The Squid's Ear Magazine


Skein (Kaufmann / Gratkowski / de Joode): Spectra & Affrays (Klanggalerie)

Describing their improvisation as a chemical reaction of positive and negative ions, the central trio of the ensemble Skein--Achim Kaufmann (piano), Frank Gratkowski (winds) and Wilbert de Joode (bass)--are heard in this incredible 2018 concert at Konfrontationen Festival as a septet with Tony Buck (drums), Richard Barrett (electronics), Liz Allbee (trumpet) and Uchihashi Kazuhisa (guitar).
 

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Personnel:



Frank Gratkowski-alto saxophone, bass clarinet, flute

Wilbert de Joode-bass

Tony Buck-drums

Richard Barrett-electronics

Kazuhisa Uchihashi-guitar

Achim Kaufmann-piano

Liz Allbee-trumpet


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UPC: 5052571011522

Label: Klanggalerie
Catalog ID: GG422
Squidco Product Code: 32862

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: Germany
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded live at the Konfrontationen Festival, in Nickelsdorf, Germany, on july 20th, 2018, by Hans Holler.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"In early 2002, Achim Kaufmann, Frank Gratkowski and Wilbert de Joode first got together as a trio at a small venue in Amsterdam. Since then, the three musicians have been touring and performing internationally on a regular basis, while constantly developing, deepening and enriching their musical rapport now documented on five CDs so far: kwast on Konnex; Unearth on Nuscope; Palae and Oblengths on Leo Records; and Geader on Gligg Records.

To celebrate their ten-year anniversary as a trio in 2013, Kaufmann/Gratkowski/de Joode invited Richard Barrett, Tony Buck, and Okkyung Lee to form the sextet Skein which led to a series of concerts and a release on Leo Records in 2014. An extended version of Skein performed at the 2016 Berlin jazz fest, and the original Skein line-up came back together again to perform at the 2017 Kaleidophon festival in Ulrichsberg, Austria. In 2018 Skein performed the first time in the actual septet formation at the Konfrontationen Festival Nickelsdorf and in 2021 at the Klangspuren Festival Schwaz."-Klanggalerie

"The music is very much like a chemical reaction as maybe seen from the inside. Sounds are discontinuous and fragmented; the decomposing anions and cations oscillate under their own electrostatic charges to form new links where they can, rather than where they are willed, until one must wonder if any of the equations will ever reach equilibrium. This is a fine album of startlingly free improvisation. It's spectacular."-Ken Cheeetham, Jazz Views


Artist Biographies

"Frank Gratkowski, saxophone. Born in Hamburg, 1963.

Started playing the saxophone at 16 and, following a period at the Hamburg Conservatory (Hamburger Musikhochschule), moved in 1985 to study at the Cologne Conservatory of Music with Heiner Wiberny, graduating in 1990.

Further studies with Charlie Mariano, Sal Nistico and Steve Lacy.

Frank Gratkowski has been working as a soloist in various international formations (Grubenklang Orchester, Klaus Koenig Orchester, Musikfabrik NRW, Tony Oxley Celebration Orchestra, Bentje Braam, BikBentBraam, All Ears, Zeitkratzer, WDR Big band, etc.). Since 1990 he has been giving solo performances throughout Europe, Canada and USA. With his first solo program, he was a 1991 prizewinner in the Musik Kreativ contest. The release of the solo CD "Artikulationen" followed the same year and a new one "Artikulationen II" in 2002.

Since 1992 he has been working in a duo with the pianist Georg Graewe (CD "VicissEtudes"). The duo is often extended through the participation of different additional musicians, such as drummer Paul Lovens (CD "Quicksand") and bassist John Lindberg (CD "Arrears").

In 1995 he founded the "Frank Gratkowski Trio" with Dieter Manderscheid (Germany), bass, and Gerry Hemingway (USA), drums, (CDs "Gestalten" and "The Flume Factor" ). In 2000 the trio has been extended to a quartet by Dutch trombonist Wolter Wierbos (CDs "Kollaps", "Spectral Reflections", "Facio" and "Le Vent et la Gorge"). Since 2003 also appearing as a Double Quartet plus Tobias Delius, Herb Robertson, Wilbert DeJoode and Michael Vatcher. In 2005 he got the SWR Jazzprize.

In 1999 the duo with the Italian trombonist Sebastiano Tramontana has been formed and since 2001 Frank Gratkowski has been performing with a trio including Wilbert De Jode (NL) on bass and Achim Kaufmann (D) on piano (CDs "Kwast" and "Unearth"). Since 2006 he's working with the Trio Gratkowski / Brown / Winant (CDs "Wake" and "Vermilion Traces/Donaueschingen 2009"). He is also a co-leader / composer of the Multiple Joy[ce] Orchestra and got a commission to compose for the ensemble Apartment House by "November Music " (Den Bosch NL) and the "Huddersfield Comtemporary Music Fesitival" (England) in 2009. Further actual projects are Fo[u]r Alto, a saxophone ensemble dedicated to microtonal music and "Artikulationen E" a solo program for saxophone with 8 channel live electronic.

