Bringing together the core of the Gebhard Ullmann / Steve Swell Quartet in sax and trombone with Chicago mainstay improvisers Fred Longberg-Holm on cello & electronics and Michael Zerang on drums for an album that embraces free jazz, world rhythms, and experimental sound.
Chicago Plan, The (Swell / Ullmann / Lonberg-Holdm / Zerang)
The Chicago Plan
Label: Clean Feed
Released in: Portugal
"More than 10 years of partnership between American trombonist, composer Steve Swell and German tenor saxophonist, bass clarinetist and composer Gebhard Ullmann after their successful first collaboration, The Ullmann/Swell Quartet featuring bassist Hill Greene and drum legend Barry Altschul continues now with a new version of the quartet featuring renowned Chicagoans, Michael Zerang, drums, percussion and Fred Lonberg-Holm, cello.
This ensemble is appropriately named The Chicago Plan. The plan of course is to integrate the leaders' fresh written material to inspire and be in the service of groundbreaking areas of improvisation that include world rhythms, universal textures and other worldly sound experiences. All the accumulated experience of the members of The Chicago Plan forge a personal approach and vocabulary that is as natural as it is exhilarating. Their collective approach is loose and cool and is constantly full of life. That's a good plan for any band whether the band is from Chicago or New York (Swell's home), or Berlin (Ullmann's home) or any other city in the world for that matter."-Clean Feed
• Show Bio for Steve Swell
"Born in Newark, NJ, Steve Swell has been an active member of the NYC music community since 1975. He has toured and recorded with many artists from mainstreamers such as Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich to so called outsiders as Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor and William Parker. He has over 40 CDs as a leader or co-leader and is a featured artists on more than 100 other releases. He runs workshops around the world and is a teaching artist in the NYC public school system focusing on special needs children.
Swell has worked on music transcriptions of the Bosavi tribe of New Guinea for MacArthur fellow, Steve Feld in 2000. His CD, "Suite For Players, Listeners and Other Dreamers" (CIMP) ranked number 2 in the 2004 Cadence Readers Poll. He has also received grants from USArtists International in 2006, MCAF (LMCC) awards in 2008 and 2013 and has been commissioned twice on the Interpretations Series at Merkin Hall in 2006 and at Roulette in 2012.
Steve was nominated for Trombonist of the Year 2008 & 2011 by the Jazz Journalists Association, was selected Trombonist of the Year 2008-2010 , 2012 and 2014-2015 by the magazine El Intruso of Argentina and received the 2008 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship Award of the Tides Foundation. Steve has also been selected by the Downbeat Critics Poll in the Trombone category each year from 2010-2016.
Steve is presently a teaching artist through the American Composers Orchestra, Healing Arts Initiative , Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center (Bronx), the Jazz Foundation of America and Leman Manhattan Preparatory School.
Steve was also awarded the 2014 Creative Curricula grant (LMCC) for the project: "Metamorphoses: Modern Mythology in Sound and Words" which was taught in a month long residency at Baruch College Campus High School in Manhattan."-Steve Swell Website (http://www.steveswell.com/SteveSwellBio.htm)
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• Show Bio for Gebhard Ullmann
"Born on November 2, 1957 in Bad Godesberg, Germany saxophonist (tenor and soprano), bass clarinetist, bass flutist and composer Gebhard Ullmann studied medecine and music in Hamburg and moved to Berlin in 1983.Since then he has recorded more than 50 CDs as a leader or co-leader for prestigious labels such as Soul Note (Italy), Leo Records (UK), Between The Lines (Germany), CIMP (USA), NotTwo Records (Poland), Clean Feed (Portugal) Unit Records (Switzerland) and others.
For many years he is considered one of the leading personalities in both the Berlin and international music scenes and has received numerous awards for his work including the Julius Hemphill Composition Award in two categories ('99), the Deutsche Phonoakademie award ('83), one of the first SWF Jazz Awards ('87) and the nomination best-jazz-CD-of-the-year by the German Schallplattenkritik for his CD Tá Lam in 1995.
His CDs Final Answer (2002) The Bigband Project (2004) New Basement Research (2008) News? No News! (2010) Mingus! (2011) Clarinet Trio 4 (2012) were all listed in Downbeat Magazine among the best CDs of those years. The CD Transatlantic received the prestigious Choc of the French Jazz Magazine in 2012. Since 2005 Gebhard Ullmann is listed in the Downbeat Critics Poll, 2015 for the first time in three categories.
