The first CD from 2002 by German saxophonist/clarinetist Frank Gratkowski, Belgian pianist/ accordionist Fred Van Hove, and drummer/percussionist Tony Oxley, reserved yet unrestrained free improvisation; smart dialog from three tremendous players.
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Catalog ID: CD 1012
Squidco Product Code: 17291
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded in Leverkusen, Germany on November 4th, 2000 at Erholungshaus Bayer by Udo Klas.
Frank Gratkowski-alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet
Fred Van Hove-Hamburg Steinway D piano, accordion
Tony Oxley-drums, percussion
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1. Tartar 4:49
2. Carrousel 11:37
3. Tiddledit 5:56
4. Batons Rompus 6:17
5. Foreplay / Vorspiel 5:17
6. Witchy 3:23
7. Trenches / Tranches 19:38
8. Final Bounce 6:28
Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
sample the album:
"GratHovOx is the first CD by German saxophonist/clarinetist Frank Gratkowski, Belgian pianist/ accordionist Fred Van Hove, and drummer/percussionist Tony Oxley.
Frank Gratkowski first played with Fred Van Hove at the Chicago Improvisation Festival in May of 1997 with Chicago-based percussionist Michael Zerang. The duo of Gratkowski and Van Hove was dizzying, as their considerable technique, careful attention to timbre, and sometimes blinding energy made for an amazing first set together.
According to John Corbett, "Take GratHovOx, a trio with a sensational ability to open spaces up in their sound-making activities, to leave room and appreciate the delicacies of one another's musical choices."
François Couture of the All Music Guide says, "This is a great session recorded in Leverkusen, Germany...GratHovOx embodies everything uninhibited free improv can deliver...The trio aims at a kind of free improvisation that leaves room to breathe and listen without getting entrenched in the sonic scrutiny of Berlin reductionism. The music has movement, grace, and moments of sheer excitement that never lose sight of the group sound - the perfect balance act. Simply put, GratHovOx stands as one of the best free improv sessions released in 2002 and comes heartily recommended."
According to perhaps one of the more important post-modernist pianists of this age, Uri Caine, in a Blindfold Test with Ted Panken for DownBeat Magazine, "When it ('Tiddledit') started out, it could have been a piece by Stockhausen. The saxophone player might be Greg Osby or Tim Berne. Neither? There's a certain tone, and he's repeating a complicated line, with jumps. That's the Tim Berne area. In the beginning, the pianist used the pedal and the voicing, getting almost a harp-like sound, like certain music of Messiaen, but this more active section has a Cecil Taylor vibe."
This release, which is culled from a live WDR recording and additional recording done earlier in the day, features an 8-page booklet with liner notes from writer John Corbett, and beautiful cover photography by Gregory J. Lawler.
NOTE: For those of you who may have a download of the original radio session, this disc includes much material that was not broadcast. Further, this nuscope recordings release was officially authorized by the WDR, Bayer Corporation, and Fred Van Hove."-Nuscope
• 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 Fred Van Hove
"Fred Van Hove (born 1937) is a Belgian jazz musician and a pioneer of European free jazz. He is a pianist, accordionist, church organist, and carillonist, an improviser and a composer. He is known for his work in the 1960s and 1970s with saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and drummer Han Bennink and for his subsequent work in various duos and as a solo artist.
Fred Van Hove (born 1937) is a Belgian jazz musician and a pioneer of European free jazz. He is a pianist, accordionist, church organist, and carillonist, an improviser and a composer. He is known for his work in the 1960s and 1970s with saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and drummer Han Bennink and for his subsequent work in various duos and as a solo artist."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Van_Hove)
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