Label: Bear Family Records - 26264-4 BCD 16912 CO • Series: Der Jazz In Deutschland - Volume 4 • Format: 3x, CD Compilation • Country: Germany • Genre: Jazz • Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Jazz-Rock
Auf der Elbe schwimmt ein rosa Krokodil. Intakt CD In jedem Moment merkt man ihr die Lust am noch frischen Abenteuer des Experimentierens an. Es ist Jazz vonden man jetzt aktuell wiederentdecken kann - dreieinhalb Jahrzehnte nach seiner Entstehung.
Und es ist Musik von zeitlos faszinierender Spannung. Sie werden zitiert, umspielt, zersetzt und auf ein anderes Energie-Niveau gebracht. Dann wieder wirken sie ungemein hintersinnig.
Doch waren mit dem Hintersinn auch politische Botschaften verbunden? Keine ironische Distanz, sondern Identifikation mit dieser musikalisch-kulturell-politisch seltsamen Lage im Hier und Jetzt. Auch das zeigt, dass an dieser Musik nichts eindeutig ist. Roland Spiegel, Bayrischer Rundfunk, 7. April Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy, 58, As the sleevenotes comment, the image of a pink crocodile swimming on the Elbe is surreal, but maybe reminds us that a journey up the river, from Dresden in the East to Hamburg and the sea in the West, would not have been allowed then by the authorities.
This early glimpse into one of the great quartets of free jazz, unusual for its lack of a bassist, is relatively brief at only 36 minutes, but it's a rich and fascinating one.
Throughout, the music is incredibly free and, compared to their later work, not so groove-based. The title-track, by Sommer, is a rousing anthem.
This is a reissue of music recorded in March of and first released by the FMP label in The decades haven't diminished its fire and the fact that the group has reconvened Auf der Elbe schwimmt ein rosa Krokodil - Various - Der Jazz in Deutschland: Vom Jazz in Deutschland recorded occasionally through the years since marks this as the first document of an ongoing story.
Communal improvisation is the order of the day, but echoes of New Orleans polyphony are very distant. In the more voluble passages drummer Gunther Sommer comes on with Tony Oxley's hyperactivity, yet the music still keeps group integrity with Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky's alto sax notable for the way it avoids any relation to the work of others—such as Marion Brown or John Tchicai—in this musical area. Even at this relatively early stage of his career on record, Bauer shows how appreciative he was of his instrument's expressive capabilities.
His work on the title track forcibly makes the point, with the music seemingly coming in waves, as if the group had tapped some potent source of collective energy. Sommer, the Eigentlich Wollte Ich Nicht Nach Hannover - Bernd Begemann - Live, shows his worth here with pianist Ulrich Gumpert making his own presence felt with a measure of intensity all his own.
This however isn't entirely music without roots other than the ones the musicians 1.
Satz: Poco Adagio - Allegro - Ludwig van Beethoven - Beethoven Edition - The String Quartets nurturing in the moment. The idiosyncratic approach makes for a major injection of overt high spirits that might have the listener ruing the fact that it doesn't happen on record more often. Rainer Kobe, Jazzpodium, Deutschland, Juni The Germans blow their heads off and we all know what the English do.
Of course, this is a patent fiction and thankfully there are records like the debut slab of Synopsis, first issued by FMP in and now in digital form on Intakt. The fact that one is not waiting for a primed Bennink yell to break the silence enables one to relax and take in breath, coiled and tart sounds, upper-register plinks and massaging brushes. Sommer and Gumpert are a gorgeous tandem, symphonic arpeggios and a crystalline lushness, and their well-practiced duets offer a solid foundation for collectivity.
Clifford Allen, www. June Harri Uusitorppa, Helsingin Sanomat, Finland, 2. Elokuuta Keine Sorge, die freie Fraktion ist auch heute stark vertreten. Made My Day by Honker, Terz 09, Les balourdises intentionnelles, les soubresauts rythmiques, les souvenirs de piano stride, les vraies-fausses notes, tout y est. Dezember Matthias Creutziger, Deutschland, Maybe it could have been called The Great Unknown.
During the s, as these two exceptional sessions demonstrate, with Auf der Elbe schwimmt ein rosa Krokodil - Various - Der Jazz in Deutschland: Vom Jazz in Deutschland small group Synopsis — later renamed Zentralquartett — and his Workshop Band, the Berlin-based pianist was making music that was in many cases superior and definitely equal to any American sounds. Unfortunately Gumpert Auf der Elbe schwimmt ein rosa Krokodil - Various - Der Jazz in Deutschland: Vom Jazz in Deutschland his associates labored under a double whammy.
