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by John Sharpe
The internet. Mobile phones. Social media. The Fall of the Berlin Wall. A lot's happened over the last 50 years. When pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach first assembled the Globe Unity Orchestra in the autumn of 1966, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk still walked the earth. The GUO was one of the first expressions of a truly European style not beholden to such American forebears, part of what eminent jazz scholar Ekkehard Jost termed the Emanzipation. In an incredible ...read more
by Mark Corroto
Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra (GUO) employs a similar head-scratching process to that utilized to make geuze, a much-treasured Belgian beer. Both elicit the how did they do that?" question, and both seem to be a gift from Mother Nature. Schlippenbach brings together a choice assemblage of improvisers, like the ingredients of guesze (wheat and three-year-old female cone hops), The beer and Globe Unity Orchestra are then animated by spontaneous processes. With the guesze, it is a fermentation ...read more
by Andrey Henkin
Globe Unity Orchestra Globe Unity - 40 Years Intakt Records 2008
A month shy of the 40th anniversary of Alexander von Schlippenbach's monumental album Globe Unity (SABA, 1966), the German pianist brought together a modern edition of this freewheeling large ensemble for a concert at the 2006 Berlin Jazzfest as well as time in the studio. The result is an album that celebrates the history of one of Europe's longest-running jazz ensembles ...read more
by Clifford Allen
Globe Unity Orchestra Globe Unity - 40 Years Intakt 2007
The cosmic eye at the central point and on the periphery of the sphere can see all the structures from every angle at the same time. From the divine indifference of the sphere emerge the solos with all the impulse of revolt. The lines they trace are the images of life."-- Alexander von Schlippenbach, from the liner notes to Globe Unity (Saba, ...read more
by Derek Taylor
Few dependable institutions exist in creative improvised music. The number of bands that span decades of temporal distance with their basic schematics intact can probably be counted on a single hand. Alexander von Schlippenbach’s Globe University Orchestra ranks among these fortunate few. Typically, though, the discography suggests a sporadic recording history with large gaps separating individual albums and the sum total being close in number to the fingers on that aforementioned hand.
Schlippenbach’s music has never been ...read more
by Derek Taylor
Among the first European outfits dedicated to plumbing the possibilities of large group free improvisation Alexander von Schlippenbach’s Globe Unity enclave has been in a state of flux since its inception. But typical of the lot of large scale improvising ensembles documentation of the group’s various guises is skeletal in the extreme, just a mere handful of recordings in the space of as many decades. Rosetta Stone remnants from the Orchestra’s earliest years the pair of pieces on this recent ...read more