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Gebhard Ullmann At 50: A Career Retrospective

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Gebhard Ullmann (born in Bad Godesberg, Germany, November 2, 1957) is a composer and improvisor unique in the jazz world today. Playing a multitude of reeds and flutes, and maintaining an international presence with both European and American groups, Ullmann has created a body of work that is much more than a chronological series of recordings documenting his musical thinking.



Each of his various projects addresses different musical issues and hence has its own distinctive voice, which is magnified by the reworked compositions that flow through them; the thread of his recurring compositions connects the different projects.

Each release stands alone, of course, but Ullmann's oeuvre ought to be viewed by the differing lenses of project or composition. Each individual album is connected to the others, not only by the presence of Ullmann, but also by how the compositions mutate. Ullmann moves forward by looking backward; in essence circling and hence rolling, rather than moving straight forward. That his work is an interconnected whole becomes clearer as both albums and the compositions are listened to repeatedly.

Ullmann takes the long view of his work. "If I produce a CD, I don't necessarily want it to be an immediate success," he has said. "I want it to be a success after 20 or more years, which doesn't always make life easy."

The first part of this retrospective looks at Ullman's various projects. A second part will concentrate on his compositions.

Chapter Index

  1. The Tà Lam Project
  2. The Clarinet Trio Project
  3. The Basement Research Project
  4. The Piano Trio Project
  5. The Conference Call Project
  6. The Ullman/Swell 4 Project
  7. The BaseX3 Project
  8. The Big Band Project
  9. Miscellaneous and Early Ullman
  10. Sideman Groups 1: Günter Lenz' Springtime
  11. Sideman Groups 2: Joe Fonda's Groups
  12. Sideman Groups 3: Miscellaneous Groups



The Tà Lam Project

Tà Lam seemed to come out of nowhere, but there are hints of this unique creation in Ullman's earlier work, especially the addition of the bass clarinet to his arsenal in Suite Noire. That which we now recognize as Ullmann starts with the first disc of this project.

Gebhard Ullmann
Tà Lam
99 Records
1993

Tà Lam represents the result of an intense period of concentration by Ullmann to bring forth music that he could truly call his own. Playing five different flutes, three saxophones and bass clarinet, Ullmann labored for a year, overdubbing many parts to create polyphony with a precision that is remarkable, while creating a real sense of musical space with the solo instrument in front of the accompaniment by the sensitive use of reverb.

Although Tà Lam is usually considered a solo effort, accordionist Hans Hassler is present on a number of tracks. Ullmann uses the instrument's sound like that from some other bizarre reed that is capable of polyphony, and his contributions sound more like comments on the music, with a musical personality that ideally complements Ullmann's.

Ullmann's compositional style blends a harmonic language that is in the space between tonality and atonality, but with a feeling of movement. His rhythms demonstrate a strong sense of control and precision, and when these two elements are combined with a melody or theme a living musical object with a personality is produced.

In the history of jazz, the list of truly unique albums is quite short and Tà Lam belongs on that list. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann
Moritat
99 Records
1994

Tà Lam was an extraordinary achievement, but something that could only exist as a recording. Tà Lam Acht was the group created to bring this phase of Ullmann's musical development to life, allowing not only for many parts to be played, but also for the musicians to add their personalities to that of the music.

Only two pieces ("D. Nee No" and "Heaven No. 2.4") are carried over from Tà Lam, and one ("Black Cat") from Ullmann— Rava—Willers—Schauble, but these pieces demonstrate an essential component of Ullmann's methodology in that while the two versions are quite different, the essential character of the musical organism remains intact.

The new pieces sound as if they were written for the group and always have an undertone of humor that colors the compositional seriousness of the works. What will be clear as later releases appear is that what we are hearing are fleshed out versions of the piece's kernel. The music is joyous, intense and quite different from anything else. One item of interest is that solos are itemized and Ullmann himself is listed but once. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann
Tà Lam '98
Songlines
1998

Tà Lam '98 is a compilation of fifteen tracks from Tà Lam and Moritat, put together for the purpose of getting the music wider US distribution.

Included are "Tà Lam," of course, but also "Mack The Knife" (aka "Die Moritat Von Mackie Messer"), "D. Nee No," "Black Cat" and "Basement Research" among others, split about equally between the two albums.

Gebhard Ullmann
Vancouver Concert—Tà Lam Zehn
Leo Records
2000

The Tà Lam Zehn group is the Tà Lam Acht group with some personnel changes and additions, and we get to hear them live. Any thought that the precision heard on Moritat was due to the studio recording process is dispelled by this outstanding recording.

Full of life and energy, the band explodes on the stage as the soloists swagger and play right up to the edge. The music makes clear how Ullmann mixes the arranged and the free. Dense waves of sound blast out from the stage and the audience responds strongly with loud clapping and shouting.

The set reaches a peak with an extraordinary version of "Tà Lam" in which all that is quintessential Ullmann is on display. Vancouver Concert ties together Tà Lam and Moritat into a whole and we can only hope that this group gets a chance to record again. Full review here. class="f-right s-img">Return to Index...

The Clarinet Trio Project

In a way, the Clarinet Trio Project feels like the Tà Lam project stripped down to its barest essentials, with added group improvisation and extended techniques. Ullmann stays on bass clarinet as does Jürgen Kupke on clarinet throughout the three releases, with the first two having Theo Nabicht double on bass clarinet, while the last replaces him with Michael Thieke doubling on alto clarinet.

The three releases feature, for the most part, short (under four minutes), compressed tracks each of which establishes its own sound world, but the albums are held together by variations, and the player's personalities.

In a side observation, apart from "Almost Twenty-Eight", the three records share no compositions, as if time was needed to explore the musical space due to the freedom of having but three voices.

Gebhard Ullmann
Oct.1, '98
LeoLab Records
1999

This release introduces an entirely new instrumental grouping that allows a deeper investigation of a narrower musical space.

A feeling of intense concentration and experimentation pervades the album, but it is mixed with the kind of humor that marks Ullmann. Using overdubbing judiciously so that one thinks that the total sound of any specific section could have been made, the density within and between tracks varies widely.

Mixing the freedom of collective improvisation with the structure of composition that nevertheless allows much improvisation, the tracks lead the listener through a wonderfully varied sound world.

As is usual, Ullmann has reworked a number of compositions including "Gospel" (from Trad Corrosion), "Blaues Lied" (from Suite Noire) and "Think Tank" (from Moritat), each of which demonstrates how the tune's essence comes through its new garb. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann
Translucent Tones
Leo Records
2002

The second of the set of clarinet trio explorations, Translucent Tones maintains the sense of concentration and intensity displayed by Oct. 1 '98, and with the same humor mixed in.

Between such abstract tracks as the three "Collectives" lies "Animalische Stimmen" by Hermann Keller which is full of overt bird calls and two very pretty and simple tunes by Nino Rota, whose "Parlami di me" was on the previous album.

The title tune is itself is given two very different treatments that invites speculation on how they are related, but each has a structure/freedom tension that can be followed.

Returning compositions are "Blue Trees and Related Objects," and "Almost Twenty-Eight," both from Kreuzberg Park East where they sound entirely different. Why some tunes are easier to remember and recognize than others is something for each listener to answer.

In the same way "blue" as a color/mood is a repeating but mutating motif for Ullmann, the tunes, when reworked, illuminate his art from different angles.

Gebhard Ullmann
Ballads And Related Objects
Leo Records
2004

Opening and closing with atmospheric and ethereal variations on the "Déjà Vu" theme signals that this disc will be the densest of the three clarinet trios but also that Ullmann and the group has mastered combining the esoteric with a strange beauty.

"Almost Twenty-Eight," the one composition repeated in this triptych, is quite recognizable through its extremely humorous presentation, while "Seven 9-8," which is built on odd measure and phrase lengths, has a distinctive theme which appears between sections of free sounds. Another tune, "29 Shoes," which also has a distinctive melodic structure, is twisted to the bending point but never broken.

Ballads and Related Objects is a fascinating listening experience that, while having many challenging moments, can also make one laugh or cry. class="f-right s-img">Return to Index...

The Basement Research Project

Maintaining a cross-Atlantic presence in Berlin and Brooklyn, and getting compositional stimulation from all that is around him, Ullmann teamed up with the pre-existing American trio of Ellery Eskelin, Drew Gress and Phil Haynes to lead the Basement Research quartet.

Basement Research and Kreuzberg Park East maintained the original quartet. Tony Malaby replaced Eskelin for Live in Münster, thus keeping the basic character of the quartet while changing personalities. New Basement Research signals a new direction for the project since the entire group has changed (see below).

Having a horn front-line and a rhythm section, this project feels freer and grittier than Tà Lam with more space for blowing within an anchored rhythmic feel, but also quite different than the Conference Call Project, which can drive as hard.

Gebhard Ullmann
Basement Research
Soul Note
2000

This recording is the first in what is now a four CD project, and we find the Ellery Eskelin (tenor saxophone), Drew Gress (bass), Phil Haynes (drums) trio meshing extremely well with Ullmann and his compositions.

The group demonstrates the ability to maintain the balance between structure and freedom that is the trademark of Ullmann's compositions. This release is important because it represents the first use of more or less standard instrumentation since the breakthrough of Tà Lam.

Since five of the ten tunes come from Moritat ("D. Nee No," "Think Tank," "Oberschöneweide," "N.B. Eleven" and "Basement Research"), the change in instrumentation from eight reeds and no rhythm section to two reeds and a rhythm section highlights their essential structure.

With the density gone, the music picks up a lightness and agility, much of which can be ascribed to the subtle playing of Gress and Haynes. Also evident is a transparency that helps expose the structure of the arrangements as they move from the composed to the improvised.

Thoughtful music which is full of emotion. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann
Kreuzberg Park East
Soul Note
2000

With five of eight tracks being new pieces, Kreuzberg Park East reverses the balance of Basement Research. However, Ullmann chooses to start off with immediately recognizable and slinky "Blaues Lied," which dates back to Suite Noire. True to form, though, the track oscillates between the clarity of theme and rhythm and the freedom of two entwined free horns.

The title tune represents the sounds of Ullmann's dual residences — Berlin and Brooklyn — and it is that mixture of structure and freedom, of the abstract and the concrete, of the amorphous and the crystalline that so characterizes his music.

"Almost Twenty-Eight," which is new, appears three more times and proves that an Ullmann composition is infinitely malleable and yet impervious. Here it is done as kind of funky, faintly bluesy thing, with a spiky theme broken up by intervals of relative calm. The next two versions are done by The Clarinet Trio on Translucent Tones and Ballads And Related Objects and are quite delicate (due to the instrumentation) but with the essence remaining. However, the New Basement Research version is raging, snorting bull that threatens to flatten the listener.

Once again, Ullmann surprises us, but in retrospect, there is a method to his madness. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann
Basement Research—Live in Münster
Not Two
2006

With Tony Malaby replacing Ellery Eskelin and the band being recorded live at the Münster Kreativhaus in 1999, this 2006 release captures this version of the project up front and hot.

The choice of tunes is interesting in that most of them were born within this project, except "Blaues Lied" (which started in Suite Noire) and ironically, "Basement Research" itself, which started in Moritat. Furthermore, most of the tunes have stayed within this project, except "Blaues Lied" and "Kreuzberg Park East," both of which were reworked for The Big Band Project. Coincidence or purposeful?

Starting off with the non-blues blues, "Blaues Lied," Ullmann, after the introduction of the theme, plays a smoky tenor solo that builds in intensity until Malaby answers with an equally impressive statement.

The manner in which Ullmann creates structure is made very clear in "Kreuzberg Park East," especially when compared with the original. Extended here by a wonderful Gress bass solo, the music's mix of European and American styles intrigues for the whole track.

Terrific set with lots of energy that, however, feels intimate. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann
New Basement Research
Soul Note
2007

This latest release of the project finds the personnel totally changed. Julian Argüelles, who performed in the NDR Big Band on The Big Band Project plays soprano and baritone saxophones to complement Ullmann on bass clarinet and tenor saxophone. Steve Swell, who is the co-leader with Ullmann of the quartet on Desert Songs & Other Landscapes adds his trombone energy to the mix, while bassist John Hebert and drummer Gerald Cleaver provide intense rhythmic support.

All of the tunes have been recorded before and the album feels like a summation of Ullmann to date, but with the added twist of being as different from Die Blaue Nixe as you can get; imagine the drive of Live in Münster ramped up ten times.

The intensity level is set incredibly high on the opening "Dreierlei" when Hebert and Cleaver (who, arguably is more suited to this kind of drumming than Haynes) enter with a pounding, almost brutal rhythmic vamp. This is a killer track and a clear announcement of purpose, as the lows emerging from "basement" surge and wash away all before them as Ullmann completely lets go on bass clarinet.

The first half of "Gospel" has solo Ullmann on bass clarinet and the tension is almost unbearable as we wait to hear what is going to happen. What we get is an almost pure gospel choir sound with Ullmann, Argüelles and Swell each playing their hearts out.

"D. Nee No" makes its eighth (!) appearance and the primal scream of the theme against the tango rhythm is something to behold, while "Seven 9-8" with its melodically simple yet metrically complex theme just bowls one over.

The earlier versions of the group had a tenor saxophone as the other lead voice. This time we have Argüelles above and below Ullmann, with Swell's trombone (a brass instrument to be sure, but not as hard edged as a trumpet) in the same range as Ullmann. The combination of having the extra voice and the flexibility to mix them in a multitude of ways makes the music unpredictable.

