The Squid's Ear Magazine

Oberg, Uwe : Work (Hatology)

German pianist Uwe Oberg (Lacy Pool, Uwe Oberg Quartet, Kooperative New Jazz) in a solo album performing works of Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk and his own original work, applying a diverse set of approaches rooted in jazz tradition.

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product information:

UPC: 752156074021

Label: Hatology
Catalog ID: Hatology740
Squidco Product Code: 21075

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded live at Jazzclub im Domizil, Saarbrocken, Germany on July 10th, 2008, by Uwe Oberg.


Uwe Oberg–piano

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"There's a curious dichotomy in the musical perspective of Uwe Oberg that informs and intensifies everthing he touches...over references and veiled, possibly subconscious, allusions to a wide range of sources that imply several layers of stylistic influence and irony. And yet the music he creates has its own distinct character, and ultimately rejects confining genres."-Art Lange, liner notes

"Pianist Uwe Oberg has been a member of the Kooperative New Jazz (ARTist) Wiesbaden since 1970, active since the early 80ies in various fields from conceptual Jazz/New Music to free improvisation, performances with dance/theatre/lyrics, music for silent movies, HumaNoise Congress, cooperation with international musicians e.g. Alfred Harth, Tony Oxley, Peter Kowald (+), Urs Leimgruber, Saadet Türköz, Heinz Sauer, Subroto Roy Chowdhury, Xu Fengxia, Jürgen Wuchner, Sven-Ake Johansson, Rudi Mahall, Paul Lovens, Adam Pieronczyk, Frank Gratkowski. Numerous CD's. In 2007 he received the jazzprice of the state of Hessen."

"Over seven years languishing on the shelf, Uwe Oberg's solo studio session Work proves in short order that the interim wait was worth it. Recorded three years after the German pianist's earlier effort on the Hat imprint as part of collaborative repertory project Lacy Pool with trombonist Christof Thewes and drummer Michael Griener, the music here is of a comparable cast in its balancing of original and appropriated material. Oberg's relationship with his instrument bears passing resemblance that of Jaki Byard in that stylistic strictures bear little to no weight on his improvisations. The whole of the piano's history, both within jazz and without, is fair game and coupled with the confidence that comes with giving over to where his capricious fingers and mind take him.

Six tracks contain investigations of nine compositions with six paired in medley form. Two, Coltrane's "Crescent" and the Fred Frith/Robert Wyatt collaboration "Muddy Mouse" pivot off of two of Oberg's own, the connective tissue concealing the transitions with cosmetic fluidity. "Hill" nods to the pianist named in its title through in the dark rhythmic progressions that serve as detours between Oberg's more introspective patterns. Mingus' "Fables of Faubus" hitches cleanly to Ornette Coleman's "W.R.U.", but the pianist holds overt statements of the thematic material of each at arm's length for much of the medley. Pedal-dampened chords and nimble right hand flurries sally forth in their stead, capturing the spirit rather than letter and making the eventual arrival of the classic melodies all the more affecting.

Oberg's compositions sit well with their celebrated borrowed companions. "Kelvin" works off dense, recombinating clusters, an ensuing delicacy of touch priming the ears for eventual rhapsodic arrival of "Crescent". Working with such mellifluous material presents dangers in veering over into sentimentality, but Oberg treads the edge carefully and keeps his hands studiously to task. A palate-cleansing "Pannonica" played comparatively straight contrasts with the under-the-hood textures and atmospherics of "Olo Olo" as Oberg exercises his inner-Henry Cowell in an oblique rhythmic expedition that ends with the lush consonance of the aforementioned Frith/Wyatt attribution. Once again the seams are nearly invisible and the sound choices result in music that is at once sturdy and engrossing.

Oberg signs off the hour-long recital with a nimble, sideways reading of the titular Monk track. In his hands, as with that of the composer's, the tune suggests the playful opposite of its title. It's a hat trick true of the entire album, which simultaneously revels in the advantages of a solo piano setting while succeeding in sidestepping the potential preoccupations and excesses."-Derek Taylor, Dusted Magazine, November 2015

Get additional information at Dusted

Track Listing:

1. Hill 4:12

2. Fables Of Faubus / W.R.U. 13:12

3. Kelvin / Cresent 20:05

4. Pannonica 3:54

5. Olo Olo / Muddy Mouse 11:14

6. Work 5:08

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Piano & Keyboards
Solo Artist Recordings
Hat Art
Miva Delete Product Category

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