is brought to you by the Germany-based, “Bernd Konrad-Hans Koller Unit” yet features a multinational cast of modern jazz notables appearing on selected tracks.
The title piece commences and finalizes this outing in two slightly different flavors, yet on “Phonolith 1”, violinist Didier Lockwood lends his expertise to a composition that launches with a blazing foray of harmonic splendor amid a revved up march-like motif of rapid unison choruses and linear interludes. Here, Lockwood is on fire and should at the very least, shed any doubt as to his esteemed stature in jazz. However, Bernd Konrad, performing on soprano sax, picks up where Lockwood left off, atop Thomas Stabenow’s prominent walking bass lines and Martin Bues swiftly executed, highly charged rhythms as the saxophonist literally drives his ax into submission. Whereas on “Phonolith 2”, there is a change of personnel as the Unit transforms into a brass heavy nonet, also featuring Kenny Wheeler, trumpeter Herbert Joos, tenor saxophonist Ekkehart Rossle and others. Additional highlights on this power packed effort are, Bernd Konrad’s multifarious solo baritone saxophone performance on “Traumtanzer”, the exuberant free-bop burner, “Jeannerette” and Hans Koller’s harmonious solo tenor sax rendition of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life”.
Phonolith is enhanced by a clever track placement. Hence, a good mix and stunning ensemble work might have you begging for more as these fifty-three minutes of modern jazz transpire at a whirlwind pace! Basically, it doesn’t get much bolder than this! Highly recommended......
* * * * ½ (Out of * * * * *)
Track Listing: 1) Phonolith 1 2) Traumtanzer 3) Nordlicht 4) Aufwartsregen 5) Jeannerette 6) Lush Life 7) Sleepwalk 8) Phonolith 2
Personnel: Bernd Konrad; soprano & baritone saxophones: Hans Koller; tenor & sopranino saxophones: Didier Lockwood; violin: Christoph Spendel; piano: Thomas Stabenow; doublebass: Martin Bues; drums. On