Heavy group, heavy music (the Hebert/Cleaver team is a monster), Ullmann strikes again. Full review here.

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The Piano Trio Project

Gebhard Ullmann
Essencia
Between The Lines
2001

From its opening notes, Essencia announces its ethereal sound world. The piano is played like a harp, supported by arco bass pedal notes with a bass clarinet playing mostly in its highest register, hiding its personality. When a harmony appears, it shocks at first, as if a gas had condensed into a solid.

As noted in the introduction to the Conference Call Project, the piano as a harmonic instrument is just not part of Ullmann's vocabulary, and what Michael Jefry Stevens does in that quartet is quite far from the norm. Pianist Jens Thomas plays the instrument linearly here for the mosty part and is an equal melodic voice in the trio.

Bassist Carlos Bica is a remarkable player and composer and his pieces ("O Profeta II," "Planicies" and "Simple Melody") are extremely powerful and starkly beautiful, providing anchor points in the album's flow.

"Gospel" is the one pure Ullmann tune on the record (this is its third appearance), and is given a very different treatment, but is still quite recognizable.

Delicate, thoughtful music with a shimmering intensity. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann
Die Blaue Nixe
Between The Lines
2006

Opening with Ullmann playing an unearthly tremolo with harmonic overtones on bass clarinet accompanied by Chris Dahlgren's simple, deep bass notes and precisely applied note from pianist Art Lande, Die Blaue Nixe immediately suspends time and space.

A worthy successor to the evocative and compelling Essencia, Die Blaue Nixe weaves its spell slowly through the seven versions of the improvised suite "Blaue Nixe" that form the backbone of the record. Interspersed are compositions of Ullmann, Dahlgren and Lande which contrast nicely to and fill out the mood of the suite variations.

Two Ullmann tunes have earlier versions. "Verschiedene Annäherungen an den Ton Ges" (which could be translated as "Approaching the Note Gb from Different Angles or Sides") first appeared on Ballads And Other Objects, and has its charm, but this marvelous version is best described as "Ullmann meets 'Round Midnight."

"Flutist With Hat And Shoe," a composition in response to a painting, has been recorded three times before: Oct. 1, '98, Kreuzberg Park East and Desert Songs & Other Landscapes. This version is just perfect for the mood of the disc - deep, soft and warm.

Note that while fifteen tracks are listed, track fifteen is thirty seconds of silence, and Art Lande's "From What I Remember" is actually track sixteen, and waiting for it is particularly effective.

Music for the center of your self. Full reviews here here and here.

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The Conference Call Project

In the notes to Live at the Outpost Performance Space, Michael Jefry Stevens tells of how he met Ullmann back in 1997 through the common friend of Phil Haynes (of Basement Research). Shortly thereafter, the idea of the band Conference Call was created. Stevens brought in his long-time musical partner, bassist Joe Fonda. Drummers have varied over the years, starting with Matt Wilson, then Han Bennink, George Schuller and finally Gerry Hemingway.

The immediate thing that jumps out is the sound of the piano within the group. It is almost shocking to realize that no other Ullmann-lead group uses the instrument for its harmony generation, or needs it. The piano trios use the piano quite differently, although what Stevens does is in this project is very subtle and suggestive and avoids the obvious.

The group is a cooperative in that everyone contributes compositions and its improvisational personality can range from free form improvising to tight driving blowing. Ullmann, though he is listed first and is the obvious lead instrument, is but one of four personalities that blend to make this remarkable band.

Gebhard Ullmann
Final Answer
Soul Note
2002

The opening track "Dreierlei," first introduced in Translucent Tones announces the thrust of this band. After soprano saxophone, piano and bass introduce the tight, twisting theme in unison Ullmann takes off and soars. He is having fun, threading the needle between inside and outside, between melody and scale blowing and showing how he can be a front-line kind of player and still be himself.

Ullmann's "Conference Call" initially offers no hint of melody, but a sprite and disarming tune appears, only to be totally taken apart by Stevens' piano, and then again by Ullmann on soprano. However, the solo slowly works its way back to the melody, which upon its recapitulation shows it was there all the time. This tune demonstrates the intersection of Ullmann the composer/arranger and the player in an improvisatory group.

Final Answer is one terrific album from the pure music point of view and interesting in how Ullmann plays this new role. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann
Variations On A Master Plan
Leo Records
2003

Shifting gears for this live recording, the group conveys controlled power and intensity. Because of the birth of triplets, Matt Wilson's precise drumming is replaced by Han Bennink's freedom, sharp instincts and intensity.

This recording can easily be heard as an attempt to show the band's introspective and ruminating side. Exploring a very different emotional terrain than Final Answer, this music takes its time to develop, expecting patience from the listener, but returning a deep experience for the effort.

Of the record's forty-seven minutes, fourteen are given over to "Variations On A Theme by Claude Debussy," on which Stevens shines as he expounds the gossamer theme. Ullmann answers with an equally long and intense solo, full of space, accompanied all the while by just Bennink.

The music is pure magic. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann
Spirals. The Berlin Concert
482 Music
2004

The band is caught again at a live concert this time in Berlin, with George Schuller replacing Han Bennink on drums, adding a different kind of urgency as his own "Comeuppance" opens the set. Not really a tune, the theme consists of a number descending triads that first Stevens explores in his own inimitable way and then by Ullmann, who can barely seem to contain himself. All the while, Schuller is commenting passionately.

Ullmann's two contributions to the set are "Dreierlei" and "Translucent Tones (Gestalt in Three)," both of which originated on Translucent Tones. Ullmann took the former for a real ride on Final Answer, but this time it stretched out nearly three times as long. Fonda solos to lead into the theme, which is finally played up to speed, and then Stevens plays an interesting solo against the fast pulse set up by Fonda and Schuller. Ullmann comes in around half-way through after a Fonda solo, taking his time on the soprano saxophone, but building, along with the band, to a dramatic climax.

After Stevens' delightful tango "Little Pete's Diner" and some ignorable political ranting from Fonda, the band shifts gears with the ethereal "Translucent Tones" one of Ullmann's compositions that are identified more by their overall sound than a strong theme. Intensely quiet with much unison playing by Ullmann, Stevens and Fonda, its tension sets up the equally intense but much more active "No Hazmats" by Schuller.

Another engrossing concert from Conference Call. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann
Live At The Outpost Performance Space
482 Music
2006

This is fourth album and third live recording, from Albuquerque, New Mexico of Conference Call and features another new drummer, Gerry Hemingway who immediately shows the virtue of being chosen for the group on the opening number "29 Shoes," previously heard on Ballads And Other Objects. The earlier version, because of the resources is light and playful, but here Hemingway propels the band with high energy and polyrhythms, taking a terrific solo after the theme is introduced.

The tune plays itself out with Ullmann on soprano saxophone solos, taking the theme many different places as Stevens, Fonda and Hemingway move through different rhythm feels.

