Back in 1999, Leo Records released the debut album, Oct. 1 '98, by The Clarinet Trio, which consisted of three German clarinettists, Jürgen Kupke on clarinet plus Gebhard Ullmann and Theo Nabicht both on bass clarinets. The three had contrasting interests and styles: Kupke had been performing from contemporary to New Orleans-type music, Nabicht focused on contemporary composed and improvised music and wrote music for theatre, while Ullmann had been composing and performing in the large field of what he thought jazz was. In 2002, Leo released a second album, Translucent Tones, by the same threesome. However, by the time ...read more
The international partnership of German multi-instrumentalist Gebhard Ullmann and Downtown trombonist Steve Swell dates back to 2004, when they first recorded together as the co-leaders of a quartet on Desert Songs and Other Landscapes (CIMP, 2004)--the same year Swell joined Ullmann's renowned Basement Research ensemble. News? No News! is the sophomore follow-up to their CIMP debut, a rare studio date for the German Jazzwerkstatt imprint that captures the vigor of the quartet's live gigs in a transparent studio environment.
Despite the quartet's dual leadership moniker (Ullmann and Swell split writing duties), these four veterans interact with the democratic ...read more
It is difficult to decide, when listening to The Ullmann-Swell 4 disc News? No News! whether the choicest parts are composed or purely improvised. With such talent heard here in this mini-supergroup of saxophonist/bass clarinetist Gebhard Ullmann, trombonist Steve Swell, bassist Hilliard Greene, and drummer Barry Altschul, maybe the extreme pleasure that results is allowing that tug-of-war to play itself out.
This disc is the second by the quartet, following Desert Songs and Other Landscapes (CIMP, 2004). Ullmann and Swell are long time partners, having collaborating in Ullmann's sextet Basement Research, a group also notable for featuring British saxophonist Julian ...read more
In these days of global jazz alliances, the partnership of downtown trombonist Steve Swell and German reedman Gebhard Ullmann won't raise too many eyebrows. More noteworthy is its endurance, spanning some six years since its auspicious inception with Desert Songs and Other Landscapes (CIMP, 2004). Swell is also a fixture in Ullmann's Basement Research band, another combo that shows similar staying power. News? No News!, a studio date on Berlin's Jazzwerkstatt imprint, constitutes a worthy successor to the CIMP, featuring an unchanged lineup completed by Hilliard Greene on bass and the illustrious Barry Altschul behind the drums. Democratic intent is ...read more
When Gebhard Ullmann took his Basement Research into Krakow 's Alchemia Club to celebrate his 50th birthday, he recorded two sets of music. The first was released as Don't Touch My Music, Vol. 1. Like the first, this second set is unedited and unchanged, and shows just how intuitive and empathic the band is.
Ullmann's compositions encapsulate several idioms. He goes from blues to a march, transforming into free idioms without a twinge. And just as his writing is earthy, so too is his playing. He never wastes a note and creates music that leaves its mark on the anvil ...read more
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Gebhard Ullmann lays down the ground rules without ado with the slam-bang title Don't Touch My Music. There should be no qualms about that, Ullmann's music is made to draw rapt attention. The closer one listens, the more there is to discover.
Ullmann brings in an evolving, and revolving, cast of characters to give voice to his music. Each ensemble brings certain attributes and direction to his compositions that absorb various strains to enrich them. Basement Research with Steve Swell, Julian Arguelles, John Hebert, and Gerald Cleaver has marked an indelible presence with their earlier work. And ...read more
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6
Steve Swell-Gebhard Ullmann Quartet; Bobby Few and Sonny Simmons; Henry Grimes with Sabir Mateen Quartet; Connie Crother; Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quintet
13th Annual Vision Festival Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center New York City Friday, June 13, 2008
For the second of the week's panel discussions on Friday afternoon at the Vision Festival, the topic was Jazz Factions," with representation drawn from across the creative music spectrum, including several musicians in the audience. ...read more