Not only were they playing in Europe — which for Yank jazzbos of the time was no more than a destination for out-of-work American legends — but they doing so in the Eastern Block when the Berlin Wall and the Cold War were still part of everyday life.
Throughout the three CDs here — recorded inand — especially in the later large ensemble sets, the influence of Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk and especially Charles Mingus is evident. But so too are sonic memories related to the Prussian marches, Germanic hymns. Organizationally, another parallel is noticeable, in particular on Auf der Elbe schwimmt ein rosa Krokodil, the earliest session.
When that interpolation is superseded by a syncopated folk melody, that riff is equally subsumed by emboldened spectrofluctuation and Aylerian screeches from saxophonist Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky and capillary tremolo braying from trombonist Conrad Bauer.
Rallying with kinetic dynamics, Gumpert rescues the tune from tumbling into serious musical kitsch before the finale, but not before Sommer beats out a burlesque march rhythm. Four and five years later an additional four voices give Gumpert and the others supplementary textures and colors that are utilized with brio in live performances.
Especially valuable is the thumping and walking bottom provided by bassist Klaus Kochwho for a time replaced Bauer in Synopsis. Here bell-ringing from the drummer and feverish piano slaps define the theme after a full-orchestra introduction is conveyed on wavering and hocketing chords. Evolving chromatically with stop-time episodes, the tune later makes room for irregular vibrato and altissimo timbres from Petrowsky. Further on, an unaccompanied broken-octave romp from Bauer introduces the tango that sounds more Arabic than Argentinean and is refined wEEd swAt - Various - Shit Noise 100 swelling peeps and split tones from the reeds.
Sardonically original, some pieces on the disc manage to shoehorn Germanic marches as often as big band swing into the performances. The later manages to find room for atmospheric cymbal echoes, gong resonation and yodeling from Sommer — who composed the tune — with Ziggy Elman-like lead trumpeting plus barnyard sonic approximations from the brass and harsh split-tone cries and tongue slaps from the reeds.
As the trumpeter and trombonist whiz by with arching triplet slurs, Sommer smacks and drags beats from his kit and Gumpert dynamically fans the keys so that the resulting portamento link chromatically prods the piece forward. Following staccatissimo horn action, pitched well above normal range, the reeds continuous repeat a distinct and newer leitmotif as the pianist softens his touch for a climatic summation.
For contrast however, on top of inchoate pulses from the horns, Gumpert transforms metronomic tinkles to downward stair-step runs and Petrowsky extends his biting multiphonics with chirps and glottal punctuation. Stop-time, the circling horns then reach a crescendo of connected Auf der Elbe schwimmt ein rosa Krokodil - Various - Der Jazz in Deutschland: Vom Jazz in Deutschland with Mingus-influenced orchestral vamps and flutters.
A glissando from the pianist wraps up the performance. Too many listeners missed out on these first-class discs first time out. Everyone benefits. Ken Waxman, Jazzword, January 7, They changed it to Zentralquartett around Since their subsequent releases have all been on Intakt, it seems only fitting that the Swiss label reissue that august first statement.
Not merely a Free improvising unit, this was a group that threw all sorts of elements into their mix, long before it was fashionable: original compositions, folk tunes, schmaltz, African influenced tunes, Free improv. Thrown into the blender of these four players and the music came out a unique blend quite different from other FMP releases of the time.
And because of that, this record tended to be undervalued at the time of its release. Yet all of the strengths Sabertooth Tiger - Cage The Elephant - Live From The Vic In Chicago (DVD, Album) this group are to the fore on this disc.
Come un coccodrillo rosa nelle acque dell'Elba, un quartetto free nella DDR dei primi anni Settanta The Shepherd - Culture - International Herb sembrare una bestia alquanto bizzarra.
Notevole anche il duetto Bauer-Petrowsky nella lapidaria "Zweisam," mentre la title track riprende il bellissimo finale della traccia di apertura per ricavarne un ulteriore dose d'incanto lirico e scintille.
Il sipario cala con il free-folk della danzante "Mehr aus teutschen landen," prefigurazione al recente, e bellissimo, 11 Songs - Aus Teutschenn Landen, disco interamente dedicato alla rilettura di antiche melodie germaniche. Che dire?
Di tanto in tanto, tra Magdeburgo e Dessau, capita ancora che un qualche pescatore riferisca di aver avvistato un coccodrillo rosa nuotare nelle acque dell'Elba. Valutazione: 4. To Intakt Website: home.
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