Steven's beautiful and languid "Liquid Cage," first heard on Final Answer is given an expansive reading, with harmonies that hang in the air, waiting to be resolved and leads directly to his "Circle Dance". Ullmann's "Mala Dr'ole," which goes all the way back to Tà Lam and also appears on Final Answer. The live version can be related back the studio one, but here it is taken in many other directions.

On Outpost, Ullmann is his usual trenchant self, Stevens plays with classical sensitive and precision, Fonda is very powerful, while Hemingway brings a real energy to the group. Full review here.

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The Ullmann/Swell 4 Project

Gebhard Ullmann/Steve Swell
Desert Songs And Other Landscapes
CIMP
2004

This recording happened in the middle of a tour and the group was loose. CIMP recordings are done live with no post-processing, and whatever sound is agreed upon after the soundcheck is what is recorded. The result here is kind of dry, with the bass getting swallowed by the drums many times.

However, the music that is recorded is full of energy and interplay. The group is of the free kind, meaning that stable rhythms are not created and maintained by anyone much of the time. Steve Swell is a technically amazing trombonist, and quite a free spirit.

This group and project allows Ullmann to play and arrange his compositions within a very free attitude where the interaction is moment to moment within very broad structural architecture. In the set, three Ullmann compositions are played: "Flutist with Hat and Shoe" (previously heard on Oct. 1, '98 and Kreuzberg Park East) and "Seven 9-8" and "Desert... Bleue... East" (both on Ballads And Other Related Objects).

The immediacy of the playing is obvious and infectious to listen to as the free sections slowly merge with a rhythm/bass vamp that supports playing that edges in and out of freedom. Desert Songs & Other Landscapes is no compromise music that demands both critical listening and the willingness to go where the musicians take you. Full review here.

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The BassX3 Project

Gebhard Ullmann/Peter Herbert/Chris Dahlgren
BassX3
Drimala Records
2005

The low end of music became important to Ullmann in the early 1990s, when he really began to concentrate on bass clarinet. While on the recordings of The Clarinet Trio Project he stays on bass clarinet, it is on BassX3 that all the players are from the low end. Ullmann, playing bass clarinet and bass flute has combined talents with two bassists, Chris Dahlgren (an arranger in the The Big Band Project and Peter Herbert to create music that strangely beautiful and continually intriguing.

Since the compositional credits are given to all three musicians, the music is improvised and so while the impetus for the project comes from Ullmann, its final shape and sound must be attributed to all three players.

And what a sound it is! The range of expression is impressive and constantly surprising as the two basses pluck and bow, their notes interacting, producing harmonics and difference tones. Ullmann plays above and inside what feels like a wall of sound, creating further interactions.

The title tune is a microcosm of the album. Arco basses playing harmonics resonate with Ullmann's bass flute. Harmonies are implied as pure sounds generate physical space and imagery. The effect is visceral, astonishing and awe inspiring as we look into the depths.

Who else would have thought to do this? Full review here.

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The Big Band Project

Gebhard Ullmann/Peter Herbert/Chris Dahlgren
The Big Band Project
Soul Note
2004

Ullmann admits that he is not a fan of big band, but, after getting a call from someone from the North German Radio (NDR) Big Band, suggesting a project for the band with him as a soloist, he decided to ask Satoko Fujii, Chris Dahlgren (with whom he would later play with on BassX3, CutItOut and Die Blaue Nixe), Günter Lenz (in whose Springtime band he plays) and pianist Andy Emler to arrange a piece (or two that are fused) for a group that is almost double the size of his Tà Lam Zehn band.

Whether Ullmann's reticence was the just group's size or the presence of brass we will never know, but the results of the guest arrangers are astounding. The arrangements only show once again that each of Ullmann's compositions has a very strong identity that allows it to come shining through regardless of who does the arranging or what their style is.

Fujii tackled the ominous "Think Tank" (previously heard on Moritat and Basement Research) and the uproarious "D. Nee No" (which has already been recorded six times — obviously an Ullmann favorite).

Dahlgren worked on the quintessential Ullmann composition "Tà Lam" and the non-blues blues "Blaues Lied," both of which get taken for a ride with the full resources of the band putting the pedal to the metal.

This record is dense with big band playing, arranging that allows both the arrangers and the material to be recognized and top drawer playing from Ullmann. Full review here.

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Miscellaneous and Early Ullmann

Gebhard Ullmann/Chris Dahlgren/Jay Rosen
CutItOut
Leo Records
2006

Getting together with bassist (plus some electronics) Chris Dahlgren, who participated in the wonderful BassX3 (and before that arranged for the The Big Band Project) and drummer/percussionist Jay Rosen, a veteran of many session on CIMP Records, Ullmann puts together a free session recorded in Dahlgren's living room.

The record is arranged in two main parts of five tracks each with the groupings split into sub-groupings of two and three tracks, with all tracks being free except Dahlgren's "Lolligager," and it is easy to hear that it is composed.

The main question of any free jazz is whether it "worked." This means asking whether, through the spontaneity, any coherence or developmental direction emerged. If the players are listening to each other, various feedback loops should develop as different members take the lead temporarily. "Walking Under Trains" actually has a fine section of straight rhythmic drive that will get you moving, and this is the natural outcome of the feeling of the moment.

From this perspective, CutItOut does work and in fact it is not terribly difficult to hear temporary structure arising, evolving and then mutating. Ullmann stays with bass clarinet and bass flute, he does not stay in their lower registers, showing the control of the instrument for which he is rightfully lauded.

Ullmann cannot really be classified as a free jazzer since the vast majority of his output is made up of his compositions. This recording (along with BassX3) does show that Ullmann can create in this kind of environment. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann
Out To Lunch
Nabel Records
1985

Together with bassist Hans-Dieter Lorenz and his musical partners guitarist Andreas Willers and drummer Nikolaus Schäuble (recorded here for the first time), Ullmann has created an emotional homage to one of his favorite album's, Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch! (Blue Note, 1964).

Balancing the past and the future, the quartet plays music that evokes late night, sensuality and a bit of danger. The tracks consist of two group improvisations, and three compositions each by Willers and Ullmann.

The playing is intense and emotional and a fitting tribute to the spirit of Dolphy. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann/Enrico Rava/Andreas Willers/Martin Lillich/Nikolaus Schäuble
Ullmann—Rava—Willers—Lillich—Schäuble
Nabel Records
1989



At the time of this session, Enrico Rava had been recording for just about as long as Ullmann had been alive. However, there is no hint of a famous-guest-with-young-quartet attitude or of a generation gap as Rava maneuvers the tunes and plays beautifully with his always recognizable tone.