Frank Gratkowski played on nearly every German and on numerous international Jazz and contemporary music Festivals including Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Quebec, Les Mans, Muelhuus, Groeningen, Nickelsdorf, Barcelona, Lithuania, Warsaw, Zagreb, Prague, Bratislava, Sofia, Bucharest, Odessa and Roma, Huddersfield, London.

He has been teaching saxophone and ensembles at the Cologne, Berlin and Arnhem Conservatory of Music and is giving workshops all around the world.

Furthermore he has performed with Robert Dick, Phil Wachsmann, Radu Malfatti, Herb Robertson, Marcio Mattos, Eugenio Colombo, Peter Kowald, Ray Anderson, Michael Moore, Ken Vandermark, Greg Osby, Kenny Wheeler, Louis Sclavis, John Betsch, Jane Ira Bloom, Connie and Hannes Bauer, Xu Fengxia, James Newton, Muhal Richard Abrams, John Lindberg, Michael Formaneck, Ernst Reijseger, Fred van Hove, Theo Jörgensmann, Phil Minton, Peter Brötzmann, Mark Dresser, Mark Feldman, Hamid Drake, Michiel Braam, Han Bennink, Mal Waldron, Misha Mengelberg a.m.o."

-Frank Gratkowski Website (http://gratkowski.com/biography/)
7/10/2024

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"Wilbert de Joode (1955) is a veritable research scientist of bass pizzicato and bowing techniques. A self-taught musician, he has been playing the double-bass since 1982. He began working in groups that improvised within a jazz framework. Other musicians were soon drawn to his idiosyncratic style, and in the mid 80s he played in groups led by Vera Vingerhoeds, Armando Cairo and Ig Henneman where he further developed his improvisation skills. He came into contact with such musicians as J.C.Tans, Rinus Groeneveld, Michiel Braam, Han Bennink, Han Buhrs (Schismatics) and Ab Baars.

De Joode is currently one of the most active bass players on the European improvised music circuit. His individual style and musicality transforms the double bass into an equal partner in the most varied ensembles. A personal tone colour, exploration of the outer registers, quirky improvisations and the use of gut strings contribute to an instantly recognizable and intriguing sound.

The seventeen improvised pieces on his first solo cd Olo (distributed by ToonDist) show how rich and complex his sound on the double bass is."

-DOEK Festival Website (http://www.doek.org/project/wilbert-de-joode/)
7/10/2024

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"Born in Sydney in 1962, Tony is regarded as one of Australia's most creative and adventurous exports, with vast experience across the globe. He has been involved in a highly diverse array of projects. Apart from The Necks, he is probably best known as leader of hardcore/impro band PERIL.

Early in his musical life, after having graduated from the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, he became very involved in the jazz scene in Australia, often touring with visiting international artists such as Vincent Herring, Clifford Jordan, Mickey Tucker, Branford Marsalis and Ernie Watts, as well as Australians Mark Simmonds, Paul Grabowsky, The catholics, Sandy Evans and Dale Barlow.

Following time spent in Japan, where he formed PERIL with Otomo Yoshihide and Kato Hideki, Tony moved to Europe, and has involved himself in many projects there, including the development of new "virtual" MIDI controllers at STEIM in Amsterdam.

Tony has played, toured or recorded with, among others, Jon Rose, Nicolas Collins, Tenko, John Zorn, Tom Cora, Phil Minton, Haino, Switchbox, The Machine for Making Sense, Ne Zhdall, The EX, Peter Brotzmann, Hans Reichel, The Little Red Spiders, Subrito Roy Chowdury, Clifford Jordan, Kletka Red, Han Bennink, Shelley Hirsch, Wayne Horvitz, Palinckx, and Ground Zero."

-The Necks Website (http://www.thenecks.com/bio)
7/10/2024

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"Richard Barrett (Swansea, 1959) is internationally active as composer and performer, and also teaches at the Institute of Sonology in Den Haag. In December 2020 he was appointed to a new professorship in Research in Creative Music at the University of Leiden. His work encompasses a range from free improvisation to intricately-notated scores, and from acoustic chamber music to innovative uses of digital technology. Current projects include a major new cycle of works for the ELISION Ensemble, with whom Richard Barrett has been working regularly since 1990, and for the Chicago-based Fonema Consort. Ongoing performative collaborations include with Paul Obermayer (in FURT), Evan Parker, and several other improvising ensembles such as SKEIN (with Achim Kaufmann, Frank Gratkowski, Wilbert de Joode and others) and Colophony (with Jon Rose and Meinrad Kneer). Richard Barrett's principal composition teacher was Peter Wiegold, and he currently resides in Belgrade. His work as composer and performer is documented on over forty CDs, including seven discs devoted to his compositions and nine by FURT. In October 2020 he set up the digital label STRANGE STRINGS together with harpist Milana Zarić. His book Music of Possibility was published by Vision Edition in 2019."

