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Album Review

Ulrich Gumpert Quartett: A New One

Read "A New One" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Swiss pianist Ulrich Gumpert's clearly illustrated Thelonious Monk influences underscore many of the rhythmic implementations amid a diverse bag of tricks on this exceptional studio date. It's a comprehensive program where each track imparts a distinct story via an aggregate of alluring themes. The quartet initiates the festivities with an uplifting jazz waltz on the aptly titled “The Opener." Other tracks are engineered with quirky odd-metered choruses and a host of variables that inject an air of suspense ...


Album Review

Ulrich Gumpert / Gunther Baby Sommer: Das Donnernde Leben

Read "Das Donnernde Leben" reviewed by Nic Jones

The members of this duo are both stalwarts of the European free improvisation scene, and their track records speak for themselves. Das Donnernde Leben, however, is a pretty unrewarding addition to their respective discographies, largely because the music seems to have been captured in the preliminary stages of its evolution, as if a matter of hours passing might have made all the difference.

The opening “Locker vom Hocker" is a case in point; it soundtracks two musicians seemingly intent on ...


Album Review

Ulrich Gumpert / Gunter Baby Sommer: Das Donnernde Leben

Read "Das Donnernde Leben" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Collaborations between pianists and drummers often evolve around a unique chemistry creating interesting works of art. Such is the case with Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink, Matthew Ship and Guillermo E. Brown, and Louis Moholo-Moholo and Marilyn Crispell. There's also Cecil Taylor and Tony Oxley, Paul Lovens, Jackson Krall or Max Roach). Add pianist Ulrich Gumpert and drummer Günter Baby Sommer to that list.

Maybe the closest comparison that can be made from to the music heard on ...


Album Review

Ulrich Gumpert: Quartette

Read "Quartette" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

German pianist Ulrich Gumpert incorporates the vitality of youth into this dazzling progressive jazz set, featuring young artists from the Berlin jazz scene. This quartet abides by a fire and brimstone credo, built upon snap, crackle and lots of pop. Yet one of the equalizers of the band's thrusting impetus pertains to its ability to generate airy and sparse bop movements, often acting like a counterbalancing agent of sorts.

They launch the proceedings with a cosmic ...


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