Of the Ullmann tunes, two get further arrangements in later projects. "Black Cat" appears on two records from the Tà Lam Project: Moritat and the Vancouver Concert and "Fourteen Days" makes it into Basement Research and The Big Band Project

The music is most definitely modern, but it also has a timeless quality about it that makes it very attractive. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann/Andreas Willers
No Age
Intuition Records
1987

This recording is a big change of genre from Out To Lunch and might, on the evidence of a few minutes of listening, initially be labeled "New Age." However, everything is so well done, and since the complexity increases greatly in the second part of album that it becomes "No Age."

A number of percussionists and an electronic sound manipulator join the trio of Ullmann, guitarist Andreas Willers and drummer Nikolaus Schäuble, who played on Out To Lunch. The music starts out bright and happy with relatively simple rhythms and harmonies, accompanied by an electronic sheen.

"Sunday With My Snow Angel," the fourth track, begins the move towards complexity and ambiguity. Ullmann, who played only soprano saxophone on the first three tracks, moves to various flutes and tenor saxophone for the rest of the album.

An interesting exercise, but never to be repeated. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann
Per Dee Doo
Nabel Records
1990

Per Dee Doo finds Ullmann, with guitarist Michael Rodach, bassist Martin Lillich and drummer Nikolaus Schäuble playing their takes on standards both old and new. The tunes range from Swing Era favorites like Benny Goodman's "Seven Come Eleven," "Perdido" by Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington's "Satin Doll" to later tunes like Thelonious Monk's "Epistrophy" and Miles Davis' "Blue In Green" and finally to modern classics like Carla Bley's "Ida Lupino."

Along the way, the tunes are turned inside out, sometimes in shocking ways. The essence of the tune is never forgotten, but its pedigree is not strictly respected. "Satin Doll" and "Epistrophy" are treated roughly when compared to renditions from more within the tradition, and perhaps that is the point.

Ullmann and especially Rodach inject a modern and quite personal sensibility into these well-known tunes and you might never hear them quite the same way again. Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann/Andreas Willers
Suite Noire
Nabel Records
1992

Suite Noire has the sound of being on the cusp of the breakthrough that is Tà Lam. Ullmann has expanded his arsenal to include bass clarinet (besides flute, bass flute, tenor and soprano sax) for the first time, as his studies of the low end bear fruit.

Working with guest musicians drummer Marvin "Smitty Smith" and tuba virtuoso Bob Stewart, the duo of guitarist Andreas Willers, Ullmann's musical partner for more than ten years and Ullmann have created a recording of dark intensity, expanding on their earlier work with multi-tracking and over-dubbing.

The mood is exemplified by the Ornette Coleman tune "Lonely Woman" which is paired with "Double Density" by Ullmann and Willers. Smith's intense and propulsive drumming continually accompanies the soloist in the moody piece. The title tune is an actual suite made up of new and old themes which flow together and span many emotions.

Full review here.

Gebhard Ullmann/Andreas Willers
Playful '93
Nabel Records
1993

Playful '93 is a compilation of the Playful (Biber Records, 1985) LP from a session in November, 1984 and a few other sessions from 1988-1993. Using overdubbing and other electronic manipulation, Ullmann and guitarist Andreas Willers, along with guest musicians drummer Niklolaus Schäuble (spelled Schoyble on the liner), Bob Stewart (tuba), Christian Wasdaris (tablas) and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith on some isolated tracks create some interesting sounds evoking a wide variety of emotions.

Although the personnel is similar to that on Suite Noire, the overall mood is more integrated on the other record than this one. The feeling here is closer one of experimentation and the examination of a particular emotion in each track.

Of the pure Ullmann compositions, "High Lam Earth" is picked up again on Basement Research and merged with "Kreuzberg Park East" on The Big Band Project, while "Juliusstrasse 25" in played again on the Trad Corrosion.

Gebhard Ullmann/Andreas Willers/Phil Haynes
Trad Corrosion
Nabel Records
1997



Trad Corrosion brings together Ullmann with Andreas four years removed from Playful '93 and Phil Haynes, who played on Basement Research. However, since it was recorded after Tà Lam, Moritat and Basement Research, it has the feel of a step back into the world of the earlier releases.

Made up of nineteen miniatures, most under three minutes, the recording has a very concentrated feel about it as the tracks connect to each other with very little, if any space between them.

Two tunes, "D. Nee No" and "Oberschöneweide" have been recorded before (on Tà Lam and Basement Research), and once again the core of the tune is recognizable (especially "D. Nee No").

While the sound of music is nothing like the recordings immediately preceding it (Tà Lam, Moritat and Basement Research), it also sounds like nothing before it, except for a connection in instrumentation to Playful '93, with some nods to Suite Noire. Full review here.

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Sideman Groups 1: Günter Lenz' Springtime

Günter Lenz
Major League
Bellaphon Records
1992

Bassist Günter Lenz, who actually played in the earliest bands led by Krzysztof Komeda, appears to have learned from this master the art of creating compositions that are highly dramatic, that live and breathe, are accessible (i.e. easily understandable) and yet challenging, that have strong grooves with complexity and which balance structure with giving freedom to the performers.

The music is happy and life affirming, totally engrossing and very serious but with an strong undertone of joy and humor. Each track tells a different kind of story and the album moves relentless forward, almost demanding to be played again.

Ullmann might just be the strongest soloist since he takes advantage of the enormous freedom the music gives him, while understanding intuitively the strong tonality of the music. Responding to the compositions with a palpable gusto, Ullmann plays the farthest "out" while never breaking the music's inner rules. The mixture of pure fun and utter concentration is evident in his every note.

Günter Lenz
Strict Minimum
Jazzwerkstatt Records
2007

The notes, by reedman Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, describes bassist/leader Günter Lenz with awe, as a musician, composer and a band leader. What is clear is that the elemental force that is Lenz both demands and gets total allegiance of the band because, through playing his music, they become alive.

On this live recording from 2004, the first from the Springtime band in fifteen years, only the pianist and drummer have changed from that time. Comparisons are not that useful because of the length of time between recordings.

What is the same is the sheer vitality of the music as it reaches out grabs you by the throat. However, there will be no listener resistance since Lenz's music has enormous intelligence and drive while being tonally and structurally accessible. Driven by his powerful bass lines and dramatic architecture, the audience is first flattened, the lifted up and embraced — they applaud thankfully. This music puts to shame the vapid stuff that today is called mainstream.

As for Ullmann, Petrowsky say it best: "My saxophone brother Gebhard Ullmann is capable of unfolding elemental forces and breakneck virtuosity in a universe of tenor saxophone, bass clarinet and soprano saxophone without ever losing control of his multifarious facets."

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Sideman Groups 2: Joe Fonda's Groups

Joe Fonda
Full Circle Suite
CIMP
1999

With the instruments clearly placed in space, this CIMP recording is extremely vibrant and alive. On playback, by making the base volume loud enough as is required by the recording technique, the player's physical presence and efforts during the performances can be heard.

