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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.

Gratkowski / Van Hove / Oxley

Gratkowski / Van Hove / Oxley: GratHovOx (Nuscope)
Label: Nuscope    
Released in: USA    

"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

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings

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Price: $13.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 4.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 659897101224

Label: Nuscope
Catalog ID: CD 1012
Squidco Product Code: 17291

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2002
Country: USA
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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Track Listing:

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