D

Komponist  | Improvisator  | Interpret

Violine  | Viola  |  Fidel  |  Rebec  |  Lyrica  |  Stimme

EN

Melancholie


„Melencolia basiert auf Abrecht Dürers Kupferstich von 1514, das während der schreckliche Bauernkriege in Deutschland entstand. Hier gelingt es diesen prominenten Jazz- und Avantgarde-Künstler die Melancholie mit der helleren Seite des Lebens zu verbinden ... Manchmal jagen sie die Dämonen weg oder arbeiten in welligen Strömen und rätselhafte Passagen. Im "Teil 5," vermittelt Maurer einen Hauch von europäischer Folk-, spielt Morphing-Free-Jazz-Aspekte in einer wahnsinnigen Kette von Ereignissen, während Jörgensmann mit anmutigen Farbtönen, linearen Verläufen, Zirkular-Atmung und gelegentlich mit geradezu heiligen Linien den Klang abrundet ... Die Künstler koordinieren das Beste aus verschiedensten musikalischen Welten und führen mit eigenständiger Identität durch musikalische Höhen und Tiefen. Dabei gestalten sie mit lebhaftem künstlerischen Scharfsinn und überlegener Musikalität und erschaffen wegweisende Visionen“

von Glen Astarita 2012, All About Jazz, USA


„Melencolia ist ein sehr gutes Album von Stegreif Konstruktionen, angereichert durch musikalisches Können auf höchstem Niveau, Bruchstücke der instrumentellen Visionen perfekt in einem "first take" Kontext zusammengefügt, fast unglaubwürdig angesichts der lebendigen Exaktheit der Großteil der Musik.... In jedem Moment ertönt auch in Anwesenheit freudloser Stimmungen verheißungsvolles ... Und dies alles ohne eine einzige Episode von öligem Manierismus. Ein "laudamus" ist wohlverdient.“ 

Massimo Ricci Juli 2012, Italien Touching Extrems


„Jörgensmann und Maurer sind Ausnahmemusiker. Ihr konzeptioneller Faden verbindet die einzelnen Stücke durch einem gemeinsamen Ton und ihre innere Haltung ... Das Album Melencolia enthält unerwartete und faszinierende Musik, die sicherlich eigenständig ist, aber was ich ebenso an ihrer Vision zu schätzen weiß, ist die Vielseitigkeit der Assoziationen - wie sie die ganze „verdammte“ Geschichte der Melancholie - sie in Bewegung umsetzen...“

aus „A fickle Sonanze“ von Art Lange 2011 Point of Departure USA

Summer Works



A live Composition Festival!

Most of us know the wisdom of the old saying: "too many cooks spoil the broth". What occurs when, not one, but four composers share the responsibility for a real-time performance work? The Rivière Ensemble chosen by bassist Kent Carter for the summer 2009 session answered this question with eloquence and beauty. Aside the sheer acoustic richness in the setting of two winds interacting with two strings, it is the stunning reality of how collective creativity can surpass the individual composing-imposing mode that makes this CD a unique experience.Some parts of this magic can be examined analytically: the connections between these improvising composers go back twenty-five years. 


In this quarter of a century, they were able to explore all facets of writing, while performing and recording each other’s ideas not to mention fun evenings around a meal and a drink. This familiarity gave all present the confidence to go beyond personal wishes notated on paper and to take up the challenge of embracing the unknown. Then what about element of surprise essential to any spontaneous musical meeting? The fact that this particular quartet formation was new to all more than kept us all on our toes. The listening process from duo to trio to quartet set-ups changes dramatically, the latter often clamouring for more space. 


What impresses me the most (now as a listener) is the collective control of form. This type of sensitivity involves not only listening intensely to the present moment but imagining the formal arch of the composition while actually storing the memory of what has been played, thus enabling the music to propel itself forward free from redundancy. At each step of the creative process, all members of the quartet are tracking the evolution of the blossoming artistic entity. Then, mysteriously, in places of extreme liberating density, the composers came to the realisation that they were simultaneously serving the course of the musical stream itself. Without any false mysticism, this sonic reality may be referred to as a high acoustic consciousness that supersedes the rational side of the brain by directly targeting the artistic soul. This state is a rare and and exquisite one, displaying the coordination of aural information, instrumental reflex and formal perception within the quartet. The intensity never dropped nor left the stage for even a second. 


These are concerts that we all dream about and hope to experience within a lifetime. Fortunately for those not present, the recording was excellent, the mastering handled with care without a detail lost thus guaranteeing the emotional impact of the session. I feel as if I have co-signed a score written in the heavens and am extremely proud to have been a part of the Rivière Composers Module.


Etienne Rolin march 2010

Jink


With multilayered developments the band generates hyper-minimalism and jagged loop type passages...


It’s a fluid and prismatic session, where the musicians also delve into avant-chamber stylizations...


Yet we wouldn’t expect anything less from these consummate instrumentalists who sound like they’ve been performing as a unit for decades, which of course isn’t the case. Overall, there’s quite a bit to excite one’s neural network here. It’s hip, heady and wildly entertaining!

Glenn Astarita, Jazzreview.com, Feb. 2009



Liner Note deutsch


TRIO HOT - ein Name, der Erinnerungen weckt an all diejenigen Bands, die sich rund um die Hot Clubs der 30er Jahre des Jazz in Europa formierten und damals einen regelrechten Flächenbrand auslösten.TRIO HOT besteht aus dem Geiger und Gründer der Band, Albrecht Maurer, ebenfalls festes Mitglied verschiedener Streichensembles, so z. B. im Kent Carter String Trio, Theo Jörgensmann, einer der zeitgenössischen Meister auf der Klarinette und Kontrabassist Peter Jacquemyn, ein Schüler von Peter Kowald, um dessen Person sich weitere unzählige Legenden ranken und der exemplarisch für neuen Erfindungsreichtum steht.

In der Jazzgeschichte wurde die Klarinette mit Streichinstrumenten zum ersten Mal während der Swing-Ära unter Bandleadern wie Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Stephane Grappelli oder Joe Venuti zusammengebracht. Für viele Jahre in Vergessenheit geraten, setzten Westküstenmusiker die Tradition des Klarinettenspiels auf eindrucksvolle Art und Weise fort. So tauchten beide Instrumente etwa zur gleichen Zeit auf beiden Seiten des Atlantiks wieder auf. Die erste Welle des Free-Jazz vereinigte sie bei gleichberechtigten Instrumentalgruppen, ein Trend, der sich dann fortsetzte als "freie Musik" mehr und mehr vom Mainstream abwich.


Die Musik auf JINK, was übersetzt soviel heißt wie Überraschungsmoment, hat nur wenig Ähnlichkeit mit der Musik, die von den damaligen kleinen Swing-Ensembles gespielt wurde. Nichtsdestotrotz, strebt jedes Stück kontinuierlich nach Ausdruck, eine Bewegung Straight into zelebriert das Vergnügen und Zusammenspiel von Anfang bis Ende, Eigenschaften, die sich unzweifelhaft in anderen Musikstilistiken finden lassen und nicht unbedingt zum Jazz dieser Ära gehören. Nicht zuletzt, ist es das, was die Musik und Filmdokumentation dieser Zeit belegen. Obwohl man hier nicht von Swing-Musik sprechen kann, hat das eine oder andere Stück durchaus Dance-Feeling, hervorgerufen und intensiviert durch Ausbrüche der Violine oder der Klarinette. In dieser Hinsicht bündelt die Interpretation von Thelonius Monks Round Midnight als einzige Komposition der 12 ansonsten komplett improvisierten Stücke, die vielen, manchmal kontrastierenden, aber immer zeitgenössischen Aspekte von JINK. Dabei offenbart sich Monks Komposition erst sehr spät - auf dem mit rund 14 Minuten längsten Track der CD. Sechs der Stücke sind hingegen kaum länger als vier Minuten, und außer dem obengenannten dauert keines mehr als 10 Minuten. Bevor das weltbekannte Thema von Monk nach 11 Minuten von der Klarinette und dicht von der Violine gefolgt, gespielt wird, ereignen sich einige geräuschhafte Atonalitäten gefüllt mit abstrakten Einsprengseln neuer Musik. Die Musiker agieren kontrastiv und die Dynamik entlädt sich in einer Kollektiv-improvisation - tonal an dieser Stelle - wo auch kurz Albrecht Maurer`s Countertenor-Stimme zu hören ist (irgendwo anders hört man die schamanenartige Stimme des Bassisten)


Albrecht Maurer, Theo Jörgensmann, Peter Jacquemyn - drei erfahrene Improvisatoren, Ausnahmesolisten, die auf JINK erdige Musik kredenzen und weder vor der Konfrontation mit oder der Komplexität ihrer Instrumente zurckschrecken. Und sie erreichen dies mit Hilfe einer spontanen Art musikalischer Architektur, ein Motiv, das sich kontinuierlich mal melodiös, geräuschhaft, lyrisch, kontrapunktisch, spielerisch, erzählerisch, abstrakt, darstellt. Ein gesamtes Universum - einzigartig das von TRIO HOT.

