The Squid's Ear Magazine

Schubert, Frank Paul and Matthias Muller: Foils (FMR)

Using extended techniques and a remarkable interactive approach, trombonist Matthias Mueller and soprano saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert surprise in 9 distinctive duo recordings.

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product information:

UPC: 8649849986544

Label: FMR
Catalog ID: FMR 311-0511
Squidco Product Code: 14854

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2011
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded February 7th, 2011 by Lothar Ohlmeier at AUSLAND/Berlin.


Frank Paul Schubert-soprano saxophone

Matthias Muller-trombone

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Somehow, even though both Matthias and Frank play with a lot of the same musicians in and around Berlin (including me) I have never imagined they would play together. That wasn't a judgement about compatibility, or class, but essentially about desire I always figured they were on separate paths, and wanted different things from their music.

So when this recording landed in my hand, with the invitation to listen and write about it, I was at first just surprised that it existed and that furthermore, it was going to be released. There are a million unlikely recordings floating around on CDR's and hard drives for the world never to hear about fortunately this is not one of them.

Although coming from different generations, and backgrounds, both Matthias and Frank share something very rare, and something very specific. They are both deeply sceptical musicians who, nonetheless, are looking for transcendence in their music.

When sonic investigation, intellectual diligence and a disregard for flabby emotionalism are your starting points, it can be really hard to get yourself out of yourself to transcend your own head. Some musicians like Robin Hayward and Axel Doerner have defined themselves by the abdication of this need, but for a growing generation of musicians who have moved through or side-stepped reductionism, the potentials at the core of improvised music remains as Paul Lovens would say "stepping in the river and letting it take you".

Foil: "to obscure or confuse" Silver and spotless high frequencies burn in thin lines. A mellow core bubbles beneath,

pushing and provoking, but never straying from the scent. Artists are hunters.

A shot pierces the surface, exposing the light from within. The uneven plane ricochets in response creating a million mirrors.

Light falls, splayed and dazzling. Askew dreams painted in arcs, racing in the corridor of gravity, uniform as a crackling carcass.

This breathing, this spotted chronic breathing, this dank colic stained-crimson scarred breathing. Whose festered lung is at the bottom of it?

In marker or house paint, fine-line or spray, blade cut wood or leather laser and the like, the lines are drawn. Rough-hewn and scattershot the epiphany diagram takes form.

The flash of headlamps catch the white peaks of an ever-rising tide. They climb and fall on black water, like burning emulsion on slow repeat.

Written on rubber, hieroglyphs elongated and stretched out of all proportion the surface pulled taught and invisible. Silence snapped back in tacit agreement.

Mourning is contagious, a rite requiring no embellishment.

A dictionary written in Braille. Each dot and indent imbued, pregnant, personal. Inhale. Exhale. Sound. The pause is a breeding ground.

So what do you do when you want to get your feet wet but you donʼt want to drown?

This set of duets looks to answer the question.

On the surface, we might hear the echo Paul Rutherford & Evan Parker, but listening closely, the tempos are all wrong, the durations extended to the point of breaking, the counterpoint incongruous with that generations thinking. Another language is being spoken here, one that hears with four ears all that Berlin improvisers have achieved in the past 15 years integrated with musicality and empathy, and totally free of mimicry.

If I was surprised this recording existed, then Iʼm stunned by what they recorded Matthias and Frank explore the breadth of their experience with trust and openness, never shying from layering one school of thought against another never being thrown off course by a hard line, a dense texture, an extended silence. This exploratory and generous record achieves a rare balance they have crafted a unique vessel to survive the waters."-Clayton Thomas, from the liner notes

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Artist Biographies

"Frank Paul Schubert is a saxophone player in the realms of Improvised Music and Contemporary Jazz.

Born in Neuss/Germany in 1965, he began to play the saxophone self-taught in 1982, took lessons with Lajos Dudas from 1988 to 1992, studied at Musikhochschule Aachen (classical saxophone repertoire as well as jazz) with Prof. Hugo Read from 1992 to 1996, and, after a short interlude in Aschaffenburg/Bavaria, moved to Berlin in 1999.

Schubert works regularly with Willi Kellers, Andreas Willers, Johannes Bauer, Matthias Müller, John Edwards, Mark Sanders, Uwe Oberg, Paul Dunmall, Alexander von Schlippenbach and many more (more detailed list see below). Besides his main project GRID MESH (see "projects"), he also collaborated with drummer Günter Baby Sommer from 2006 on.

Also in 2006 he started to work with trombonist Matthias Müller in several small group settings and finally in the duo FOILS, which since 2012 is expanded to the FOILS QUARTET with John Edwards and Mark Sanders.With Antonis Anissegos he has been playing since 2002. They released their duo CD "Phoobsering" in 2005.

Frank Paul Schubert is member of the Willi Kellers Trio (with Clayton Thomas) as well as the Willi Kellers Quartet feat. Paul Dunmall.Since 2009 he has been playing a series of duo concerts with pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach (in Amsterdam, Leipzig, Münster, Berlin) as well as frequent local small group gigs featuring Mr. von Schlippenbach.

Festival appearances include Nickelsdorf Konfrontationen, Ulrichsberg Kaleidophon, Sibiu Jazz&More, Madrid Hurta Cordel, Lisbon Jazz im Goethe Garten, Wiesbaden Just Music, Hamburg ElbJazz, JAZZDOR (Jazz d'Or) Offenburg, Greiz JazzWerk#9, Nordhäuser Jazzfest, Stuttgart Saxophonfestival and some more.Tours led him to Poland, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, UK, USA and Canada.He released several recordings on labels including Leo Records, NoBusiness Records, Red Toucan Records, FMR, Creative Sources, gligg, JazzHausMusik, KONNEX, farai-NRW.

Frank Paul had the pleasure to collaborate with many fine musicians including the following (in alphabetical order):Liz Allbee, Antonis Anissegos, Johannes Bauer, Simon Camatta, Anat Cohavi, Yorgos Dimitriadis, Paul Dunmall, John Edwards, Jörg Fischer, Rudi Fischerlehner, Gerhard Gschlössl, Paul Hubweber, Peter van Huffel, John Hughes, Klaus Janek, Hilary Jeffery, Kalle Kalima, Achim Kaufmann, Willi Kellers, Jan Klare, Meinrad Kneer, Andreas Krennerich, Burkard Kunkel, Klaus Kürvers, Lömsch Lehmann, Björn Lücker, Mike Majkowski, Christian Marien, Matthias Müller, Uwe Oberg, Olaf Rupp, Mark Sanders, Julie Sassoon, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Harri Sjöström, Günter Baby Sommer, Ricardo Tejero, Christof Thewes, Clayton Thomas, Andreas Willers."

-Frank Paul Schubert Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Matthias Müller was born 1971 in Zeven, Germany and starting playing trombone in the local trombone choir at the age of 10. From 1994 to 1999 he studied jazz-trombone at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, where he also made his first steps into improvised music. His CD "Bhavan", which was released in 2004, was produced by Chicago based musician and journalist John Corbett. In the same year he moved to Berlin and has since been regularly playing with internationally recognized improvisers such as John Edwards, Mark Sanders, George Lewis, Johannes Bauer, Jeb Bishop, Tobias Delius, Olaf Rupp, Paul Lovens, Toshimaru Nakamura, Clayton Thomas, Michael Vorfeld, Axel Dörner, and many more. He is a member of the 24-piece improvising ensemble, "Splitter Orchester", and was also a member of the "German-French Jazzensemble" under the direction of Albert Mangelsdorff. In addition, Müller is also active in the field of contemporary music, having worked with the Berlin-based ensembles "Xenon", "Work In Progress", and "Zinc & Copper Works". He also took part in the performance and CD-recording of composer Mark Andre's opera "...22, 13...". Müller has toured Africa, Asia, North America and many countries in Europe, having played on numerous festivals, and released more than 20 CDs of his own projects."

-Matthias Muller Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Hunters 3:33

2. A Million Mirrors 4:31

3. Crackling Carcass 5:32

4. Lungs 5:32

5. The Epiphany Diagram 7:31

6. Black Water (Slow Repeat) 6:54

7. Written on Rubber 5:18

8. Mourn 4:14

9. In Braille 4:40

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
FMR Records
Duo Recordings

Search for other titles on the label:

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