-Richard Barrett Website (https://richardbarrettmusic.com/biography.html)
7/10/2024

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

"Kazuhisa Uchihashi (内橋和久, Uchihashi Kazuhisa) is a Japanese guitarist involved in free improvisation music. Born in 1959 in Osaka, Uchihashi began to play the guitar at age 12, playing in various rock bands, though he later studied jazz music. In 1988 he joined the band the First Edition, and in 1990 formed the band Altered States. He was also a member of Otomo Yoshihide's Ground Zero from 1994 to 1997. Uchihashi also plays daxophone, and in addition to his role as a free improviser, Uchihashi has been the musical director for Osaka theatre group Ishinha, has held improvisation workshops (a project known as New Music Action) in various cities in Japan, as well as London, Oslo, and currently in Vienna also. Uchihashi has set up his own record label, Innocent Records a.k.a. Zenbei Records, had held a music festival annually since 1996 Festival BEYOND INNOCENCE."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazuhisa_Uchihashi)
7/10/2024

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"Achim Kaufmann was born into a musical family in Aachen, Germany, in 1962, and became fascinated by jazz and the possibilities of improvisation as a teenager. He started writing tunes around that time. Later he studied music at the Conservatory in Cologne and also took classes with creative masters such as Dave Holland, Steve Coleman, Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Steve Lacy.

From 1996 to 2009, he lived in Amsterdam where he became part of that city's internationally renowned improvised music scene.Since 2002, he has been touring internationally with the trio Kaufmann/Gratkowski/de Joode, an improvising unit which has released four CDs so far, to much critical acclaim.

In the late '90s and '00s, Achim led two groups with reed player Michael Moore: trio kamosc and gueuledeloup quartet.In 2007, he recorded kyrill, a set of compositions for piano trio featuring Valdi Kolli and Jim Black. Their follow-up cd, entitled verivyr, was released in 2011.

He has also collaborated with his wife, poet/painter Gabriele Guenther, on the audiodrama Borderline - From the Shadows of a Journey, and has written music for various chamber ensembles.In his solo work, mixed techniques are used to create a fluctuating world of sounds and gestures. Resonance and reverberation, space and density play an important role in both his solo and ensemble work.

Since his move to Berlin, he got involved in various new projects, such as the trio grünen with Robert Landfermann and Christian Lillinger, Oni Kramler (with Matthias Schubert, Antonio Borghini, and various guests), and a trio with cellist Okkyung Lee and trumpeter Axel Dörner.

In 2013, the sextet SKEIN (Kaufmann/Gratkowski/de Joode plus Richard Barrett, Okkyung Lee, and Tony Buck) had its premiere at the dOeK festival in Amsterdam and subsequently recorded for SWR radio.

He recently released duo albums with long-standing collaborators Michael Moore and Thomas Heberer.

In addition, Achim has played and/or recorded with Han Bennink, Mark Dresser, George Lewis, Steve Swallow, Tobias Delius, Wolter Wierbos, Mark Helias, Paul Rutherford, Thomas Lehn, Ab Baars, Paul Lovens, Dylan van der Schyff, Peggy Lee, Chris Speed, Tomász Stanko, Gerd Dudek, Bill Elgart, Paul Lytton, Harri Sjöström, Andrea Parkins, Harris Eisenstadt, Ingrid Laubrock, Tristan Honsinger, Shelley Hirsch, Steve Swell, Thomas Heberer, Urs Leimgruber, Roger Turner, Fay Victor, Fred Lonberg-Holm, John Hollenbeck, Bob Brookmeyer, Simon Nabatov, Lê Quan Ninh, Gerry Hemingway, John Hébert, Al Foster, Adam Nussbaum, and many more.

He was awarded the German SWR Jazz Award in 2001, and the prestigious Albert Mangelsdorff award in 2015.

"For many years, Achim Kaufmann has been one of the most inspiring and exciting personalities of the European jazz and improvisation scene. His music bears witness to great harmonic subtlety and structural depth. A brilliant pianist and composer, his reflected exploration of tradition has led him to a nuanced, contemporary sound language that encompasses poetry, energy and abstraction in equal measure." "-Julia Neupert, SWR radio

-Achim Kaufmann Website (http://www.achimkaufmann.com/bio.html)
7/10/2024

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

"Liz Allbee (1976) is a composer-performer who works with the imaginarchic potential of sonic material. Recurring themes in her work include extensions & embodiments and their interplay with instruments, everyday objects, and high and low technologies. She is fascinated by the gutteral, protolinguistic qualities of musical voices and bodies. She performs often with her trumpet, quad-trumpet, voice, and electronics.

She has performed at Maerzmusik, Darmstadt, Donaueschingen, Huddersfield, Ostrava Days, Serralves, Bolzano Museum of Fine Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Berlin JazzFest, NorbergFestival, CTM, and Berghain, among others."

-Liz Allbee Website (http://lizallbee.net/wp/liz-allbee/about/)
7/10/2024

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Track Listing:



1. In Which They Are At Home 16:26

2. Unbreakable, Their Bodies 24:51

3. Suggesting A Thousand Stones 13:43

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Australian Improvisers, Composers and Experimenters
Asian Improvisation & Jazz
Innocent
Septet recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Last Copy of Items that will not be restocked...

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Klanggalerie.


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