Liner Note von Philippe Elhem

Hidden fresco


Experimentell, lauernd und wissbegierig, die Musik von Maurer und Rodenkirchen auf Hidden Fresco hat viele reizvolle Schichten, die sich abschälen lassen und die dabei verklingen wie Glockengeläut.” 

George Harris - All about Jazz /Jan. 2007, USA


... Rodenkirchen and Maurer both holding status as composers in their own right, the proceedings follow the logic of written music as much as improvisational whims, lending the pieces both shaded delicacy and free immediacy. This recordings is a living proof that the innovations begotten by freedom are not just melodic or rhythmic, but also of possibility. 

Clifford Allen - All About Jazz/July 2007, USA 


Like every other Nemu release, this is a gorgeous example of over average sonic craftmanship, a record whose beauty does not depend on genres or classifications. - Massimo Ricci -July2007 Rom www.touchingextremes.com / Italy


Maurer and Rodenkirchen are both technical masters; their incorporation of percussive effects, chords, and rapid lines portray sympathetic artists who are able to push the boundaries of archaic instrumentation to express a full range of emotion.”

John Barron - JazzReview.com / 03.2007



So you can relax if you thought that you were in for a jam session of crumhorns and sackbuts! And I must admit that after careful listening, there is a lot of skill at play here. Both players are carefully listening to one another and playing off each other ... there are some who will appreciate the evident talent of these two players.”

Steven Ritter - audaud.com / 02. 2007


Leonardo Text zu HIDDEN FRESCO aus dem Traktat über die Malerei

 XXXI  MS.ASH.I.fol.22v


Art, den Geist zu bereichern und zu verschiedenen Erfindungen aufzuwecken

Ich kann nicht umhin, unter diese Vorschriften eine neue Art von Spekulation zu setzen, die, obschon sie unbedeutend erscheinen mag und fast des Lachens würdig, nichtsdestoweniger von großer Nützlichkeit ist, den Geist zu verschiedenen Erfindungen aufzuwecken, und das ist, wenn du in allerlei Gemäuer hineinschaust, das mit vielfachen Farben beschmutzt ist, oder in Gestein von verschiedener Mischung,- hast du da irgendwelche Szenerie zu erfinden, so wirst du dort Ähnlichkeiten mit diversen Landschaften finden, die mit Bergen geschmückt sind, Flüsse, Felsen, Bäume,- Ebenen, große Täler und Hügel in wechselvoller Art; auch wirst du dort allerlei Schlachten sehen, und lebhafte Gebärden von Figuren, sonderbare Physiognomien und Trachten und unendlich viele Dinge, die du auf eine vollkommene und gute Form zurückbringen kannst. Und ist mit solchen Mauern und Gemisch wie mit dem Klang von Glocken, dass du in ihren Schlägen jeden Namen und jede Vokabel finden kannst, so du auszudenken vermagst.


“... Das Geiger und Flötist in vielen Stilen bewandert sind, vom Mittelalter bis zum Free Jazz, zeigen ihre Kompositionen und Improvisationen... Das Duo Maurer/Rodenkirchen lässt der Fantasie Spielraum, die Musik "Hidden Fresco" wirkt zugleich frei und gebunden wie beim Betrachten verwitterter Mauern.” - Marianne Kierspel - Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger / 12.2006



Geradewegs in die Gegenwart – Hidden Fresco: Reizvolles Abschiedskonzert im Museum Schnütgen


Musik im Spannungsfeld von Mittelalter und Gegenwart...was der Zuhörer auf der Basis einzelner floskelhafter Zitate erlebte, waren höchste klangsinnliche zeitgenössische Improvisationen... Das klang dann – und nur im allerbesten Sinne- wirklich alt. Ganz ursprünglich sogar. Das war Musik. - Manfred Müller, Kölner Rundschau/31.Juli 2007



“Ein Klangerlebnis der ganz besonderen Art.” - Rheinisches Landes Museum Bonn / 2006



“Ein Improvisationsmeeting der besonderen Art: Norbert Rodenkirchen, der international gefragte Mittelalterspezialist, trifft auf den renommierten Improvisationskünstler Albrecht Maurer...Ihr Klang ist getränkt von ihrer archaischen Herkunft und führt die Spieler immer wieder zurück zu imaginären Wurzeln.” - Martin Woltersdorf - Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger / 2005



“Oddball combination of gothic fiddle and medieval flutes... Improv duets with an almost Asian feel in both instruments. Nice.” - www.sonic.net



Op Hidden Fresco bespeelt hij de gothic fiddle, een middeleeuws instrument. Rodemkirchen, een specialist in het spelen van middeleeuwse muziek, bedient zich ook van oude instrumente. Maar de tween maken geen pseudo-middeleeuwse muziek – ze improvisieren, waarbij ze gebruikmaken van de unieke klanken van hun instrumenten. Door de andere stemming daarvan klinkt het resultaat niet als hedendaagse, Westerse muziek. De zweverige klanken hebben iets onaards, maar tegelijkertijd wordt er door middel van zeer hedendaagse speeltechnieken voorkomen dat er een soort New Age-muziek ontstaat. Soms doet de muziek (midden-)oosters aan, soms volksmuziekachtig, maar in alle gevallen volstrekt. Uniek, ... Toch ook wel weer Europees. - Herman te Loo - jazzflits 05.2007, Netherlands

Hymnen an die Nacht


Propojení nástrojů je nejen vyrovnané, oba improvizátoři svými výkony skutečně oslňují, nejde tu totiž o pouhou návaznost nástrojů, nýbrž o jejich prostupnost, o spontánní souznění i protiznění. A tak když poslech celého alba absolvujeme, uvědomíme si, že jsme se stali svědky celistvého obratníku nálad a pocitů, což v nás ještě dlouho doznívá. Takovou melancholii, plnou naléhavosti, protikladnosti, úzkostnosti, ale i optimismu, si dám líbit!


Kulturni Magazin, Tschechien

Loplop´s Call


Peter Kuller - Jazz Presenter Radio Adelaide, JPL "Jazz from Down Under"


Received “Loplop’s Call” Challenging and interesting music which is not for everybody, but I rather like it! Will feature this music in my playlists for months to come. Best Wishes and Regards,

 


Herman te Loo JazzFlits (NL)


Dit nieuwe album, ‘Loplop’s Call’, is een opvolger van het al even prachtige ‘Hidden Fresco’ (2006). Violist Albrecht Maurer en fluitist Norbert Rodenkirchen brengen hun expertise uit de klassieke, middeleeuwse en volksmuziek samen in twaalf improvisaties ge.nspireerd door het werk van Max Ernst. Deze Duitse übersurrealist bedacht ooit de vogel Loplop, een raar hybride wezen. Daarmee is het een mooie metafoor voor de ongrijpbare

muziek van de twee Duitse muzikanten. Speels, elegant en niet gehinderd door genrebeperkingen zwieren de twee zich door elkaars composities heen of improviseren vrij of op een Turks volksliedje (‘Zeynebim’). Bovendien bedienen ze zich van oude instrumenten, de ‘gothic fiddle’ (een middeleeuwse viool) en de traverso (een voorloper van de moderne dwarsfluit). De stemming van deze instrumenten is niet de hedendaagse, gelijkzwevende, en ook dat maakt de muziek fascinerend. Net als de vogel van de titel fladderen ze soms door de ruimte, dagen elkaar uit en komen zo tot de mooiste tweestemmige samenklanken (of soms driestemmig, als Maurer zijn stem mee laat doen). 