The compositions are all by bassist Joe Fonda, using a style that is sectional rather than driven by melody. Development is incremental and the listener must be patient, especially on the longer tracks.

"Full Circle Suite," which, at twenty-seven minutes takes up almost half the record and which illustrates Fonda's style, dominates the album. There is a scalar theme that arises, submerges and returns, which gives some structure for the listener, but still the overall feeling is that of loose organization.

Along with Fonda, drummer Kevin Norton dominates the proceeds. His energy is simply amazing as he literally carries the band. There are very few solo per se, and in most of the pieces, the players sound detached or lightly connected to the pulse, if there is one, and when they play together, they manage to sound independent and connected simultaneously.

The music is emotional, searching and alive. Full review here.

Joe Fonda
Loaded Basses
CIMP
2006

This CIMP recording , although still kind of dry, has a wonderful balance and, if turned up a bit, captures this low band very well. Getting not only aural, but musical clarity with Joe Fonda on bass, Claire Daly on baritone saxophone, Joe Daley on tuba, Ullmann on bass clarinet, Michael Rabinowitz on amplified bassoon and Gerry Hemingway on drums makes this disc a joy to listen to.

From the opening frenetic bass figure of "Bottoms Out," which is combined with exacting drumming from Hemingway, you know that this is a special session. This intense number connects by a Rabinowitz bassoon solo directly to the lament "Gone Too Soon," a tune for Tom Chapin and also heard on Conference Call's Final Answer.

"Breakdown" uses an insistent melodic figure played by parts of the band and syncopated rhythmic pattern as a backdrop to solos from the bassoon and answers from Ullmann. The band is really tight and together and yet loose and free — what a sound.

All in all, Loaded Basses is a deeply involving record. Ullmann is in the mix with a fine band which produced some very memorable music.

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Sideman Groups 3: Miscellaneous Groups

Elefanten
Faust
KlangRäume
1994

Since the liner notes are in German (written by Wolf Kampmann, who wrote the poem in the Moritat liner notes), it is hard to tell what, if anything, is impetus for this music. The Goethe character of Faust and his desire to know all knowledge, his deal with the Devil, etc, might be referenced in the German words that are declaimed throughout the work.

The music, however, does not need a working knowledge of Goethe, Faust or even German to be appreciated. The fifteen tracks average under four minutes and, while they do not run together, feel episodic in that the moods and emotions that are presented vary in a way that implies an underlying drama.

While Elefanten appears to be a cooperative band, Ullmann's harmonic and rhythmic style is all over the music that features himself or Joachim Litty (from the Tà Lam groups) — see "Rauch und Moder," "Subversivos," or "Jolee". Another connection is with guitarist Michael Rodach who played on Per Dee Doo.

One tune, "D. Nee No" will surely be familiar as it is Ullmann's most record composition. The treatment, however, is quite different, as it accompanies a voice that could be a circus barker or a character out of Cabaret, and then serves as what feels like a musical intermission.

Elefanten mixes so many styles, from the experimental use of voice to rhythms from rap and everything in between that it must be listened to as a whole, and then it does really draw one in.

Tayfun Erdem
Eisen, Kohle und Zucker
Open Minds
1991

The driving force behind the music of this strange and intriguing record are the poems of Nâzim Hikmet who was born in 1902, spent much of creative life in Turkey and died in Moscow in 1963. He got involved in the politics of Turkey in the 1930s and was imprisoned for his Marxist beliefs.

This forty-minute disc has but two tracks, "Prologue," which is a setting of words from Nazim's "Epic of the War of Liberation" and "Trilogy of Yearning," which takes three Nazim poems as the musical base.

Otto Sandler is the reciter and the leader, Tayfun Erdem, plays piano and also sings. The music is highly emotional and sectional as it follows the structure of the poems. Ullmann plays only soprano saxophone and mixes the modern, Middle Eastern and klezmer-like sounds together, often reaching for the ecstatic as the music gets hypnotic.

This music has no label as it mixes folk/world, jazz/improvisation and classical/composition sounds together, making for a fascinating trip.



Interviews in English: Kurt Gottschalk, Glenn Astarita, Alain Drouot and Ken Waxman.

For interviews in other languages, visit Gebhard Ullmann on the web and click on News.

Tracks and Personnel

Tà Lam

Tracks: Red Prixx (Allegretto); Heaven No. 2.4; Tà Lam; Palimo Cabero; Oegarden's What?; Hommage To Purple Paintings; Mala Dr'ole; Heaven No. 1; Polyphonic Mornings; D. Nee No; Seven Rests For Woodwind Ensemble; Blue Prixx (Allegro); Dre Open Two.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: piccolo flute, concert flute, alto flute, bass flute, wood flutes, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinets; Hans Hassler: accordion; E.C. Zander: piano (Dre Open Two).

Moritat

Tracks: Reg Alien (Part One); D. Nee No; Oberschöneweide; Die Moritat Von Mackie Messer; Heaven No. 2.4; Think Tank; Black Cat; Heaven No. 2.4 (Again); Reg Alien (Part Three); P.I.T.C.; Ladie's Tap; N. B. Eleven; Basement Research; Mbil K.; Eben Doch; Reg Alien (Part Two); Moritatenblut.

Personnel: Dirk Engelhardt: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, voice; Hans Hassler: accordion, voice; Thomas Klemm: tenor saxophone, alto flute, wood flute, voice, kalimba; Jürgen Kupke: clarinet, voice; Joachim Litty: alto clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, voice; Heiner Reinhardt: bass clarinet, voice; Volker Schlott: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, flute, wood flute, voice; Gebhard Ullmann: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass flute, bass clarinet, wood flute, voice, bassocarina.

Tà Lam '98

Tracks: Reg Alien; D. Nee No; Tà Lam; Think Tank; Heaven No. 2.4; Seven Rests for Woodwind Ensemble; Mack The Knife; Oberschöneweide; Oergarden's What?; Mala Dr'ole; N.B. Eleven; Heaven No. 2.4 (Again); Red Prixx (Allegretto); Black Cat; Basement Research.

Personnel: Dirk Engelhardt: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, voice; Hans Hassler: accordion, voice; Thomas Klemm: tenor saxophone, alto flute, wood flute, voice, kalimba; Jürgen Kupke: clarinet, voice; Joachim Litty: alto clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, voice; Heiner Reinhardt: bass clarinet, voice; Volker Schlott: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, flute, wood flute, voice; Gebhard Ullmann: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass flute, bass clarinet, wood flute, voice, bassocarina.

Vancouver Concert - Tà Lam Zehn

Tracks: Think Tank; Tapping the Foot, Tapping the Brain; Speak Low; Oberschöneweide; Blue Prixx (Intro); Blue Prixx (Theme); Tà Lam; D. Nee No; Heaven No. 2.4 (Again); Die Moritat Von Mackie Messer;.

