Three bassists converged on WNUR Studios, in Evanston, Illinois in 1998 to record these tracks, finally released after 16 years: 5 freely improvised trio sessions, 6 miniatures suggested by Kowald and performed by the trio, and 6 duos between Kowald and Lonberg-Holm.
Kowald, Peter / Kent Kessler / Fred Lonberg-Holm
Label: Corbett vs. Dempsey
Released in: USA
"In 1998, at WNUR Radio, Evanston, the legendary German bassist Peter Kowald met two Chicagoans in the studio for a brisk set of string trios. Fellow-bassist Kent Kessler and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, essential members of the Chicago scene, are well known as international improvisors too, and the threesome dug in for a fierce face-off.
The session was closely recorded in the studio's intimate confines, which could barely contain their energy. Kowald proposed a set of six miniatures, all ranging around a minute in length, as a counterpoint to the longer tracks. When Kessler left, Kowald and Lonberg-Holm stayed on playing a few duets, more conversational in tone.
The musicians all loved the results, a CD was planned, delayed, as happens, and then Kowald died suddenly in 2002, almost to the day four years since recording Flats Fixed. CvsD is honored to finally release this glorious music, which had been prepared and shelved more than a decade ago. Dedicated to the memory of Comrade Kowald."-John Corbett
• Show Bio for Peter Kowald
"Born 1944 in Germany, died 21 September 2002 New York City; double bass, voice, tuba.
Peter Brötzmann (Corbett, 1994) recounted that 'there was this young guy trying to play the bass, who was Mr Kowald, at that time seventeen years old. Peter lived with his parents. I had my little studio, so he was always hanging out at my place. But he had to be at home at 10.00, he was drinking milk. But we changed that, very soon. His parents were always very angry with me, because he never showed up at home anymore, he dropped studies of ancient languages, Greek and all that.' By this time (1962) Peter Kowald had been playing bass for two years and, with different drummers the two Peters were playing Mingus, Ornette, and Miles Davis things as well as listening to Coltrane, Stockhausen, Cage et al. Kowald was part of the European tour undertaken by the Carla Bley/Michael Mantler band in 1966 (also featuring Brötzmann) and then came work with other German musicians, membership of the Globe Unity Orchestra and the first recordings: Globe Unity, For Adolphe Sax and Summer 1967, recorded during a brief vacation in London. In particular, Evan Parker credits this visit to London for his invitation to play in the Pierre Favre/Irene Schweizer quartet and his subsequent longstanding involvement with German (and other European) musicians. Kowald's work with Brötzmann continued - on and off - on record at least, to the time of Kowald's death and included the Cooperative Trio with Andrew Cyrille, a duo on the Duos project and a recent mix of free jazz, hip-hop and rap.
Peter Kowald was a member of Globe Unity Orchestra for 12 years (1966 to 1978) and for much of this time played less of a side-man role and more of an equal partner - for example, conducting the band - with the person to whom the group has become most associated, Alex von Schlippenbach. His influence is particularly noticeable on Jahrmarkt/Local fair where the two sides of composition are by Kowald (as is the second side of Live in Wuppertal and he is also credited, along with Paul Lovens as 'producing' the record, presumably sorting out the sprawling theatricality and poor sound into two 'meaningful' fragments. In his notes to 20th anniversary, Schlippenbach emphasises the importance of Kowald in creating a programme that became a lot more 'colourful'; while further pointing out that he and Kowald gradually drifted further apart 'until one fine evening after lengthy discussions which resulted in a fight in a pub in Wuppertal, this chapter also closed'. However, before this ending, from 1973 to 1978, Kowald also worked with the Schlippenbach trio (Schlippenbach/ Parker/Paul Lovens), turning it for much of this time into a regular quartet.
Throughout his career, Peter Kowald worked with a wide variety of improvising musicians worldwide and in many considered and unusual situations. He recorded bass duets with Barry Guy, Barre Phillips, Peter Jacquemyn, Maarten Altena, Damon Smith and William Parker, released two solo bass recordings, and had regular groups with Leo Smith and Günter Sommer; with Joëlle Léandre and dancer Anne Martin (Trio Tartini); with dancers Cheryl Banks and Arnette de Mille and cellist Muneer Abdul Fataah (Music and Movement Improvisation); a trio with pianist Curtis Clark; a trio with Canadian alto saxophonist Yves Charuest and Louis Moholo; and Principle Life with Jeanne Lee, Klaus Hovman, and Marilyn Mazur. During the period 1980 to 1985 he was a member of the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra. He has spent periods in the US and in Japan and recorded three duo LPs (two CDs) with US, European and Japanese musicians. He also lived in Greece and similarly played and recorded with the Greek musicians Floros Floridis and Ilias Papadopoulos. By contrast, the 12 months May 1994 to May 1995 was designated Kowald's 'Year at home' project which comprised a mixture of solo works - out of which, to some extent, the last solo CD grew (Was da ist) - and group performances.
In addition, Peter Kowald collaborated extensively with poets and artists and with the dancers Gerlinde Lambeck, Anne Martin, Tadashi Endo, Patsy Parker, Maria Mitchell, Sally Silvers, Cherly Banks, Arnette de Mille, Sayonara Pereira, and Kazuo Ohno. Specific works included Die klage der kaiserin (1989) with Pina Bausch, Short pieces (since 1989) with Jean Sasportes, The spirit of adventure (1990) with Anastasia Lyra, Wasser in der hand (1990/91) with Christine Brunel, and Futan no sentaku/The burden of choice (1990/91) with Min Tanaka and Butch Morris."-European Free Improv (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/mkowald.html)
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Label: Corbett vs. Dempsey
Catalog ID: CvsDCD016
Squidco Product Code: 19869
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at WNUR Studios, in Evanston, Illinois, on September 24th, 1998 by John Corbett.
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1. FF 1 7:10
2. FF 2 5:58
3. FF 3 3:23
4. FF 4 17:23
5. Miniature 1 0:55
6. Miniature 2 1:02
7. Miniature 3 1:09
8. Miniature 4 1:00
9. Miniature 5 1:17
10. Miniature 6 2:19
11. FF 6 15:10
12. b & c 1 4:29
13. b & b 3:23
14. b & c 2 5:42
15. b & c 3 3:48
16. b & c 4 2:51