March 10, 2014 · by tomtintle · in Jazz · Leave a comment


Fiddles and Flutes creating attractive/adventurous duets.  Sometimes composed…others improvised.  This would fit in the avant/ contemporary clssical box.  Even at its most adventurous , this remains accessible to the open eared.



Ken Pickering, Vancouver, December 2014


"Been enjoying this album of violin & flute duets immensely - early music improv with liner notes by our own Nou Dadoun.“

Loplop´s Call


Glenn Astarita, 15. März 2014 All About Jazz


German and international music scene stalwarts, violinist Albrecht Maurer and flutist Norbert Rodenkirchen juxtapose the visual arts with music, focusing on German surrealist painter Max Ernst's ideologies, poetry, and techniques duly noted in the album liners. Here, the duo casts a hybrid, folk, jazz, and classical muse while bringing a polytonal agenda to the forefront, and uncannily melding a sense of antiquity with a newfangled complexion. These aspects are partly attributed to Maurer's use of a gothic fiddle that forges a pastoral musical climate. 


One of the many rewarding factors here pertains to the duo's continual sense of vibrancy and disparate plot developments. They wade through menacing vistas, but also integrate numerous melodic hooks amid thorny unison breakouts and hearty improv excursions during extended bridge workouts. Maurer's rustic sounding gothic fiddle adds a sense of nostalgia. As the musicians decompose and rebuild themes along with lavish sound-shaping maneuvers while sustaining an innate rhythmic vibe throughout. 


"Wall Ums Rot" is devised on Maurer's droning fiddle lines and Rodenkirchen's soul-searching flute phrasings, dappled with ominous overtones. However, the preponderance of this set is upbeat and highlights the musicians' resourcefulness. On "Kachinas," their whimsical improvisational escapades are rhythmically enhanced by Maurer's string plucking and soaring staccato lines, conjoined with Rodenkirchen's linear alto flute patterns, bearing an impassioned jazz-centric groove. They create tension, yet on other tracks the artists seamlessly fuse beauty, eloquence, and hard-hitting exchanges, largely framed on tuneful motifs. The final piece "Peggy," is modeled with nimble string movements and Rodenkirchen's pirouetting developments over the top. Overall, the duo's glaring ingenuity and synergistic interplay, yields a full-blown artistic experience that offers a 360-degree value-add, streaming with qualitative output.

Hidden Fresco


Similarly unique, Hidden Fresco presents improvisations on early European instruments (Gothic fiddle and flute/harp) from Kent Carter collaborator Albrecht Maurer and musicologist/performer Norbert Rodenkirchen. Like the Kent Carter String Trio which its aesthetic somewhat resembles, the Maurer-Rodenkirchen duo strives for a uniquely compositional bent, with steadily lilting themes and a decidedly orchestral weight behind pieces...The recording quality is among the best I’ve heard; cranked at a decent volume, one literally feels as though in a hall with the pair. One can almost sense the bodily movement of the players, so real is the sound and the space it occupies. Rarely does audio trump musical content, but in this case, they might be on equal footing.

... Rodenkirchen and Maurer both holding status as composers in their own right, the proceedings follow the logic of written music as much as improvisational whims, lending the pieces both shaded delicacy and free immediacy. This recordings is a living proof that the innovations begotten by freedom are not just melodic or rhythmic, but also of possibility. - Clifford Allen - All About Jazz/July 2007, USA 


The name of Albrecht Maurer kept ringing a bell in my head, then I suddenly remembered him as a part of a fantastic Emanem project by Kent Carter's String Trio; conversely, this is my first meeting with Rodenkirchen. Both artists are virtuosos in their respective trades, coming from different backgrounds that somehow found a perfect trait d'union in the music they perform as a duo. Using gothic violin, medieval flutes and harp, the couple conceived an album containing almost one hour of outstanding music, motivated by many factors but definitely sounding like a strange brew of middle age, native Indian and traditional Asian, the whole in a modern classical dress. Even more impressive is the fact that this stuff is mostly improvised, because the bulk of the pieces contained in "Hidden fresco" is more or less comparable to scored compositions with just a modicum of variations ... Like every other Nemu release, this is a gorgeous example of over average sonic craftmanship, a record whose beauty does not depend on genres or classifications. - Massimo Ricci - www.touchingextremes.com /July2007 Rom, Italy


“Beauty is unearthed and unabashedly displayed throughout Hidden Fresco, the latest release from the German duo of Albrecht Maurer and Norbert Rodenkirchen. Their use of medieval instruments to explore contemporary sounds cultivates a fresh perspective on modern improvisation. The warm timbre of the instrumentation softens the edge of harsh dissonance while enhancing tonal resolve. There’s a sense of urgency that permeates the entire disc. Maurer (gothic fiddle) and Rodenkirchen (medieval flutes and harp) are not intent on wasting sonic space. From the frenzied opening notes of the title track to the passionate evocation of Behind, the duo is unwavering in their search for musical unification ... The compositional ideas are sparse enough to allow for spontaneous shifts in direction. Each selection is pre-conceived only to the extent of establishing a distinguishable flavor ... 


Maurer and Rodenkirchen are both technical masters; their incorporation of percussive effects, chords, and rapid lines portray sympathetic artists who are able to push the boundaries of archaic instrumentation to express a full range of emotion.” - John Barron - JazzReview.com / 03.2007


“These two gentlemen purport to engage the listener in improvisations using medieval instruments. And not just using those instruments, but producing sounds that no medievalist would likely have heard. In other words, there is an attempt to stretch the „capabilities of these instruments much in the way that so many modern composers have sought to challenge the skills of modern players of all stripes…. this is only a part of what happens on this disc. Though both of these players dabble in the classical and jazz worlds, there is very little of what even remotely resembles jazz here? So you can relax if you thought that you were in for a jam session of crumhorns and sackbuts! And I must admit that after careful listening, there is a lot of skill at play here. Both players are carefully listening to one another and playing off each other. The fiddle may execute a curlicue melody that the harp then picks up and turns into a rhythmic accompaniment. ... there are some who will appreciate the evident talent of these two players.” - Steven Ritter - audaud.com / 02. 2007

Summer Works 


It is rare for Emanem to issue a three-CD album, but whenever it happens they are a bit special—witness the most recently recorded one, Strings with Evan Parker, from 2001, plus the label's two excellent Iskra 1903 compilations. Now, to join such exalted company, comes Summer Works 2009, an album which more than deserves its place alongside them.

The album features duo, trio and quartet performances by members of the Rivière Composers' Pool - Kent Carter on bass, Theo Jörgensmann on low G clarinet, Etienne Rolin on B flat clarinet, basset horn and alto flute, and Albrecht Maurer on violin and viola. It was recorded in August and September 2009, in concert and in studio sessions near Carter's home in Angoulême, south-west France. Rolin's sleeve notes say that the ensemble was "chosen by Kent Carter for the summer 2009 sessions," which may indicate that Carter had some leadership role; he certainly plays more than the others, appearing on all but two of the 28 tracks. There are long-established links between Carter and each of the other three, and also between the Germans Jörgensmann and Maurer, but this was the first time that all four had played together.

The four are all experienced improvisers—actually, spontaneous composers—and their summer works did not involve any premeditated structures. As Rolin notes, "familiarity with each other gave all present the confidence to go beyond personal wishes notated on paper...The fact that this particular formation was new to all of us more than kept us all on our toes." Crucially, that balance between familiarity and freshness is reflected in the music.

The album opens with a trio session from August 27 featuring Jörgensmann, Maurer and Carter; which is both an exploration and a warm-up session for the concert the following day. With no percussion or accompanying chordal instruments, the combination of clarinet plus violin and bass gives the music a sense of freedom as well as an inherent structure; the players have no problems establishing their places within that structure yet are not ruled by it; again, the balance between familiarity and freshness is vital. Both Jörgensmann and Maurer figure prominently, one to the fore then another, their soaring melodic lines interweaving highly effectively. Carter's bass frequently underpins their playing, on occasion becoming entwined too. The music goes beyond being preparation for the concert, having its own appealing lightness and freedom.

