I was asked to form a project for the Festival "Scene Ungarn in NRW"
(Nordrhein-Westfalen - NRW is my home country in Germany)
This was a great opportunity to contact again the hungarian cellist Albert Márkos with whom I played together only once at a Music Symposium in Copenhagen 15 years ago.
NRW (and Berlin) based reed player Frank Gratkowski, with whom I`m working regularly since end of the 80s (recently also in our actual group SHIFT), was the first choice for the NRW part of the group.
Albert proposed right away the violist Szilárd Mezei with whom he collaborates in many other projects.
The Quartet played 5 concerts and immediately the chemistry and musical communication of the group worked perfect, which made us decide to continue working as a steady group which we call DuH: D for Germany and H for Hungary. This recording is a documentation of our first concert."-Martin Blume
• 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/)
^ Hide Bio for Frank Gratkowski
• Show Bio for Szilard Mezei
"Szilárd Mezei, born February 12th, 1974 in Senta, Serbia (then Yugoslavia) as a member of the Hungarian minority in the multiethnic region of Vojvodina. Completed his violin studies in Senta and Subotica and studied composition for four years at the University of Arts in Beograd under prof. Zoran Eric. As violinist, violist, double bass player and composer and in various formations (from duo to nonett) held many concerts: Senta, Kanizsa (the "Jazz, Improvisative Music..." Festival 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002), Subotica, Novi Sad (all Serbia, then Yugoslavia), Maribor (Slovenija), Szeged (Hungary, 'MASZK' Festival 1994, 1997), Budapest (Hungary, 'FONÓ' 1997), Gyor (Hungary, 'Mediawave' Festivals 1992, 1994, 1995, 2003, 2006, also 'Gyorfree Impro Workshops' 2003, 2004, 2006), Gyergyószentmiklós (Romania), Leverkusen (Germany, 'Leverkusener Jazz Tage' 1991), Düsseldorff (Germany, 'Düsseldorffer Altsadt Herbst' 1996 - special prize for improvisation), Copenhagen and Aarhus (Denmark, 'Magic Music Festival' 1999), Kluj-Napoca (Romania, 'Charta Minimumia Festival' 2000), Odorhei Secuiesc (Romania), Beograd (Serbia, 'Ring Ring Festival' 2002, 2005), Pécs (Hungary, 'Gassztro Fest' 2002, 'POSZT' 2006), Kishegyes ('Dombos Fest' 2003), Copenhagen, Aero, Aalborg, Aarhus (Denmark, 2003 - tour with the Creative Workshop Ensemble), Debrecen ('Debrecen Jazz Days' 2003), Klagenfurt ('CIK', Austria, 2004), London ('Klinker Nunhead', 2005), 'Cerkno Jazz Fest' (Slovenia, 2006, 2007), Avignon 2006, Zagreb, Graz , Warszawa (Music Academy), Budapest (Music Academy), Gyor, Subotica, Novi Sad, Debrecen , Vác 2007, Dunajska Streda (Are You Free? Festival), Beograd (Ring Ring Festival 2008, Lasciar Vibrare festival), Budapest (Újbuda Jazz festival 2008), Ljubljana, Krakow (Krakow Jazz Fall 2008, Graz (Stockwerk).
His orchestra plays contemporary improvised music, mostly performing his own compositions. As a composer, Mezei is interested in exploring the relationship between improvisation and composition (similarly to Witold Lutoslawski's aleatoric and Anthony Braxton's creative music methods), incorporating elements of jazz and authentic folk music as well. As a young musician he followed the path of B.Bartók and Gy.Szabados. Mezei is also very actively involved in composing scenic music and plays authentic Hungarian folk music on genuine folk instruments (koboz and oud).
Since 2001, Mezei is closely collaborating with choreographer Josef Nadj, director of the 'Centre Chorégraphique National d'Orléans' in Orléans, France. Their mutual project 'Les Philosophes' was selected theatre-piece of the year 2001 in France. The play was performed with great success at the 'Festival of Dance' in Cannes, France 2001, in Avignon 2002, in Brugge (Belgium - the capital of European Culture for the year 2002), in Orléans in October 2002, in Paris in May 2003, in Reggio Emilia (Italy), in Le Havre, in Nantes (France) 2004, and in London 2005. In 2006 they collaborated on a new project 'Asobu' (together with co-composer Akosh S.). This play was premiered at the Festival d'Avignon in 2006, then successfuly toured Europe and Japan.
In 2003 Mezei was invited by the Creative Workshop Ensemble of Denmark to tour in that country, performing some of his compositions.
In 2007 He was invited to play with The Fonda / Stevens Group. They held concerts in Magyarkanizsa, Zagreb, Graz, Oberwart, Cerkno, performing compositions by Michael Jefry Stevens, Joe Fonda and Mezei.
His 'String Trio' was performed at the Festival of Contemporary Music 'Ondine '98' in Rovereto, Italy . The composition 'Trio for Flute, Piano and Percussion' won the 3rd prize at the 7th International Review of Composers in Beograd 1998 in the category of student-composers. He got the 'Sterija Prize' for the music of the theatre-piece 'Szelídítések' (Tamings). In 2004 Mezei won also the prize for music at the 54th 'Festival of Professional Theatres' in Vojvodina (for the theatre-piece 'Via Italia'). In 2009 He won the prize for composition in Theater Festival "Joakim Vujic, Sabac, Serbia for the music in theater-piece "Tempest". As a performer Mezei participated in many workshops of improvised and intuitive music (with Tim Hodgkinson in Budapest, William Parker in Gy?r, among others). Played so far with musicians/improvisors like Matthias Schubert, Tamás Geröly, Róbert Benk?, György Szabados, Mihály Dresch, Michael Hornstein, Tim Hodgkinson, Albert Márkos, Peter Ole Jörgensen, Jens Balder, Joe Fonda, Michael Jefry Stevens, Joelle Leandre, Hamid Drake, Herb Robertson, Frank Gratkowski, Charles Gayle. His writings on music were published in many periodicals in Former-Yugoslavia and Hungary.
Mezei is a member of the Composers Association of Serbia and the Hungarian 'Gyorfree' Jazz, Improvisative, Contemporary and Folk Music Workshop Comitee.
He lead the Szilárd Mezei Trio, Szilárd Mezei Quintet (/ Sextet / Septet / Octet / Ensemble), and plays in many formations (duo, trio, etc.) for improvising music (among others, in duet with György Szabados, and with His orchestra MAKUZ, The Fonda/Stevens Group, Burány Quartet, duet with Albert Márkos)."-Jazz CDs UK (http://www.jazzcds.co.uk/artist_id_1273/biography_id_1273)
^ Hide Bio for Szilard Mezei
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