A graceful and beautiful set of 21 improvisations composed by German pianist and European Free Improv legend Alexander von Schlippenbach for Japanese pianist and von Schlippenbach's spouse Aki Takase, emphasizing a lyrical and passionate deceleration of his profound technical skills to ring lyrically and even romantically as he expresses Takase's musical portrait.
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Catalog ID: INT346
Squidco Product Code: 29719
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Radio Studio DRS, in Zurich, Switzerland, on November 4th and 5th, 2019, by Michael Brandli.
Alexander von Schlippenbach-piano
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• Show Bio for Alexander von Schlippenbach
"One of Europe's premier free jazz bandleaders, pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach's music mixes free and contemporary classical elements, with his slashing solos often the link between the two in his compositions. Schlippenbach formed The Globe Unity Orchestra in 1966 to perform the piece"Globe Unity, which had been commissioned by the Berliner Jazztage.
He remained involved with the orchestra into the '80s. Schlippenbach began taking lessons at eight, and studied at the Staatliche Hochschule for Musik in Cologne with composers Bernd Alois Zimmermann and Rudolf Petzold. He played with Gunther Hampel in 1963, and was in Manfred Schoof's quintet from 1964 to 1967.Schlippenbach began heading various bands after 1967, among them 1970 trio with Evan Parker and Paul Lovens and a duo with Sven-Ake Johansson which they co-formed in 1976. Schlippenbach has also given many solos performances. In the late '80s, he formed the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra,which has featured a number ofesteemed European avant-garde jazz musicians including Evan Parker, Paul Lovens, KennyWheeler, Misha Mengelberg and Aki Takase. During the 90`s Duo work with Tony Oxley, Sam Rivers and Aki Takase. 1999 started performance and radiorecording of Thelonius Monks complete works, (all the compositions) with Rudi Mahall and his group "Die Enttäuschung"."-Alexander von Schlippenbach Website (http://www.avschlippenbach.com/)
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1. Haru No Yuki (Fruhling Im Schnee) 2:49
2. Improvisation I 2:15
3. Torso 4:28
4. Improvisation II 1:46
5. Improvisation III 1:27
6. Tell You 2:36
7. Improvisation IV 2:18
8. Cleo 4:40
9. Improvisation V 3:01
10. Naniga Nandemo 2:46
11. Improvisation V 1:59
12. A-Blues 1:49
13. Blues B 2:31
14. Improvisation VII 1:14
15. I Told You 3:34
16. Improvisation VIII 1:26
17. Improvisation IX 2:21
18. Dydo 2:11
19.Improvisation X 1:13
20. Frage Nicht 2:41
21. Zycado 2:42
sample the album:
"The pianist, two days in the studio, alone at the piano. A retreat in Zurich. Focus is on the now, the recording is running. Preparation time for the new compositions: about a year. Getting attuned to the music: a lifetime. Alexander von Schlippenbach, Slow Pieces For Aki, the emphasis being on the word "slow," not on rediscovering slowness but discovering slowness anew - dedicated to his wife Aki Takase.
With slow pieces, short pieces, compositions in which every single note demands the highest degree of attention, virtuosity shifts from the purely technical to the actual notes themselves, avoiding all irrelevancies. Sounds that are able to glow in the dark and form themselves into star signs. It is not only Jazz and New Music that appear from far away, but also classical and romantic music, always reflected by the personality, the life and playing experience of Alexander von Schlippenbach.
From my subjective point of view, dare I suggest, there is a certain serious lyricism. Slow, full of passion and filled with dedication to the music."-Bert Noglik, from the liner notes
"Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach began recording in the 1950s. Twenty years into the new millennium, he continues to do so prolifically, with twenty-five albums under his own name listed on Wikipedia-a seeming short shrift; his three solo albums on the Intakt Records label from 2005 and 2012 somehow didn't make the list, suggesting there are more. His profile rose in the 1960s, with his work with the Global Unity Orchestra and a trio with saxophonist Evan Parker and drummer Paul Lovens. And his work in collaboration with Parker and the world of free improvisation suggests some seriously "out there" sounds that are "fast, loud and intense."
But with his solo outings, that is not the case. Though known as an avant-garde-ist, on record von Schlippenbach has explored the more traditional sounds of Thelonious Monk and Jelly Roll Morton and, with his Intakt Records solo piano discography, he has delved into, again, Monk on Plays Monk (2012), and a measured and often introspective beauty on 2005's Twelve Tone Tales, Vol 1 and Twelve Tone Tales, Vol.2.
The creation of Slow Pieces For Aki: Piano Solo was given a nudge by von Schlippenbach's life partner, pianist Aki Takase, who questioned the necessity of speed, volume and intensity in the realm of free improvisation. Von Schlippenbach answers her question with twenty-one short tunes-running from just over one minute to just over four minutes, ten of them improvisations-laid down with an almost religious deliberation, a measured music where every note rings with a sense of meaning and directness.
Solo piano is a special challenge. Every jazz pianist worth his/her salt goes there; Art Tatum, Cecil Taylor, Jessica Williams, Keith Jarrett, Fred Hersch and more have navigated success at going it alone at the keyboard. To that list of solo stars, add Alexander von Schlippenbach, with his sixty-plus years experience in the crafting of compelling sounds, for his two Twelve Tone Tales sets, and for his solemn sonic seduction of Slow Pieces For Aki: Piano Solo."-Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
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