The following day, Rolin is present for two lengthy quartet performances, one recorded before the concert, the other at the concert itself. The addition of Rolin's instruments to the soundscape makes it richer and also allows more possibilities, most notably the interactions of two wind instruments, which is highlighted in a fine clarinet/flute duo. The quasi-classical titling of the quartet pieces—with "The Summer Works Suite" being subdivided into seven parts and "The Summer Works Concert" consisting of four movements—may raise expectations of a sense of formal structure and unity than is not actually present in the music.

True, the concert piece does open with all the brooding gravitas of a classical composition—bowed bass notes overlaid with understated clarinet phrases—but soon enough it develops into a free-flowing improvised piece in which the players trade phrases and respond to each other in kind; all four clearly have an ear on the overall shape of the piece, and it naturally evolves an easy pastoral mood with no-one obviously steering or leading it. Quite simply, it is a first rate improvisation or, rather, spontaneous composition—with the emphasis definitely on spontaneous.

The album is completed by a duo session between Carter and Rolin, recorded over a fortnight after the concert. Its inclusion gives a pleasing sense of completeness to the album. The duo matches the rest of the album for quality—which is praise indeed. It is easy to hear why Summer Works 2009 was released as a three-CD album; there is so much excellent music here that even to pare it back to a double-CD album would have meant sacrificing some valuable gems.

John Eyles, All about jazz



.... To my ear, their music displays classical melodic contours and gestures – a sense of tension in the anticipation of how their interactive details will resolve harmonically; frequent manipulation of tonal gravity to dramatic effect and brief but pungent textural effects. (Rolin tends to be more extravagant in this regard than the linear, lyrical Jörgensmann, and he adds alto flute on occasion for another color.) Their formal relationships are sympathetic and transparent – often it’s possible to follow the improvisational logic as they find and then sustain the nature of a specific piece. Dance-like, animated rhythms contrast with fluid or crisp counterpoint and more complex exchanges and designs. But it’s the group empathy – the roles they adopt in interacting to shape and reshape the music – that creates the convincing, engaging balance of formal proportion and surprising detail. This is what improvisation can bring to compositional procedures, and the members of the Rivière Composers’ Pool show how ensemble improvisation has become a medium not just of freedom, but of trust.

from a great review by Art Lange©2010


Summer Works 2009 sounds exactly like its title reads: bright, sunny, playful, and time-conditioned. It brings together four great musicians from European improv (Kent Carter, Etienne Rolin, Theo Jörgensmann, and Albrecht Maurer) in a series of concerts which resulted in –relatively speaking- a very compact three hours of music. Like summer, the album is diverse in its color palette, swaying with the architectural thoughtfulness of Braxton, driving very precise points of Webernian scale (impossibly rich fractures of reality created by pure simplicity), and permanently flowing with creativity...


... In the end, this is a good album featuring excellent players; divided into three (pretty much stand-alone) discs, it will surely provide some great fun in these times of summer (at least for the northern hemisphere people) in which we can also play and improvise within the great undrawn plan of our lives.


killedincars.com



As Dante put it (more or less), I'm currently midway on the path from enfant terrible to grumpy old fart, and less inclined these days to be patient with stuff that requires a big investment of time and stamina, so my eyebrows headed upwards when I saw that this four-way improv encounter was issued at luxuriant 3-CD length. But bassist Kent Carter is one of the least austere, most sheerly pleasurable of improvisers—his discs on Emanem are among the most approachable things in the label's catalogue, mingling chamber-improv with detailed compositional frameworks—and he's certainly not prolific. And the generous presentation here, it turns out, is entirely justified.

This meeting of four composer-improvisers—an unusual two-clarinet, two-strings lineup—took place at Carter's behest in August/September 2009. The set includes recordings made in the studio adjoining the bassist's home in Juillaguet (near Angoulême, in southwest France) and performances from a church in Sers. Each session has its own flavour. Disc A—a trio of Carter, violinist/violist Albrecht Maurer (mainstay of Carter's recent projects) and clarinettist Theo Jörgensmann—has a folk-jazz vibe very much in the tradition of Jimmy Giuffre. Maurer injects a sardonic lyricism, though, that Martin Davidson in his liners rightly suggests owes something to Stravinsky. Often it involves jumping into unexpected registers or outlandish timbres, as in the twittering baroque fiddling that ends "Suite of Actions". There's lots of wit and sprightly rhythmic play here—check out the simultaneous multiple tempos of "Pinwheel" and Jörgensmann's Benny Goodman-goes-nuts spree on "Dance to This", for instance—though my favourite piece is the sombrest, "Music for a Ghost Story".

Disc B begins with duets between Carter and Etienne Rolin (clarinet, basset horn and alto flute), the latter probably the least familiar musician here. Despite his Francophone name, he's American-born like Carter, though he has been resident in France for most of his life. He's easily distinguished from Jörgensmann, favouring sinuous, run-together lines full of contradictory gestures and expressive exaggerations—perhaps it's significant that Rolin's bio note indicates his specialty is "improvisation through soundpainting".

The remainder of Disc B and all of Disc C are by the full quartet—tracks recorded just before and during a public performance at the church in Sers. The live performance is especially magical: long, rich passages of droning counterpoint suggest a Renaissance consort of viols, but there are also rhythmic/melodic games with multi-speed canons and metrical overlays (at one point Maurer starts beating out a snappy 3-against-2 on his fiddle), as well as a few moments of slowly ascending conflagration. The lightness and translucency of the group's palette is appealing—especially when (as at the start of the second track) Rolin shifts to flute—and the musicians' preference for actually playing their instruments as God intended them to be played draws out a wider, more surprising range of timbres than I've heard in most improv that focuses narrowly on extended technique. Carter's firmly placed lines and occasional tendency to snap percussively at the other players' heels keep everything lively, too. All told, 3 hours of great music, which fly by with nary a dull or cluttered moment: chalk another one up to Emanem.–ND

paristransatlantic.com

Mars


Musik rund um den Mars: Der Planet Mars fasziniert seit jeher Forscher, Denker, Autoren, Filmemacher und auch Musiker. Das Syntopia Quartet hat dem roten Planeten ein ganzes Programm gewidmet, das diese Faszination in Klang umsetzt: "Eine Reise zum Mars"... "Die Schönheit der Verhältnismäßigkeit und Harmonie" lobte Dante vor 700 Jahren am Planeten Mars und der ihm zugeordneten Wissenschaft: der Musik. Betrachtet man dann noch die Namen der Marslandschaften, "Elysium Planitia" oder "Olympus Mons", dann entpuppt sich der planetarische Ausflug auch als eine Reise in die menschliche Kulturgeschichte. All das ließ das Quartett in seine Musik einfließen: Fein strukturierte Klangflächen von schwebender Harmonik wechselten mit wild rhythmisierten Ausbrüchen. Aus freien und geräuschhaften Klangballungen schien immer wieder Traditionelles auf: klassische Jazz- Harmonik in den komponierten Teilen, Anklänge an Lied- und Volksmelodien, wenn Maurer seine Violine gegen eine gotische Fidel tauschte. Auch andere Assoziationen drängten sich auf: Die fantasievollen Geräuschkulissen des Schlagzeugs und die schnarrenden Klänge der Bassklarinetten schienen streckenweise von typischen Science-Fiction-Filmsoundtracks von den 50er Jahren bis heute inspiriert zu sein... Hoch dramatisch, virtuos und von ekstatischer Freude getragen ging es am Ende "back to earth", zurück zur Erde und die Passagiere applaudieren begeistert den Piloten. 

16.06.05 Von Sebastian Pantel Kultur in Wuppertal


CD - Details


Das Syntopia Quartet gründete sich 2004, und veröffentlichte gleich ihr erstes Konzert als Debüt-CD. Weltweit sorgte es für Aufmerksamkeit und wurde in diversen Jazz-Charts unter den Top 10 gelistet. So war das Syntopia Quartet u. a. auf der Titelseite von Jazztokio.com und „pick of the week“ im Chikago WNUR Radio. Neben mehr als 50 Rundfunkfeatures wird es auch bei iTunes auf der Startseite des Genre Jazz präsentiert. Daneben erschienen zahlreiche Artikel in den einschlägigen Fachzeitschriften.


