Carl Ludwig Hubsch’s Primordial Soup: Carl Ludwig Hubsch’s Primordial Soup (2007)
Hübsch is well served by the musicians he has chosen to navigate the unknown with him. Axel Dörner (trumpet), Frank Gratkowski (reeds) and Michael Grenier (drums, percussion) have all made a mark in free invention and instant improvisation. For the quartet, music is channelled through the impulse of the moment, from the inspiration that strikes in a flash. But despite what would on the face of it seem an entire foray into the realm of abstract freedom, Hübsch has plenty of melody running in his veins to let it have a vantage point on the record.
The two streams join forces significantly on "NGC 2270 Terrier. The melody obtains its shape unhurriedly, but once it does it assumes a sense of urgency. Gratkowski and Dörner propel it with Hübsch adding the counterpoint. Then comes the near classical image, glassy lines shaped by Gratkowski on the clarinet before he casts them aside for more for obtuse designs. The fervour is ardent, the heated atmosphere given greater impetus by Hübsch. In the midst of it all Griener adds some light touches, a soft breeze in the whirlwind. But the plateau is open and undefined to let the quartet mark its own compelling signposts.
Divergence converges on "NGC 2271 Hades B. It's a paean to free expression that seeks common ground and succeeds remarkably well. Gratkowski and Dörner are the protagonists, engaged in a conversation that pulls in different strands. It is an intriguing dialogue. The stimulus calms, space opens wide and silence greets the occasional twitter of the reeds or the lone drum beat. Time seems at a standstill, but curiosity is well served as out of the stillness rise the lonesome song of the trumpet or the burp of the tuba.
Hübsch and his fellow mates in high imagination turn on the spell and hold it right through.
Track Listing: NGC 2271 Hades B; NGC 2274 Melos; Pressio #1; NGC 2273 Vier/Four; Flexus; Pressio #2; NGC 2270 Terrier; NGC 2276 Inspektion; Harpa Gratkowske.
Personnel: Carl Ludwig Hübsch: tuba; Axel Dörner: trumpet; Frank Gratkowski: reeds; Michael Grenier: drums, percussion.
Record Label: Red Toucan Records
Style: Modern Jazz