Personnel: Hinrich Berrman: baritone saxophone; Daniel Erdmann: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Thomas Klemm: tenor saxophone, wood flute; Jürgen Kupke: clarinet; Joachim Litty: alto clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone; Theo Nabicht: bass clarinet, soprano saxophone; Heiner Reinhardt: bass clarinet; Volker Schlott: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, wood flute; Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, wooden flute; Hans Hassler: accordion.

Oct. 1, '98

Tracks: Mouthpieces; Klezmer...Flower...Tag; Moments/Collective One; Heaven No. 2.7; Für BassKlarineten Alleine; Gospel; Blaues Lied; Clarinet; Scratch/Collective Two; Tea For Two; Brywzc (fur zwei Bassklarinetten zusammen); Blues/Collective Three; Meltema; Variationen über "Rauch un Moder"; Flutist with Hat and Shoe; Think Tank (Shooting in Black and White); Für die Andere Bassklarinetten Alleine; Walzer/Collective Four; Parlami di me.

Personnel: Jürgen Kupke: clarinet; Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet; Theo Nabicht: bass clarinet.

Translucent Tones

Tracks: Collective No. 5; Blue Trees and Related Objects; Translucent Tones (UP); Animalischen Stimmen; Translucent Tones (Gestalt in Three); I Clowns; Theo; Collective No. 7; Die Zwei Farben Gehen; Dreierlei; Gebhard; Variations on a Theme by Erik Satie; Almost Twenty-Eight; Collective No. 6 and No. 8 (Mysterioso); Anna; Der Ton A; Valzer Del Commiato.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet; Jürgen Kupke: clarinet; Theo Nabicht: bass clarinet.

Ballads And Related Objects

Tracks: Déjà Vu (Variation 1); Seven 9-8; Collective No. 9 (Part 1-4); Almost Twenty-Eight; Variations On A Theme By Claude Debussy; Collective No. 10 (Lines); 29 Shoes; Collective No. 11 (Hohe Objekte); Verschiedene Annäherungen an den Ton Ges; Déjà Vu (Theme); Desert... Bleue... East; Collective No. 12 (Ballad); Déjà Vu (Variation 2).

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet; Jürgen Kupke: clarinet; Michael Thieke: alto clarinet, clarinet.

Basement Research

Tracks: D. Nee-No; Think Tank; Café Toronto; Oberschöneweide; New No-Ness; High Lam Earth; Farbiges Lied; Fourteen Days; N.B. Eleven; Basement Research.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Ellery Eskelin: tenor saxophone; Drew Gress: bass; Phil Haynes: drums.

Kreuzberg Park East

Tracks: Blaues Lied; Kreuzberg Park East; Metemà; The T. T. Walk; Flutist With Hat And Shoe; Almost Twenty-Eight; Those 4 R; Blue Trees And Related Objects.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Ellery Eskelin: tenor saxophone; Drew Gress: bass; Phil Haynes; drums.

Basement Research Live In Münster

Tracks: Blaues Lied; Basement Research; Kreuzberg Park East; Farbiges Lied; T. T. Walk; New No Ness.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Drew Gress: bass; Phil Haynes: drums.

New Basement Research

Tracks: Dreierlei; Gospel; Seven 9-8; New No Ness; D. Nee No; Desert... Bleue... East; Almost Twenty-Eight.

Personnel: Julian Argüelles: soprano saxophone, baritone saxophone; Steve Swell: trombone; Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet, tenor saxophone; John Hebert: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.

Essencia

Tracks: Sombras E Nevoeria/A Luz Da Sombra; Essencia (grave); Gospel; Haiku; O Profeta II; Pinoquio; Bella und Herr T.; Walking Poem No. 2; Planicies; Essencia (largo); Chinesisches Gedicht No. 3; Simple Melody.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: tenor & soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Jens Thomas: piano; Carlos Bica: bass

Die Blaue Nixe

Tracks: Blaue Nixe (Teil 1); Blaue Nixe (Teil 2); Verschiedene Annäherungen An Den Ton Ges; Spieldosen; Winter Thoughts; BaBa; Blaue Nixe (Teil 3); Blaue Nixe (Teil 4); The Sun Seemed Never Again As Yellow; Blaue Nixe (Teil 5); Blaue Nixe (Teil 6); Blaue Nixe (Teil 7); Das Tiefe A; Flutist With Hat And Shoe; From What I Remember.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophone, ocarinas, toys; Art Lande: piano, toys; Chris Dahlgren: bass and preparations, toys.

Final Answer

Tracks: Dreierlei; You're There, I Am Here; Could This Be A Polka?; Final Answer; Gone Too Soon; Mala Dr'ole; Conference Call; Liquid Cage; Final Answer [Is This Your...?].

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Michael Jefry Stevens: piano; Joe Fonda: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.

Variations On A Master Plan

Tracks: Quiet; Circle; Variations on a Theme by Claude Debussy; Parlami Di Me; Improvisation No. 2; Song for My Mother.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Michael Jefry Stevens: piano; Joe Fonda: bass; Han Bennink: drums.

Spirals. The Berlin Concert

Tracks: Comeuppance; Dreierlei; Little Pete's Diner; Three; Translucent Tones; No Hazmats.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Michael Jefry Stevens: piano; Joe Fonda: bass; George Schuller: drums, cymbals, bells.

Live At The Outpost Performance Space

Tracks: 29 Shoes; Liquid Cage; Circle Dance; Mala Dr'ole; As I Wait.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: saxophones and bass clarinet; Michael Jefry Stevens: piano; Joe Fonda: bass; Gerry Hemingway: drums, cymbals and bells.

Desert Songs And Other Landscapes

Tracks: Box Set; Flutist With Hat And Shoe; Seven 9-8; Camel's Gait/Desert Sands Part 1; Under The Other; Desert... Bleue... East.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Steve Swell: trombone; Hilliard Greene: bass; Barry Altschul: drums.

BassX3

Tracks: Nummer Sieben, Gross und Klein, Small Birds/DreiHolz, BassX3, Blue Mint, Red, Yeah Mbira, Slowliness In Green And Yellow.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann—bass flute, bass clarinet; Chris Dahlgren—bass, toys, electronics; Peter Herbert-bass.

The Big Band Project

Tracks: Think Tank; Tá Lam; Fourteen Days/Café Toronto; D. Nee No; Kreuzberg Park East/High Lam Earth; Blaues Lied.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet; tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; NDR Big Band - Dieter Glauswischnig: conductor; Ingolf Burkhardt: trumpet; Claus Stötter: trumpet; Michael Leuschner: trumpet; Reiner Winterschladen: trumpet; Fiete Felsch: alto saxophone, flute; Lutz Büchner: alto saxophone, flute; Christof Lauer: tenor saxophone; Frank Delle: tenor saxophone; Julian Argüelles: baritone saxophone; Peter Bolte: alto saxophone; Joe Gallardo: trombone; Sebastian Hoffmann: trombone; Sebastian John: trombone; Ingo Lahme: trombone; Stefan Lottermann: trombone; Stephan Diez: guitar; Lucas Lindholm: bass; Vladyslav Sendecki: piano; Marcio Doctor: percussion; Tom Rainey: drums.