„Wir sind in einer musikalischen Welt gelandet, die so verschiedenartig ist, wie der rote Planet

selbst. Eine Syn/thesis musikalischer Ideen und Ideale präsentiert in einer fast u-topia-schen

Art und Weise von Streichinstrumenten und Klarinetten, immer behutsam unterstützt von

einem Rückgrat an einfühlsamer Percussion. Stilles Feuer. Harmonische Unordnung. Alle

Spieler dieses Quartetts sind beseelt von dem was sie da tun.”

Steve Dalachinsky NYC 4:37 a.m. 5/23/05


Stimmen:


By Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz, Feb.2006, USA


This quasi Third Stream/free jazz/chamber jazz offering is the inaugural release from Germany’s NEMU Records. With superior sound engineering enhacing the project, the strings-reeds-rhythm unit pursues minimalism, tightly structured thematic forays and adroit improvisational exercises. Many of these works are fabricated upon multi-part time divisions and the band’s excellent use of depth and space. The musicians generate sweet tones and diminutive phrasings to complement hearty injections of briskly enacted unison runs.


Violinist Albrecht Maurer’s staccato lines atop the musicians’ changeable pulses, topped off with moments of wit and whimsy, provide quite a bit of impact. At times the quartet morphs European folk themes into free jazz explorations that are awash with fervently expressed four-way exchanges. On “Tempe Terra,” they investigate dark alleys and loosely based twists and turns while also whipping up some turmoil-laden heated circular movements. In addition, clarinetist Claudio Puntin periodically fuses the human element into the music by implementing vocal-like attributes. In other spots, the artists meld abstract world music grooves and spiraling motifs with emphatic soloing. Overall, this impressive record label debut would seemingly preclude more stylistic and somewhat risqué undertakings. Recommended.

by Justin Glick, WNUR 89.3 FM, march 2006, Chicago


Pick of the Week: The first release from the brand new Berlin based label Nemu, owned and operated by Maurer and Kugel, represents an incredibly auspicious beginning. “Mars” is a beautifully unclassifiable record that blends contemporary classical with free improvisation to such an extent that it’s not always easy to tell which parts are scored and which are not. But intricacy and interplay take the forefront throughout creating a new kind of modern chamber music. Musicianship is exemplary with each player on the same page as the others at all times making this music and the album as a whole firmly gel. Highly recommended that you all try to find this one.



by Marc Medwin, One Final Note, March 2006, USA


Stringsman Albrecht Maurer, clarinetist Claudio Puntin, bassist Dieter Manderscheid, and percussionist Klaus Kugel have fashioned a beautifully chiseled and finely crafted disc for the Nemu label’s debut. We live in an era where the illusory topoi of “classical” and “jazz” have transcended the first jointly faltering steps of “third stream”, passing with less effort through Simon Fell’s “fourth stream” to a place where the merger is so much a given that it can be forgotten as it transcends itself …. This can work to stunning effect, like on the opening violin solo of “Alicium Plenitia”, where Maurer evokes a universe of overtones, harmonics, and ethnic trappings, all of which he manages to wield with skill and flare, exposing the underlying emotion rather than drawing attention to meaningless detail. Ditto for the final track, “Back to Earth”, where Manderscheid performs brilliant feats of staccato, a nice bit of delay is used on the violin, and I’m guessing that it’s Kugel who busts out the Jew’s harp. The transformation from electrified Spontaneous Music Ensemble to swingin’ hoedown bebop with violin lead works quite well …. In fact, each of these tracks functions very well on its own, presenting studies in just how integrated improv and composition have become. It’s all gorgeously recorded, and this is a fairly promising first disc from Nemu ….



by Jerome Wilson CADENCE MAGAZINE 5-2006


these currents produce more austere music. The Syntopia Quartet plays a sort of dark chamber music appropriate for the outer space theme of this CD. With an unusual front line of violin and clarinet, they sound reminiscent of the Tin Hat Trio or Dave Douglas’ Euro-centered group, Charms Of The Night Sky in their playful use of European themes and rhythms. Albrecht Maurer plays a passionate violin involved in saucy rhythmic dances while Claudio Pantin’s clarinet is often haunting or brooding. “Tempe Terra” and “Goodbye Earth” introduce a bit of American Blues into the mix while “Newton Basin” is a quick changing feast of spinning, dancing gypsy rhythms that also works in theremin-like noises and a quote from “Strangers In The Night.” The moody oddness of this CD is fascinating if you like the more Eurocentric, folkderived strains of Jazz.



by Matt Krieg 3-D Radio 93.7 FM, Australia


... It's a very impressive outing and represents exactly the type of intelligent and creative balance of composition and improvisation that I like to feature on my program, 'The Esoteric Circle'. I have already featured two tracks on my most recent program and intend to present a lot more in the following weeks. I also find the graphic presentation appealing and attractive. A great product all round. Please also send your subsequent releases to me as I am certain that the Nemu-Records sound ethic closely matches The Esoteric Circle's musical values.Thank you for sending a copy of the excellent Syntopia Quartet. I have played it a lot on my program.



by Ken Waxman, www.jazzword.com


Related at least in song titles to extra-musical concepts, these quartets extend the sound lineage far past absolute music. Although the CDs avoid sonic solipsism, you may be hard pressed to link a portrait of the Red Planet to the Syntopia Quartet’s CD. ...

Polytonal and polyphonic timbres are in sight on MARS. But for the most part this nine-track suite outlines a more formal, detached and bleak portrait than the cacophonous sonic violence you would imagine from a CD named for

god of war’s planet namesake. In the Syntopia Quartet, drummer Klaus Kugel, who works regularly with Lithuanian soprano saxophonist Petras Vysniauskas and American trombonist Steve Swell, is unobtrusive and discreet. No show-boater, he shies away from flashy – and noisy – parts of his kit. He’s more likely to be striking a bell, rattling a cymbal or patting his snares offhandedly, then overusing the bass drum or snares. Professor of double bass at Music University Köln, Dieter Manderscheid, who regularly works with soloists like saxophonist Luc Houtkamp of the Netherlands, is similarly self-effacing. His rhythm is felt more than heard. In the front line, violinist Albrecht Maurer, whose background includes early music as well as collaborations with veterans like American bassist Kent Carter, uses advanced string techniques to animate Mars’ barren landscape. Claudio Puntin, a teacher and veteran of large ensembles, showcases similar effects from both his clarinet and bass clarinet.

Throughout MARS, tempos vary from adagio to allegro, with aviary chirps from the reedist plus vibrating string double counterpoint creating a sort of languid pointillism. Klaus’s cross handed drumming melded with faster spiccato lines from Maurer plus bass clarinet glissandi can sometimes push the output to a unique baroque and Cool Jazz emulsion.

 The percussionist’s further sound expansions include a jolly jew’s harp rubber band-like twang – joined by hoedown-suggesting fiddle lines – irregular triangle pings, and knuckle-knocking drum top bounces, accompanied by Manderscheid’s ground bass continuo and surprising screeching multiphonics from the clarinetist. Legato with formal modulation most of the time, at points Puntin astonishes still further by adapting a Klezmer-styled tremolo vibrato. This encourages polyphonic triple counterpoint among the reedist and the two string players who node-stretch as his tone vibrates.

Climaxing these musical tendencies is Mauer’s almost 12-minute “Olympus Mons”, the CD’s peak, to and from which the other compositions ascend and descend. Episodic, it encompasses rococo unison work and dissonant solos and duos. Put on its path by double bass pedal point after a nearly inaudible introduction, double-stopping violin movements and reed bites convey the subsequent variation. Following resonating beats that could conceivably come from an African drum like the bugarabu or the djembe, a fluttering, almost a capella reed line turns to overblown vibrations, which are then succeeded by classically tinged double counterpoint from the strings. Splayed and sul ponticello, the double bass continuo and violin ostinato dissolve into near Baroque sounds that are capped when Mauer and Puntin combine contrapuntally



