“Ta Lam” by Gebhard Ullmann
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The Big Band Project (Soul Note) by Gebhard Ullmann
One of Ullmann's key-compositions in a version performed by the
North Germany Radio Bigband. Solos by Gebhard Ullmann (bass
clarinet), Julian Arguelles (baritone saxophone) and Vladyslav
Arranged by Chris Dahlgren, this tune has been released on the CD
The Big Band Project on Soul Note in 2005 and received a 4 1/
2 star review in Downbeat.
"German reedman Gebhard Ullmann's The Big Band Project stands
right on the corner of chaos and order. It's a busy intersection,
and the rush-hour collisions witnessed here are spectacular.
Featuring the NDR Big Band playing fresh arrangements of Ullmann's
own tunes The Big Band Project is a meticulously detailed and
skillfully choreographed piece of work. Density, texture and timbre
come into play as prominently as melody, harmony and rhythm, this is
no old-fashioned swinging big band, but a grinding, churning and
monstrously dynamic time machine set to the immediate future.
Ullmann's haunting bass clarinet voice in particular highlights his
big band outing. He makes the notoriously stubborn instrument wail
like a tenor sax, a bari and a clarinet all at once, perpetually
exploring its extended range and wide palette of naturally occuring
timbres, from woody to brassy. (4 1/2 stars)."
Ed Enright (Downbeat, 7/2005
"An important project not only as part of Gebhard Ullmann's
discography but also in the genre of modern creative big band jazz.
This set of five live and one studio recorded compositions subjects
the German composer's finest charts to the writing skills of some of
the most sophisticated jazz arrangers active in the early years of
the twenty-first century. Ullmann's writing is filled with layers of
mystery, often seeming to defy logical resolution, not unlike a
novel by John Fowles; but to watch the onion peeled, you must listen
closely. Each piece performed by the powerhouse North German radio
big band was recorded earlier with small groups ... and in almost
every way Ullmann gets it right. 4 1/2 stars."
(Steven Loewy, All Music Guide 2005)
"The Big Band Project is an excellent example of the vitality to be
found in European jazz."
(Duncan Heining, Jazzwise magazine, UK 5/2005)
"...Ullmann simply contemporizes the big band genre."
(Glenn Astarita, Jazzreview USA, 5/2005)
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