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Squakk (Griener / Mahall / Roder / Thewes): Willisau & Berlin (Intakt)

Berlin's Squakk is the quartet of Michael Griener (drums), Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet, clarinet, baritone sax), Jan Roder (double bass), and Christof Thewes (trombone), performing free-bop that draws on jazz history transformed into the modern improvised language.

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product information:

UPC: 7640120192310

Label: Intakt
Catalog ID: Intakt 231
Squidco Product Code: 19101

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Studio P4, in Berlin, Germany on November 27th, 2012, by Martin Pearson, and at the Jazzfestival in Willisau, Germany, on September 1st, 2013, by Andreas Stoffels and Jean-Boris Szymczak.


Louis Freres Michael Griener-drums

Louis Freres Rudi Mahall-bass clarinet, clarinet, baritone sax

Louis Freres Jan Roder-doublebass

Louis Freres Christof Thewes-trombone

Louis Freres

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Artist Biographies:

"Michael Griener, born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1968, began playing drums in 1982, lives in Berlin since 1994.

Under the influence of the HOHE-UFER-concerts initiated by Günter Christmann he became involved early on in the various forms of Jazztradition, Free Improvisation and New Music, which led to a longer collaboration with Christmann in his Vario-projects (a.o. C.I.M.-Festival Den Haag 1990, Moers-Festival 1992, Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik1993).

He has worked frequently with dancers, actors and poets (most recently in a project on Paul Celan with German writer Oskar Ansull). His duo KIMMO ELOMAA with electronic wizard jayrope received a grant by the city of Berlin in 2002 Received the 1. price as "most creative soloist" at the "New German Jazz Award" in 2006 His current projects include a.o.:

Uli Gumpert Quartet, TGW (Thieke-Griener-Weber), a Duo with Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, Lacy Pool, Squakk and Carl-Ludwig Hübsch' Primordial Soup Michael Griener teaches jazz drumming at the University for Music "Carl Maria v. Weber" in Dresden and jazz-history and rhythm at the Jazzschule Berlin."

-Michael Griener Website (

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"Rudi Mahall (born 1966 in Nürnberg, Germany) is a contemporary jazz bass clarinetist.

While studying classical clarinet, Mahall shifted towards contemporary music, improvisation and jazz. He is, or was a member of following bands: Avantgardeband Die Hartmann 8, Der Rote Bereich (initially comprehending Frank Möbus, Marty Cook, Jim Black und Henning Sievert), the Trio Tiefe töne für Augen und Ohren (with Sievert and Bill Elgart), Carlos Bicas Azul and Die Enttäuschung (amongst others with Axel Dörner, Jan Roder). He carried out several projects and published CDs with Aki Takase, about the work of Eric Dolphy and others. Mahall participated to Alexander von Schlippenbach's recording of the complete works of Thelonious Monk, published by a prestigious Swiss label, and he is a member of the Globe Unity Orchestra. Moreover, he performed with Conny Bauer, Lee Konitz, Barry Guy, Karl Berger, Paul Lovens, Sven-Åke Johansson, Radu Malfatti, Ed Schuller, Ray Anderson, Kenny Wheeler, Hannes Bauer and many others.

Mahall performed at the Free Music Festival Jazz à Mulhouse in 2008, at the Moers Festival, the JazzFest Berlin, the Leverkusener Jazztage and jazz festivals in New York City, Amsterdam, München, Würzburg, Nürnberg, and he toured in Portugal, southern and eastern Africa."

-Wikipedia (

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"Jan Roder (* 1968 ) is a German jazz bassist.

Roder studied music in Hanover. He began his career as a rock musician and lived longer periods in Brazil. In 1995 he came to Berlin, where he played touring and concerts with musicians such as Ulrich Gumpert, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, Manfred Schoof, Uschi Brüning, Joachim Kühn, Aki Takase, Gunter Hampel, Mircea Tiberian and Axel Dörner.

As a successor to Joachim Dette, he is the band Disappointment, together with Axel Dörner, Rudi Mahall and Uli Jenneßen, who, together with Alexander von Schlippenbach, has the complete work of Thelonious Monk in his repertoire. Together with Björn Lücker and Henrik Walsdorff, he is the group The Most. He is also a member of the Caciula Trio (with Maurice de Martin and Ben Abarbanel-Wolff ), JR 3, the Silke Eberhard Quartet and the Zoran Terzic Trio, and performs as a duo of Maria Răducanu."

-Wikipedia (translated by Google) (

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• occupations as trombonist, composer, arranger and intrumental teacher

• leader of various ensembles und musical projects (solo through big band), ranging from mordern jazz, free improvisation und ćNeue MusikŅ to experimental rock, funk and pop music

• present realization of this music as composer and leader in the musical groups Squakk, Undertone Project (Duo up to Octet ) Christof Thewes ŌThe Ascension FactorŌ (/Trio up to Tentet ) Quartetto Pazzo und Modern Chamber Trio, in the Free Jazz Band Yahoos, in the Big Band Little Big Band, in the Neue Musik Ensembles Modern Chamber Trio (Ensemble), in the Avantgarde-Popgruppe Phase 4, in dem Soloprojekt Trombonealone, in the Rock-Jazzformation The Matter of Taste, in the large ensemble SaarbrŸcker ŠDarmstŠdter Freundschaft, in the trombone ensemble Posaunenglanzterzet, in duos like Thewes-Mahall, RoderŠThewes, as member in groups like Squakk, Ensemble hks, Lacypool, Gutter Music, Anna Kaluza Quartet, Griener Š Roder ŠThewes, Birdfood and Bikini Big Band.

• has been playing in Globe Unity Orchester and Uli Gumpert Workshop Band since 2008

• literary and musical cooperations with author, film maker und voice talent Alfred Gulden Gulden with the group GuldenŠThewes

• Free improvisation concerts with Alexander von Schlippenbach, Paul Lovens, Evan Parker, Roger Turner, Willie Kellers, Uli Boetcher, Eddie Prevost, Tomas Ulrich, Matthias Schubert, Axel Dšrner, Olaf Rupp uva.

• appearences on the following festivals in Europe, South america USA, Kanada : Jazzfestival Willisau, Unerhšrt Festival ZŸrich, Jazz DÕOr Stra§bourg, Just Music Festival Wiesbaden, Jazzfestival Zagreb, Konfrontationen Nickelsdorf, Jazzfestival Nancy, Jazzfest Warschau, Jazzherbst Darmstadt, Jazzwerkstattfestival Berlin, Jazzfestival Mexico City , Jazzfestival Peitz, Jazzfestival Toronto uva.

• contract compositions for city of SaarbrŸcken, SaarlŠndischer Rundfunk, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg and Theatre National Du Luxembourg.

• Awards: 2007 Š City of Worms Jazzpreis, 2005 Š City of SaarbrŸcken Medienpreis for Zyklus 1-6 with Alfred Gulden, 1992 Š District of Neunkirchen Kulturfšrderpreis, 1987 Š City of SaarbrŸcken Kulturfšrderpreis, 1985 Š Saarland Rockfšrderpreis.

• was trombone lecturer in academic programme of jazz at Saarland University of Music till 2011.

• more than 30 published records as leader and sideman

• cooperations with these musiscians:

• Guitar: Olaf Rupp, Chris Klein, Thomas Honecker, Ralph Beerkircher, Simon Werner, Frank Wingold, Sven Prokaska, Frank Jacob

• Piano: Uwe Oberg, Olli Maas, Georg Ruby, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Uli Gumpert, Manuel Krass, Christoph Mudrich, Bernd Thewes

• Reeds: Hartmut O§wald, Rudi Mahall, Wolli Kaiser, Ernst Ludwig Petrowsky, Gerd Dudek, Evan Parker, Daniel dÕAgaro, Charlsey Haller, Udo Lovisa, Henrik Walsdorff, Michael Thieke, Ben Wolff, Ekkehard Jost

• Trumpet: Daniel Schmitz, Daisy Becker, Ralf Himmler, Lars Kuklinski, Axel Dšrner, Jean Luc Capozzo, Manfred Schoof, Martin Klingeberg, Rainer Winterschladen

• Trombone: JŸrgen Seyler, Detlef Landeck, Albert Mangelsdorff, Nils Wogram, Johannes Bauer, Matthias MŸller, Alisa Klein, Jan Kamp

• Bass: Martin Schmidt, Jan …streich, Jan Roder, JŸrgen Wuchner, Dieter Manderscheidt, Stefan Scheib, Ulla Oster, Robert Landfermann, Laurent Peckels, Mario Bartone

• Drums: Daniel PrŠtzlich, Dirk Peter Kšlsch, Jšrg Fischer, Michael Griener, Paul Lovens, Paul Lytton, Olli Strauch, Joe Bonica, Jochen KrŠmer

-Christof Thewes Website (

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Louis Freres is a Canadian bassist and improviser known for the band Escargot

-Squidco 5/10/2021

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

1. Nova Swing 20:41

2. Blue Chilli Out 3:08

3. Draw 4:12

4. A Dune, Perhaps 4:12

5. Mostly Harmless 3:30

6. Was Aus 2:14

7. Schlimmer Geht Nimmer - Schlimmer Geht Immer 8:31

8. Trinklied 3:36

9. Lark's Wail 7:23

10. Auf Der Schnerr 4:50
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"After seven years of collaboration the Berlin band Squakk is at the top of their game. The album "Willisau & Berlin" is a milestone of the current vital jazz. Squakk plays according to Chicago-based writer Peter Margasak "a wonderfully loose, improv-heavy strain of free-bop that liberally draws upon much of jazz history." And he comments: "What's most striking and satisfying about the album is the remarkable level of interaction between the musicians. The tunes are durable but spare and exist largely to foster inspired improvisation. The "Neue Zürcher Zeitung" is thrilled with the highlight of the Willisau festival: "The quartet Squakk immediately spread joy and happiness, big-time. The musicians appeared to be cunning and crafty: trombonist Christof Thewes, clarinetist Rudi Mahall, Jan Roder, bass and Michael Griener on the percussion. The music however sounded raw and grungy like fresh organic vegetables."-Intakt

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Free Improvisation
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Quintet Recordings
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