by Michael G. Nastos, www.allmusic.com 


As the debut recording for the German based Nemu label, the Syntopia Quartet establishes the identity of the label, while suggesting the European free jazz scene is far from muted or passé. Much like the FMP label documented the German improvising scene -- exemplified by Karl Berger, Peter Brötzmann, and Alexander von Schlippenbach -- drummer Klaus Kugel, who is one fourth of Syntopia and the main producer who launched Nemu, is looking to reinvent the sounds FMP established. Crossing borders of style, taste, European classicism, world or ethnic sounds, and a modern creative ethos that is more in tune with accessibility for a wider audience, Nemu and Syntopia are making truly new music. The fine players Kugel has chosen, especially violinist Albrecht Maurer and clarinetist Claudio Puntin, achieve this. They showcase unique approaches to their instruments apart from similar American musicians like Billy Bang or Chris Speed. Maurer is a fluid player who does not rely on hard line dissonance or over-stressed harmonics. Puntin, especially effective on bass clarinet, has a multi-dimensional attitude that is ultimately flexible as he displays a canny ability to listen to his bandmates and fits in beautifully. All of the characteristics stated fuse and meld on these imaginary journeys to the Red Planet. The opener „Goodbye Earth“ launches the band into a somber mood, very crafted, Euro-centric, and warily headed for the unknown. „Chryse Planitia“ is a dark, spooky place, warned by Puntin‘s clarinet to explore slowly and carefully, while „Elysium Planitia“ has Maurer‘s skittering violin in starburst, then working with Puntin in a beautiful discourse. „Valles Marineris“ is a multiple mood piece, first peaceful discovering didgeridoos in space, and enhanced by an unexpected scat vocal. This is one interesting scientific expedition. The spacy intro of „Olympus Mons“ leads to a spirited 7/8 dance body, while the sturdy violin of Maurer during „Newton Basin“ gives a feeling of landing and scoping out terrain, insistent and rhythmic but a bit noisy. „Chasma Boreale“ is free and spatial, a nebula based sound painting darting between stars, while „Back to Earth“ is a loose, somewhat bumpy re-entry, accented by that lofty feeling one gets what a slowing airplane approaches, and circles above before landing, arrives safely with a Jew‘s harp reception, then rests. This feeling of exploration, inquisitiveness, cartoonish chase, bold, playful prediction, fascinating discovery, and then party after touchdown is perfectly depicted. It‘s quite a trip, and an affordable ride Syntopia offers on what hopefully will be the first of many equatorial, terrestrial, and celestial excursions.



Bill Shoemaker, www.pointofdeparture.org, March 2006, USA


Chamber jazz is often a default term for what an ensemble without a drummer plays, even though the sub-genre is largely rooted in the classic Chico Hamilton quintets. The great thing about Hamilton’s work in his bands with winds, cello, guitar and bass is that he never shied away from being a jazz drummer. To a substantial degree, the same is true with Klaus Kugel, which is a big reason why Syntopia Quartet’s music on Mars is neither overly ethereal nor astringent. Granted, Kugel has a strong section mate in bassist Dieter Manderscheid, whose big sound and driving sense of line contributes to the music’s full-bodied presence. Still, Kugel’s feel for when to merely feather what the front line of violinist Albrecht Maurer and clarinetist/bass clarinetist Claudio Puntin play, and when to really lean into them, is one of the recurring pleasures of the set. Occasionally, Kugel holds off until the moment’s almost gone, as it the case on “Tempe Terra;” after a delicately honed, counterpoint-rich trio, Kugel slips in, prodding an otherwise unaccompanied Puntin with brushed toms and cymbals, to alter the overall shape of the piece. Elsewhere, Kugel seeps into the music from the margins, particularly when he assumes the role of orchestra percussionist instead of kit drummer, as on the otherworldly “Chasm Boreale.” On the bookend-like pieces “Goodbye Earth” and “Back To Earth,” Kugel’s drumming sustains a simmer; it’s that heat that crystallizes the difference between Syntopia Quartet’s music and that of many chamber jazz ensembles. It’s not that Maurer, Puntin and Manderscheid would just go floppy without Kugel. Maurer and Puntin spool out melody reflexively and, given the space, they’ll soar sooner rather than later. And, Manderscheid is quite capable of laying down a plump vamp or a harmonically anchoring line at any time. The four of them together, however, have the most intriguing and promising chemistry.

Enesco Reimagined


This is a wonderful piece of work, and hats off to Sunnyside for its foresight in seeing the ingenuity from Lucian Ban's perspective. Violinist Albrecht Maurer's work, as well as that of violist Mat Maneri, together with the rest of the ensemble—especially the percussionists-are additional testaments to this fine album. 

Raul d'Gama Rose All About Jazz



Enesco Re-Imagined is visionary third-stream music. That’s undercounting the streams, actually; the album is a compound of musical compounds.

While Maurer is the major melodic force, Roy makes the album. His tablas supplement the Gypsy dance rhythms and provide the backbone to “Octet for Strings, Op. 7,” and he combines the percussion with vocal chants on three other tracks. The effect is particularly stirring on “Orchestral Suite No. 1, Opus 9: Prelude,” when Roy melds with Hébert and Cleaver in the low-key but relentless thump of the fusion era, while Maneri improvises darkly over it. Nearly as powerful is Alessi, whose trumpet work is unblemished and elegant. He weeps on “Aria et Scherzino, Aria,” glories in flourishing “Octet for Strings,” and all but prances out of the speakers with his solo (interpolated by Ban) on “Sonata No. 3, Op. 25-Malincolio.”

Nevertheless, Hébert and Ban are the stars here. The pianist insists in his liner notes that Enesco belongs in the pantheon of 20th-century composers, and this recording places Ban and Hébert among the great 21st-century interpreters. 

Michael J. West jazztimes.com


July 12, 2011 | Enesco Re-Imagined CD makes BEST OF 2010 JJA lists Enesco Re-Imagined CD makes quite a few of "BEST OF 2010" lists, including the ones from Jazz Jouranlists Association . . . and lots of great reviews. Please visit the Press section of Lucian Ban´s homepage to check them out.


„... Regarded as one of the few classical geniuses of the past century as a violinist, Enescu’s brilliant work as a composer has been under recognized for decades. He was born in Liveni, Romania in 1881 where he began music studies at age four. Enesco showed promise from an early age studying at the Vienna Conservatoire and later in Paris with Gabriel Faure and Andre Gedalge. By his early twenties, he had made a number of impressive debuts as a violin soloist and composed a number of major works (including his well known Romanian Rhapsodies). Enesco had a long relationship with the United States, visiting yearly from 1923 to 1949. During that span, he conducted a number of major orchestras, performed as a violinist, and taught at a number of American universities (most notably Mannes). By 1930 Enescu was considered one of the most famous musicians of his time, conducting all major orchestras, performing & recording some of the definitive interpretations of Bach violin works (many with Yehudi Menuhin), and collaborating closely with such great musicians of 20th century like Pablo Casals, Jacques Thibaud, David Oistrakh, Edouard Risler and Alfred Cortot. Enescu split his time between Bucharest and Paris but finally left Romania in 1946 to teach in the US (most notably at Harvard, Princeton, and Mannes) after the Communist takeover of the country. He passed away in Paris in 1955. 


Romanian born, New York based pianist/composer Lucian Ban was familiar with Enescu’s work from his study in Romania but really fell under his spell upon receiving a commission from the George Enescu International Festival in Bucharest to arrange the composer’s work. Upon rediscovery, Ban was immediately drawn and stunned by the depth of Enescu’s catalogue: “I’ve found that many of Enescu’s works, some of which are lesser known, have a structure and a feeling resembling that of jazz; this was the starting point for wanting to present his music in a new light, together with an ensemble featuring some of the most daring musicians of today.” In 2006, Ban started a workshop in an effort to play and re-interpret the Enescu’s compositions using methods garnered from jazz, classical, and contemporary music. In 2008 after receiving the Festival commission, Ban invited his friend, bassist John Hébert, to collaborate on the project and really dig into Enescu’s work. The intention was to “re-imagine” some of Enescu’s lesser known pieces. To assist in their effort, Ban visited the vaults of the Enescu Museum in Bucharest where he was allowed access to the original scores of Enescu’s work. 


