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GULFH of Berlin (Ullmann / Gschlossol / Fink / Leipnitz / Haves): GULFH of Berlin (ESP-Disk)

The core quartet of Gulfh of Berlin — Gebhard Ullmann on tenor saxophone & bass clarinet, Gerhard Gschlossl on trombone & sousaphone, Johannes Fink on double bass & cello and Jan Leipnitz on drums & objects — are heard in the studio with guest Michael Haves providing live sound processing, expanding the sound of Gulfh's innovative sound-sculpting avant jazz

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product information:

UPC: 825481505420

Label: ESP-Disk
Catalog ID: ESPDISK 5054CD
Squidco Product Code: 31006

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded at Low Swing Studio, in Berlin, Germany, on March, 6th 2018, by Guy Sternberg.


Gebhard Ullmann-tenor saxophone, bass clarinet

Gerhard Gschlossl-trombone, sousaphone

Johannes Fink-double bass, cello

Jan Leipnitz-drums, objects

Michael Haves-live sound processing

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Artist Biographies:

"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 (

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"Gschlößl studied trombone and composition at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg. In 1997 he received a scholarship (Kulturpreisstipendium) from the city of Munich. He was part of the Deutsch-französischen Jazz ensemble of Albert Mangelsdorff and experiments with electronic sound effects. He studied in New York City with Ray Anderson and Conrad Herwig. He has been living in Berlin since 2004, where he mainly performs in small groups with Matthias Rosenbauer , Johannes Fink and Gebhard Ullmann. He also plays in Schnittmenge Meier with Matthias Schriefl , Robert Landfermann and Christian Lillinger. He is also a member of the Goodman-Bordenave Quintet.

The trombonist can be heard on albums with Die Sterne ( Irres Light ), Hipnosis (a group of Wanja Slavin ), Rainer Temple , Sunday Night Orchestra, the Tied & Tickled Trio, Mindgames , Dani Felber , Johannes Lauer , Silke Eberhard , Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra , Kathrin Lemke 's Heliocentric Counterblast and Vesna Pisarović.

He is co-founder of the Jazzkollektiv Berlin and the avant-garde and free jazz record label Trouble In The East Records."

-Wikipedia (Translated by Google) (š§l)

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"After 10 years of training as a drummer, Johannes Fink learned to play the piano and guitar. Autodidactically he developed his own unmistakable sound on the double bass and the 5-string cello (fourth tuning).

He has been living as a musician and composer in Berlin since 1995, where he is touring the world with several bands, including on behalf of the Goethe Institute, e.g. Azerbaijan, Athens, Amsterdam, Bandung, Estonia, Geneva, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Manila, Paris, Pori, Rome, Rotterdam, Singapore, Surabaya, Vienna, Zurich, Cyprus ...

He is currently on the road with the following bands: Rolf Kühn Unit, Ammoniaphone, Aki Takase Japanic, Der Moment, Potsa Lotsa XL, Vorwärts Rückwärts, Gulf of Berlin, and many more.

Collaborations with Lee Konitz, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Tim Berne, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Michael Wollny, Till Brönner, Rolf and Joachim Kühn, Conny Bauer, Ack van Rooyen, John Schröder, Rudi Mahall, Thomas Stanko, Heinz Sauer, Daniel Erdmann, Louis Sclavis , Gebhard Ullmann, Aki Takase, Silke Eberhart, Greg Cohen and many more."

-Johannes Fink Website (Translated by Google) (

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Jan Leipnitz is a Berlin drummer, known for the The Andy Sugg Group, Gulf (Gulfh) of Berlin, and the trio of Kacper Hubicki/Lars Gühlcke/Jan Leipnitz.

-Squidco 12/2/2022

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In 1999 I moved to Berlin to study double bass and had a deep and long relationship with jazz, improvised and acoustic music that lead to tours, festivals and occacionally winning a price with different bands and projects.

With time moving on I focused on songwriting and production during almost ten years that I spend with my alternative pop band Super700 either hitting the roads or hiding in studios.

Following that I got deeper into electronics, sounddesign and classical approaches with doing music for theater, cinema and radioplays.

From 2011 to 2015 I lived in Kosovo, where I also worked with different bands and musicians in my brother in laws comfortable STUDIO C.

These days I mainly work in my studio THE COP SHOP writing and producing for theater plays or projects like Brigade Futur lll and the Swiss National Jazz Youth Orchestra. At the the same time I always love to produce, mix and master other peoples music."

-Michael Haves Website (

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track listing:

1. Nether 05:00

2. K3 03:21

3. Joja Romp 04:45

4. GG 02:28

5. Tellus 04:43

6. Serenade 04:01

7. Prisoner's Dilemma 04:06

8. Mann aus dem Himmel 02:59

9. 5 Elements 05:00

10. Jeton 07:03
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Few improvising artists can boast the stream of creative ideas that seem to bubble from Gebhard Ullmann. Ullmann focuses on the fundamentals of improvised jazz: melody, sound, syncopation and technical excellence, but what makes his writing and playing so successful is his seemingly neverending innovative nature: without grasping for neoteric straws, Ullmann's performances are grounded in the past but plunge forward deliberately toward modernity. Ullmann leaves the strong mark of a disciplined sculptor of sound, who speaks his own compelling language."-Steve Loewy, Cadence

"This chord-less German ensemble called Gulfh of Berlin is composed of musicians with an incredible capacity of adaptation to different settings. Their approach actually goes places as they boast a strong reeds/brass frontline with Gebhard Ullmann and Gerhard Gschlossl in command, and a quirky rhythm section made of bassist/cellist Johannes Fink and drummer Jan Leipnitz. Rounding out the group here is Michael Haves, invited to be at the wheel of the live processing.

The rhythmically interesting "Nether" touts a drifting flow, going along with a fresh beat-making that occasionally verges on dark industrial rock. With the conspicuous sousaphone vaulting the texture with its special tone, we also have a bass statement that ends up in a pitched murmur.

"K3" remains in a perpetual ambiguity and suspension regardless Leipnitz's intentional sizzling cymbals, whereas "Serenade" adopts a swinging posture, exhibiting the horn players in animated conversation before focusing on a long, one-note drone with noisy electronics atop.

"Tellus" brings Ullmann to the fore. At some point, he switches the acrobatic tenor sounds for a timid, multiphonic bass clarinet, being followed closely by octave-modulated brass and the measured fragmentation of the drums. Although enjoying total freedom, the bass ends up with a regular pulsation.

The highly experimental "Joja Romp" probes uncharted territories with a visionary multi-genre approach, revealing vague Eastern connotations in the melody before inhabiting a transitory darker space that leads to a 'batucada' cadence. Tropical bass flavors are added to connect the eclectic contemporary dots.

The eruptive "Mann Aus Dem Himmel" and the squirrelly improvised "5 Elements" fall into more traditional avant-garde territory. The former, marked by kinetic drumming and sturdy tenor, progressively emphasizes the electronics; the latter bears the energy of rock, which is complemented with croaking cello and Ullmann's defiant attitude on tenor in opposition to a more meditative and melodic course taken by Gschlossl on the trombone.

These musicians take absolute control of their instruments, making music that you've probably never heard before."-Filipe Freitas, JazzTrail

Get additional information at Jazz Trail
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