Gunter Baby Sommer / Manfred Schoof / Gianluigi Trovesi / Barre Phillips: Peitzer Grand Mit Vieren (2010)
Europe being what it is, hundreds of improvisers all living within short train or plane rides away from each other, it is reasonable to assume that all these players worked together before this particular 39-minute set. The continent was once awash in various festivals celebrating free and avant-garde jazz and Sommer, Schoof, Trovesi and Phillips are all related by far fewer than seven degrees of separation. So despite being a one-off collaboration (that we know of), the improvisation is not tentative or overly bombastic, two approaches often evident with new associations.
Schoof and Phillips are the elders of the group, the former best known for his mid-1960s quintet and membership in the Globe Unity Orchestra and the latter the father, son and holy ghost of extended techniques on the bass. Sommer and Trovesi are a generation removed but no less convincing on their instruments, particularly Trovesi, whose current work falls furthest from the tree of which this recording is a sturdy branch. By this point, distinctions are no longer relevant among the German, Italian or American approaches to extemporization but certainly varied cultures and experiences, with or without each other, make this a fascinating record of a meeting that could have become of long-standing but is just as satisfying for existing for the briefest of moments.
Track Listing: Ein Set.
Personnel: Barre Phillips: bass; Guünter Baby Sommer: drums; Manfred Schoof: trumpet; Gianluigi Trovesi: alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet.
Record Label: Jazzwerkstatt Berlin-brandenburg E.v.
Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde