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MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Gebhard Ullmann and Theo Nabicht: Clarinets plus Basses

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gebhard Ullmann Basement Research: Don't Touch My Music Vol. 2

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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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vision Festival 2008: Day 4

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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. ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Gebhard Ullmann: New Basement Research; Die Blaue Nixe & Leo Records 25th Anniversary: Loft, Koln

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Reedman Gebhard Ullmann has always been a bit apart. Never an inside player yet rarely as extreme as some of his German contemporaries, he has doggedly pursued his own muse and released a stream of excellent discs since the '80s. Ullmann divides his time between Berlin and New York and has several groups based in each city, all of who seem to offer the saxophonist a wide range of options for his many-faceted improvising ideas.

Gebhard Ullmann New Basement Research Soul Note 2007 New Basement Research is a project that Ullmann ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gebhard Ullmann: New Basement Research

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The year 2007 marks multi-reedman Gebhard Ullmann's fiftieth birthday, and as part of the celebration, he has released New Basement Research, a blistering and brutally propulsive record with a completely new group, and the fourth for this project. The Basement Research project was started in 1995 with the pre-existing American trio comprised of saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Phil Haynes. Two recordings were made by this group, Basement Research (Soul Note, 1995) and Kreuzberg Park East (Soul Note, 1999), with the latter making reference to his cross-continental influences. Tony Malaby replaced ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gebhard Ullmann: New Basement Research

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A key presence on the European jazz scene with nearly forty albums to his credit, German multi-reedist Gebhard Ullman turns fifty this year. In celebration, Ullmann has reformed his critically acclaimed Basement Research ensemble with all new members. New Basement Research, their studio debut, is an effective summation of Ullmann's talents as an improviser and composer.

Initially formed in 1995, Basement Research featured the talents of tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Phil Haynes. The quartet disbanded after recording a self-titled debut (Soul Note, 1995) and Kreuzberg Park East (Soul Note, 2000). Tony Malaby substituted ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gebhard Ullmann: Vancouver Concert - Ta Lam Zehn

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What a joy it is to listen to and be engulfed by Vancouver Concert - Ta Lam Zehn! Setting aside the music's roots in the stunning Ta Lam (99 Records, 1993) or the group's roots in Ta Lam Acht from Moritat (99 Records, 1994), this live recording's group energy, spark and good humor make it an outstanding achievement. This was a truly amazing performance by a group that is sharp as a tack, playing music that sweeps the audience away. The Ta Lam Zehn group is basically the same as the Ta Lam Acht group but with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gebhard Ullmann: Oct. 1, '98 - The Clarinet Trio

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Saying that Oct. 1, '98 is Moritat (99 Records, 1994) meets Trad Corrosion (Nabel, 1997) would not be too far wrong. Nineteen miniatures are fit into fifty-four minutes like the latter album, but using only pure reed sounds like the former. Mixing pure improvisation, a truly wonderful version of “Tea for Two" and new and old compositions of bass clarinetist Gebhard Ullmann, this release has something for everyone. Clarinetist Jürgen Kupke is part of the Moritat Ta Lam Acht band, and bass clarinetist Theo Nabicht would ultimately end up in Ullmann's Ta Lam Zehn version of that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gebhard Ullmann: Trad Corrosion

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With nineteen tracks taking up but forty-eight minutes, the tracks that make up Trad Corrosion place a premium on subtlety, conciseness and low volume. Together with bandmates drummer Phil Haynes, who first appeared with Ullmann on Basement Research (Soul Note,1995) and long-time collaborator guitartist Andreas Willers, multi-instrumentalist Gebhard Ullmann has created a work that looks both forward and backward. Since Ta Lam (99 Records, 1993), Ullmann had been concentrating on his own music, so playing Willers' compositions brings back the feel of his earlier duo work with Willers. However, the inclusion of Haynes changes the whole complexion ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gebhard Ullmann: Basement Research

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On Basement Research, Berlin-based Gebhard Ullmann combines his unique brand of composition with the pre-existing American trio of saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Phil Haynes. The recording is remarkable in that there is no sense whatsoever of Ullmann being grafted on to an admittedly close trio. While it is true that Eskelin and company are playing Ullmann's compositions, the degree of meshing of the quartet is amazing. This version of the quartet is the first in what will become an ongoing project for Ullmann, and is dramatically different and more “normal" than the pure ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gebhard Ullmann: Moritat

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The outstanding Moritat represents the physical embodiment of everything that multi-reedman Gebhard Ullmann had learned during the creation of the miraculous Ta Lam (99 Records, 1993). The earlier recording was created using overdubbing and, except for the occasional use of accordionist Hans Hassler, Ullmann's conception was realized by himself alone. Enlisting the talents of six other reed players plus Hassler, and calling the group Ta Lam Acht, Ullmann could now write and arrange for people who could add their personalities to the music, and the playing is stunning. Since the group has no percussionist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gebhard Ullmann: Ta Lam

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Tá Lam is one of the highest achievements in composition and recording in the last forty years. Beyond description or label, this music exists out of time, as a monument to the creative impulse in man. Gebhard Ullmann has created a work that is breathtaking in its beauty, and awe-inspiring in its performance. Music such as this, whether it is considered jazz or not, just does not happen that often. To listen to it is to be drawn into another world and to be deeply touched. If the purpose of art is to communicate the essence of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gebhard Ullmann: Suite Noire

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Suite Noire is essentially the last recording of what could be called “early Ullmann," which however, contains some of the seeds that will flower later. Once again partnering with Andreas Willers, multi-reedman Gebhard Ullmann has created an atmospheric and, for the most part, dark work that will surely intrigue. One of the seeds is the first track, “Tapping The Foot, Tapping The Brain," which opens with both melody and accompaniment overdubbed, producing many parts, by Ullmann on different instruments. The line is not a simple one, having much rhythmic complexity, and the precision shown by Ullmann is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gebhard Ullmann: Per Dee Doo

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Musicians are like all of us, in that who they are now is the sum total of their life experience up to that point. For a musician like multi-reedman Gebhard Ullmann, who has worked to create his own musical world, the past is still part of him and hence an album like Per-Dee-Doo is the understandable desire to express the past in the present.The tunes chosen will be familiar to most listeners and come from many different eras. What might give pause is the treatment the tunes are given, many of which are considered iconic. The energy level ...



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