Enescu Re-Imagined was recorded live at the 2009 George Enescu International Festival in Bucharest on September 20, 2009. Ban and Hébert put together an amazing ensemble to perform these compositions that span the composer’s entire career. The performers included trumpeter Ralph Alessi, tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, violist Mat Maneri, violinist Albrecht Maurer, drummer Gerald Cleaver, and tabla player Badal Roy. “Aria et Scherzino” is a melodic masterpiece that features a unique ascending open string violin along with a tremendous tenor sax solo from Malaby. “Octet for Strings Opus 7” is one of Enescu’s earliest works (he was all of 19 when it was written). Its modal theme presented an intensity that Badal Roy’s tabla fits under perfectly. Enescu was well known for his use of Romanian folk themes. This device is best represented by the “Sonata No. 3 for Violin & Piano Opus 25.” The first two movements are represented here and illustrate the influence of Romanian gypsy fiddle virtuosos on Enescu. Rounding out the CD is “Symphony No. 4 (Unfinished).” Enescu began work on the piece in 1928 but never finished it. “Especially in Marziale, the 2nd movement we ‘attacked’ the themes and lines which seemed…almost lifted from the best of Ellington or Mingus orchestral charts. John’s bass line is the one Enescu wrote in his score and I heard immediately the melodies played with our ensemble,” comments Ban. 


There is a symbiotic relationship between the leaders, supporting each other as both composer and musician, though they come from very different backgrounds. Ban was born in the town of Cluj in Transylvania, Romania. After studying piano and composition at the Bucharest Music Academy, he moved to New York City to study at New York’s famed New School Jazz Program. Since then, Ban has played and recorded with some of the best jazz musicians around, including Sam Newsome, Alex Harding, Abraham Burton, Nasheet Waits, Bob Stewart, Barry Altschul, and Reggie Nicholson. Hébert was born in New Orleans, Louisiana where he also attended Loyola University. He then moved to New York to study with Rufus Reid at William Patterson University. Since then, Hébert has been a highly in demand bassist for musicians like Andrew Hill, Lee Konitz, Paul Bley, Paul Motian, and Fred Hersch, among many others.


jazzcorner.com

Intersections


“... Deutlich hörbar in dieser Freiluft- "Kammermusik" ist die gemeinsame Neigung zu warmen, feinen Nuancen und melodienahen Klängen, die im südfranzösischen Licht ihre Wurzeln in einer romantischen Emotionalität kein bisschen verleugnen... ”  Bad Alchemy / Österreich



“... Sie setzen in wunderbarer Übereinstimmung ihre Saiten in Schwingung... Bestechend ist der zwanglose spontane Umgang mit den musi- kalischen Parametern, und eine außer ordent-liche Empfindsamkeit auf ihren Streifzügen durch einen emanzipierten Klangkosmos. Am Ende kann man diese Musik nicht mehr aus dem Gedächtnis streichen... ” HAN - Jazzlive / Österreich



“... Dies ist ein Treffen von Meistern der Improvisation, das immer anregend ist. Sie kreieren eine überzeugende Sammlung unterschiedlicher musikalischer Wechsel- wirkungen. Viele Leute werden gefesselt sein von der Einzigartigkeit des Klanges und der unglaublichen Schönheit dieser Musik... ”  

Steven Loewy - Cadence Magazine / Kanada 



top 10 - Chicago Jazz Radio WNUR in the list of the Year 2006



Auszug aus den Liner Notes:


Entering into the music of the Kent Carter String Trio can be an unsettling experience. One has the feeling that fiction and reality have conspired to ensnare us in their own magic web. We arrive, curious and confident, ready to listen to the music that a famous American double bass player Kent Carter, a prominent exponent of contemporary jazz, has written for a string trio, a traditional line-up in European chamber music. And this is such music, even though in this case the double bass has replaced the 'cello to create, almost imperceptibly, an unusual atmosphere.

...

Any music-lover wandering in the vast forest of strings, and not going round in circles, must one day arrive at one of the intersections where Kent Carter awaits them. In their turn they will be able to experience the pleasure of being transported into a universe that's almost familiar, unless they discover an unknown universe where they feel at home.


BERNARD PROUTEAU (2006) translated by Charles Fox with additional work by Caroline Kraabel and Martin Davidson



“... The new string trio disc is absolutely amazing. I had very high expectations for this, as I had voted the last one in my top ten and the Maurer/ Carter duets has been one of my favorite recordings since the first day I heard it. But this new one is absolutely skullsmashingly beautiful. I've been listening to it on repeat now for four hours straight and just can't believe how great it is. Thank you, again. ”  Andrew Choate - Radio IMC / Los Angeles



Legendary bassist Kent Carter’s broad musicality is about much more than simply dabbling within fleeting interests, as evident on this quasi-chamber jazz session.  Glenn Astarita - All about Jazz / USA



“... Kent Carter fully succeeds in proposing a unique sound “ ... “designing very pure landscapes that slowly takes the listener into a different universe. Its softness – which covers some very strong inner dynamics – and its subtle structures offer a definitely new direction in the music of today. ”   Laurent Goddet - Jazz Hot Magazine / Paris 



"This is chamber music of a high order, whose eloquent but understated beauty sinks in deeper with every listen. Compositions like "Blues Suite and Pulapka suggest a hybrid between jazz and Renaissance and Baroque dance-forms, while the fully-improvised tracks have a Bartokian or Stravinskian flavour. Carter, violinist Albrecht Maurer and violist Katrin Mickiewicz fit together hand-in-glove, to the point where the group's intuitive, moment-to-moment interplay obliterates distinctions between improvisation and composition. One of the most sheerly enjoyable releases of 2006."

Nate Dorward - Exclaim 2006


"Legendary bassist Kent Carter's broad musicality is about much more than simply dabbling within fleeting interests, as evident on this quasi-chamber jazz session. Whether performing within free jazz circles or the modern mainstream, Carter is often an intense stylist. On this string trio endeavour, the bassist serves as the anchor while enjoying ample breathing room among his bandmates' zigzagging staccato lines. Cerebral in scope yet sometimes fragile with intent, the band pursues daintily melodic chamber frameworks while also generating a number of unexpected surprises. On Intentions #1, the artists deliver inwardly moving choruses offset by verbose exchanges, and the strings introduce scraping based tonalities where whimsy and angst share common ground. During this evolving state of musical affairs, the trio communicates strength and passion through mood-altering pastiches of sound. During selected movements, they create a gnomic existence while also inducing trance-like states via circular unison lines. The various plots are ingrained within sonorous interchanges and ominous undercurrents.

On Who Might That Be? the trio develops a walking motif, accentuated by violinist Albrecht Maurer's nimble plucking manoeuvres. Ultimately, the art of improvisation maintains equilibrium with the compositional element. Therefore, the music is not overbearing or steeped within directionless flows. Contrarily, the instrumentalists align technical proficiency with intersecting storylines that bespeak uniformity and an entrancing degree of flux. Repeated listens tend to divulge newfound surprises here. "

GLENN ASTARITA - ALL ABOUT JAZZ 2006



"The Kent Carter String Trio shines through nine sensitive pieces (three written by Carter, one each by Maurer and Mickiewicz and four collective ones). Understanding what's scored and what's instead improvised is quite difficult, as everything sounds extremely arranged even in the most indescribable sections. There are lots of directions one can look to, minimalism and a sort of 'modern baroque' being a couple of them; yet, the elegant eloquence of these tracks sets a very high standard, which is all the more appreciated given the absolute lack of pretentiousness and pomp characterizing the playing. Delicately melancholic themes and Reichian tapestries enrapture through their sheer exquisiteness; dissonant pluralities and almost sorrowful counterpoints ask for some space in the silence of apparently wasted autumnal afternooons. Carter, Maurer and Mickiewicz are linked by an invisible thread which gives their music its coherence, making them sound always conscious of what happens to the others despite the fact that they're completely absorbed by the very same incantations they create. INTERSECTIONS is a splendid album, one that instantly captures your attention yoking it to the seductive power of its adamant beauty. As far as I'm concerned, it's one of 2006's best releases and comes very highly recommended."

MASSIMO RICCI - TOUCHING EXTREMES 2006



"I found INTERSECTIONS to be exquisite. And while the liners are a bit too flowery for my tastes, they nonetheless seem to do a marvellous job of pointing out the varied and refined impulses behind the sound. Having listened to the CD before reading them, I was, I must admit, a bit tickled to see references to renaissance and baroque musics, because I clearly heard them as well. I also thought of contemporary classical composers whose aesthetic might be viewed as conservative, but whose work still displayed a clear sense of far reaching introspective invention. (Lutoslawski and Samuel Barber at his most risk-taking came immediately to mind.) I was also struck by what a clear language Kent has developed, as the linkage to work from several decades ago is readily apparent; a language that is can be clearly heard in the spontaneously generated pieces as much as the compositions(!). Aspects of his language seem to include a penchant for subtle extended techniques, including microtonal colorations, as well as an uncanny ability to create works with what appear to be disparate sections, which, ultimately, blend together seamlessly with a logic all their own. The only (and VERY slight) criticism I could make is that some of the solo work is overly beholding to 'classical' figures (akin to a bebopper/mainstreamer running the scales, or a free jazzer running the squeals), but, to reiterate that's a minor quibble."

MILO FINE - private email 2006

Movietalks


CD - details:

"MOVIE TALKS" heißt diese Sammlung, in der ich verschiedene Filme als Inspirationsquellen nehme. Musikalisch umgesetzt werden ihre Dramaturgie, ihr Stimmungsgehalt oder auch freie Assoziationen, die sich an ihnen entzünden, und zwar sowohl als ‘Einfälle‘ musikalischer Themen als auch konzeptionell im Hinblick auf Improvisationsverläufe. 


So ist manchmal nur der Filmtitel Schlüsselreiz für eine freie Improvisation (Jour de Fête). Ein andermal sind es Bilder oder Stimmungen, die eine Notenvorlage beeinflussen sowie das Gerüst für solistische Kommentare bilden (Horizontal Shower oder Von der Leichtigkeit...). Oder die Dramaturgie des Stückes entspricht entweder Teilen des Films (Delicatessen) oder gar dem gesamten Handlungsverlauf (Lola rennt...aber nicht immer). Vereinzelt werden konkrete Stimmungen durch verbale Vorgaben erzeugt. So zum Beispiel die auf eine filmische Situation bezogen Vorgabe: >>Liebst Du mich?<<, der ‘Space Dialog‘ von Lola rennt... nicht immer. Es ist ein musik-theatralisches Rollenspiel, in dem sich wunderbar frei kommunikativ improvisieren lässt. In alle diesen Ansätzen hat der Improvisator die Freiheit mit Intuition und ständiger Aktions- und Reaktionsbereitschaft zu handeln, und die musikalische Welt mit zu inszenieren. 


So ist MOVIE TALKS weder eine klassische Programmmusik, die eine Handlung eins zu eins in Musik übersetzt noch ein Filmmusik mit untermalendem Charakter sondern eine aktive Musik, die in der Erinnerung gespeicherte filmische Erlebnisse musikalisch vorträgt. Dabei bedeutet die Kenntnis des Films eine zusätzliche Ebene des Hörens - ähnlich wie beim Hören eines Jazz-Standards die schon vorhandene Kenntnis des Themas und seiner Harmoniefolge eine zusätzliche Dimension beim Hören einer Improvisation darüber darstellt." Albrecht Maurer



1. Jour de Fête - avant (W/D/M)
Schützenfest
Frankreich 1947
Regie: Jacques Tati
Drehbuch: Jacques Tati, Henri Marquet, René Wheeler
Darsteller: Jacques Tati (Briefträger Francois), Guy Decomble (Roger), Paul
Frankeur (Marcel)

Als einzige Vorgabe diente der Satz "zu spielen ist eine Fantasie im Charakter von Jacque Tati`s Schützenfest". Ergebnis ist ein Musikstück von kompositorischer Dichte, das trotzdem kollektiv entdeckt wurde, quasi vom Himmel fiel und in drei Köpfen gleichzeitig landete.

2. Cyberlola
Ein auskomponiertes Gerüst nach der Idee der "Lola" *, mit verschiedenen
Solisten, die auf ihre jeweils persönliche Art das Steuer übernehmen,
Kadenzen, Umspielungen und Harmonielinien gestalten. Im Charakter eines
Prologs.

*Als Spitznamen verwendet Maurer den Namen Lola (Los Lassen) für eine musikalische Form, die eine Reihe von unterschiedlichen Situationen durchläuft, die von einem Solisten umspielt werden und in der es Auszeiten in Form von Kadenzen oder freien Begegnungen verschiedener Spieler gibt. Denn nur durch das Loslassen einer musikalischen Stimmung entsteht Raum für eine Entwicklung hin zu Neuem.

3. Lola rennt ... nicht immer
Lola rennt
Deutschland: 1998
Regie: Tom Tykwer
Drehbuch: Tom Tykwer
Darsteller: Franka Potente (Lola), Moritz Bleibtreu (Manni) u.a.

Programmatische Notenvorlage, frei nach der Dramaturgie des Films Lola rennt. Hier wird die Spielpartitur ähnlich der Handlung des Films drei Mal durchlebt. Dabei führen kleine geplante Veränderungen des Notentextes zu neuen Handlungsverläufen. Und natürlich rennt Lola nicht immer, sie verbringt wichtige Momente im >>Space Dialog<<.

4. A Mandala to Liberation
Kundun
USA: 1997
Regie: Martin Scorsese
Drehbuch: Melissa Mathison
Darsteller: als Dalai Lama: Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong, Gyurme Tethong, Tulku
Jamyang Kunga Tenzin, Tenzin Yeshi Paichang.

In farbenprächtigen, suggestiven Tableaus erzählt der Film, wie der 14. Dalai Lama entdeckt wird, wie er zum geistlichen Oberhaupt der Tibeter erzogen wird, und wie es zum vorläufigen tragischen Ende der tibetischer Kultur kommt. A Mandala to Liberation ist eine eigenständige musikalische Bilderwelt, die von Kundun inspiriert ist. Sie erspürt die Kraft des gewaltlosen Widerstandes und der Befreiung von Innen heraus. Es ist eine persönliche Widmung an den Dalai Lama.

5. Horizontal Shower
Jour de Fête, nur umgekehrt. Ein Film über das zielgenaue amerikanische Postsystem. In der kurzen Mittagspause schauen die Postzusteller im Fernsehen einen Bericht über das französische Postsystem. Darin sieht man einen angetrunkenen Briefträger, der mit dem Fahrrad gemütlich durch ein kleines französisches Dorf radelt.

6. Delicatessen
Frankreich 1990
Regie: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Drehbuch: Gilles Adrien, MArc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Besetzung: Dominique Pinon, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Ticky Holgado u.a.

Ein Drama, eine makaber unterhaltende Kannibalen-Groteske. Sie spielt in einem Abbruchhaus, in dem sich Fleischfresser und militante Vegetarier bekriegen, sich ein Badezimmer bis zur Decke mit Wasser füllt und natürlich die Liebe gewinnt.

7. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Die Unerträgliche Leichtigkeit des Seins
USA 1988
Regie: Philip Kaufman
Drehbuch: Jean-Claude Carrière, Philip Kaufman, Milan Kundera
Besetzung: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lena Olin, Juliette Binoche, Derek De Lint u.a.

Tänzelnde Leichtigkeit ist die Grundstimmung. Die Wiederkehr zu bestimmten Orten des Films wird im Musikstück gespiegelt durch die Wiederkehr zu parallelen Stellen der Partitur. Momente der Unerträglichkeit sind als musikalischer Ausbruch komponiert. Die Spieler werden aus der Partitur herauskatapultiert, verlieren sich und tauchen bald auf der Suche nach Leichtigkeit wieder in diese ein.

8. To Unknown Movies (W/D/M)

9. Jour de Fête - passe´ (W/D/M)
Die Musiker sammeln ihre Noten ein, mit ungeheurer Musizierlust setzt sich Benoit ans Klavier. Wolter und Albrecht laufen quatschend und lachend durch den Raum zu ihren Instrumenten, singen, spielen ein paar Töne und gehen beiläufig von der Bühne und ... das Band des Ü-Wagens läuft noch immer.

Dank an: Rainer Ohle (Kulturabteilung der Bayer AG), Uli Kurth (WDR Jazzredaktion) Werner Fuhr, Beate Bartlewski, Anne Goede, Georg Ruby, Christina Fuchs, Meike. Mein besonderer Dank gilt Wolter Wierbos und Benoit Delbecq. Der ganze Reichtum ihrer musikalischen Möglichkeiten kommt auf dieser CD zum Ausdruck.

Übersetzung: Amy Antin &
Gestaltung & Cover Alexander Schmid
Recorded by Michael Peschko, Erholungshaus der Bayer AG, 9.11.99
Mastered by Reinhard Kobialka
Produced by Albrecht Maurer

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