CutItOut

Tracks: CutItOut (Part1): Grid Speak; Calling Mr. Waits No. 1; U.S.O. Ballad; Lolligager; No Mouthpiece; CutItOut Part (Part 2): Calling Mr. Waits No. 2; Mbira; Walking Under Trains; Bass/Bass; Epilog (Ballad No. 2).

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet, bass flute; Chris Dahlgren: bass, electronics; Jay Rosen: drums, percussion.

Out To Lunch

Tracks: Minus One; No Way; Crawler; Concentration; Feels; No rags; No dinner; Kaspar Hauser.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Andreas Willers: guitar; Hans-Dieter Lorenz: bass; Nikolaus Schäuble: drums.

No Age

Tracks: Connossence; Escalate in 15/8; Minimal Kids; Sunday With My Snow Angel; Parallels; Moon Gone; Jou Be Lée.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: soprano saxophone, bass flute, alto flute, concert flute, tenor sax, handclaps; Andreas Willers: electric guitar, classical guitar, 12 string guitar, synthesizers, handclaps; Nikolaus Schäuble: drums, manual bass drum, cymbals, gongs, windchimes, castanets, handclaps, bell and snare, glasharp, voice, synthesizer, marimba, Simons SDS 5, cowbells; Knut Jens: sound and sequencer programming; Hans Lüdemann: grand piano; Glen Moore: bass; Trilok Gurtu: caixixi, crotale, sound percussion; Burhan Oçal: gongs, darabuka; Les Petits Chanteurs: vocals.

Ullmann - Rava - Willers - Lillich - Schäuble

Tracks: Fourteen Days; Eighteen Arabs; Black Cat; Laura; Minus One; Lied; Different Aspects Of Colourful Days: (Seven And A Half Rare Moments; Little Breath; Five Red Spots); Hendji; Fourteen Days.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass flute; Andreas Willers: guitar; Enrico Rava: trumpet; Martin Lillich: bass; Nikolaus Schäuble: drums.

Suite Noire

Tracks: Tapping The Foot, Tapping The Brain; Lonely Woman/Double Density; Autumn Monday; Suite Noire: (Low - liness; Ein Denkmal für Rosa und Karl; Sudan Airways Loop; Solo; La Prima Vera; Twelve Tone Stomp); Departure; Tuba; Blaues Lied; L'Aura.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, flute, alto flute, bass flute; Andreas Willers: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, guitar synthesizer; Marvin "Smitty" Smith: drums, percussion (2, 5), sampler (1); Bob Stewart: tuba (4, 6).

Playful '93

Tracks: Mass Ritual; High Lam Earth; Hverdag; Macondo; The Listening Room; Beirut; High Lam Earth (Variations For Two); Juliusstrasse 25; Backyard Thang; Petit Marché; Schlafende Hunde; Sleeping in; Sixty One; Berliner Zimmer.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: all wind instruments; Andreas Willers: guitars and related objects; Nikolaus Schäuble: drum machine programming (8); Bob Stewart: tuba (10); Marvin "Smitty" Smith: percussion (10); Christian Wasdaris: tablas (13);

Trad Corrosion

Tracks: Etude Part 3; D. Nee No; Windchime; Princess; Heaven No. 2.5; Wealthy Clients; Etude Part 1; Juliusstrasse 25; Gospel; Sit Sofort; Etude Part 2; Variationen Uber "Rauch Und Morder"; Snaring A Yotte; Oberschöneweide; Diffusion B; Flying In A Nutshell; Jan Lukas; Heaven No. 2.6; Etude Part 4.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, basso carina; Andreas Willers: guitar; Phil Haynes: percussion.

Per Dee Doo

Tracks: Seven Come Eleven; Perdido; 502 Blues; St. Thomas; Ida Lupino; Satin Doll; Epistrophy; Fall; Blue In Green; Georgia On My Mind.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass flute; Michael Rodach: guitar; Martin Lillich: bass; Nikolaus Schäuble: drums.

Major League

Tracks: Majorleague; Got No Time; Bluesarna; Floating Open Times; Der Standpunkt Im Schnittpunkt; Subtone Bells; Heavy Petal; Sphings; Back To The Earth; Im Tschad.

Personnel: Claus Stötter: trumpet, flugelhorn; Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky: alto saxophone, flute; Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Bob Degen: piano; Günter Lenz: bass; Thomas Cremer: drums.

Strict Minimum

Tracks: La Vielle Prune; Holzbein; Cotton Worldwide; B-A-C-H; Turbo Bop; Perpetual Questions; Strict Minimum.

Personnel: Claus Stötter: trumpet, flugelhorn; Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky: alto saxophone, clarinet, flute; Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Günter Lenz: bass; Dieter Glauwischnig: piano; Billy Elgart: drums.

Full Circle Suite

Tracks: Next Step; Full Circle Suite; It's Good to Know You; To Bob's House; Deconstructed Borrowed Tune.

Personnel: Joe Fonda: bass; Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet; Chris Jonas: soprano saxophone; Taylor Ho Bynum: conch, pocket trumpet, trumpet; Kevin Norton: drums, percussion.

Loaded Basses

Tracks: Bottoms Out/Gone Too Soon (for Tom Chapin); Breakdown; Rocks In My Head; Brown Bagging It.

Personnel: Joe Fonda: bass; Claire Daly: baritone sax; Joe Daley: tuba; Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet; Michael Rabinowitz: bassoon; Gerry Hemingway: drums.

Faust

Tracks: Es gibt Scherben; Rauch und Moder; Tango Valesqua; M. D. M.; Sakhato - Ho!; Die Mutter platzt; 1, Tag 4; Subversivos; Hexen; Der elegante Esel; Jolee; Die russiche Minute; D. Nee No; Meine Ruh' is hin.

Personnel: Joachim Litty: wind instruments; Gebhard Ullmann: wind instruments, piano; Michael Rodach: guitars; Gerd Kaulard: basses; Klaus Staffa: voice and vocals, percussion; Andreas Weiser: percussion, electronics, voice; Ulrich Moritz: drums, percussion, voice; Sabine Svoboda: voice.

Eisen, Kohle und Zucker

Tracks: Prolog (Prologue); Sehsuchtstrilogie (Trilogy of Learning): Tafel / Memét / Dampfer (Table / Memét / Steam Ship).

Personnel: Otto Sandler: reciter; Tayfun Erdem: piano, synthesizer, vocals; Gebhard Ullmann: soprano saxophone; Hans Hartmann: bass; Michael Clifton: drums; Topo Gioio: percussion.


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