Since 1993 Ullmann was a recording artist for Soul Note and has been living in New York City and Berlin. He has toured with his music throughout Europe as well as Africa, the Middle East, Canada, New Zealand, the USA, South East Asia, Mexico and China and performed on most of the world's most prestigious jazz festivals."-Gebhard Ullmann Website (http://gebhard-ullmann.com/GU.html)
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• Show Bio for Fred Lonberg Holm
"Fred Lonberg-Holm (born 1962) is an American cellist based in Chicago. He relocated from New York City to Chicago in 1995. Lonberg-Holm is most identified with playing free improvisation and free jazz. He is also a composer of concert works. As a session musician and arranger, he is credited on many rock, pop, and country records. Lonberg-Holm currently leads the Valentine Trio, with Jason Roebke (bass) and Frank Rosaly (drums). This jazz trio performs original compositions as well as tunes by both jazz composers (e.g. Sun Ra) and pop songwriters (e.g. Jeff Tweedy, Syd Barrett). The group released its first album Terminal Valentine, in 2007, which was reviewed by AllAboutJazz critic Nils Jacobson.
He coordinates and directs performances of his Lightbox Orchestra, an improvising ensemble with a flexible, ever-changing membership. Lonberg-Holm does not play an instrument in this group, but rather conducts its non-idiomatic improvisations via the "lightbox" and by holding up handwritten signs. The lightbox contains a light bulb for each musician which Lonberg-Holm switches on or off to suggest when they should play. Collective groups of which Lonberg-Holm is a member include Terminal 4 who released an album, in 2003, called When I'm Falling that received four and a half stars, and AMG Album Pick by Allmusic, and it was reviewed by Allmusic's Joslyn Layne, The Boxhead Ensemble, Pillow, the Lonberg-Holm/Kessler/Zerang trio (with Kent Kessler and Michael Zerang), and the Dörner/Lonberg-Holm duo (with Axel Dörner).
Among groups led by other people, he is a member of the Vandermark 5, the Joe McPhee Trio, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Keefe Jackson's Fast Citizens, and Ken Vandermark's Territory Band. When he lived in New York, Lonberg-Holm frequently collaborated with the rock group God Is My Co-Pilot pianist and composer Anthony Coleman as well as multi-instrumentalist Paul Duncan of Warm Ghost. In Chicago, he has worked with Jim O'Rourke, Bobby Conn (on "Llovessonngs"  and "The Golden Age" ), The Flying Luttenbachers, Lake Of Dracula, Wilco, Rivulets, Mats Gustafsson, Sten Sandell, Jaap Blonk, John Butcher, and a great many others.
Lonberg-Holm's concert works have been premiered by William Winant, Carrie Biolo, the Austin New Music Co-Op, Subtropics Ensemble, Duo Atypica, the Schanzer/Speach Duo, New Winds, Paul Hoskin, Kevin Norton, the E.S.P. Ensemble, and others. His scores for dance have been performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Dance Theater Workshop as well as many other venues. He is a former composition student of Anthony Braxton and Morton Feldman. He performed improvised music in the role of a troubled composer who finds inspiration in the love of a couple he spots on the street in a short film for the Playboy channel."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Lonberg-Holm)
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• Show Bio for Michael Zerang
"Michael Zerang was born in Chicago, Illinois, and is a first-generation American of Assyrian decent. He has been a professional musician, composer, and producer since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms.
Michael has collaborated with contemporary theater, dance, and other multidisciplinary forms and has received three Joseph Jefferson Awards for Original Music Composition in Theater, in collaboration with Redmoon Theater, in 1996, 1998, and 2000.
As a percussionist and composer, Michael has over eighty titles in his discography and has toured nationally and internationally to 34 countries since 1981, and works with and ever-widening pool of collaborators.
Michael founded and was the artistic director of the Link's Hall Performance Series in Chicago from 1985-1989 where he produced over 300 concerts of jazz, traditional ethnic folk music, electronic music, and other forms of forward thinking music. Michael has been a Board Member of Links Hall Since 1989. He continued to produce concerts at Cafe Urbus Orbis from 1994-1996, and at his own space, The Candlestick Maker in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood, from 2001 - 2005.
Michael has taught as a guest artist at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in performance technique, sound design, and sound/music as it relates to puppetry; rhythmic analysis for dancers at The Dance Center of Columbia College, Northwestern University, and MoMing Dance and Arts Center; courses in Composer/Choreographer Collaborations at Northwestern University; music to children at The Jane Adams Hull House.
Michael currently tours and holds workshops in improvisational music, and teaches private lessons in rhythmic analysis, music composition, and percussion technique.-Michael Zerang Website (http://www.michaelzerang.com/)
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Shipping Weight: 2.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF396CD
Squidco Product Code: 23096
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Kingsize Sound Labs, in Chicago, Illinois, on September 22nd, 2015, by John Abbey.
Gebhard Ullmann-tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Fred Lonberg Holm-cello, electronics
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1. Variations On A Master Plan, Pt 3 6:02
2. Composite #10 18:45
3. Variations On A Master Plan, Pt 2 6:39
4. Rule #1: Make Sure You Can Play Your Own Tune 8:37
5. Deja Vu 7:45
6. For Henry 7:46