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by Glenn Astarita
Revered German clarinetist Theo Jorgensmann has played an integral role in the European free jazz scene and is one of several artists who helped revitalize the instrument within avant-garde flanked jazz and improvisational vistas. Here, the artist predominately performs solo works on his G-low clarinet, yet unites with his trio culled from a live performance in Luneburg, Germany on the aptly titled Interweave Thoughts." This musical portraiture duly mirrors the suggestion of a dynamic interweaving of thoughts, featuring ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
Melencolia is based on Abrecht Dürer's 1514 engraving by the same name, created during Germany's horrific Peasants' Wars. However, these prominent jazz and avant-garde artists unite the brighter side of life to offset some fierce interactions. The lower register of Theo Jorgensmann's G-low clarinet synchronizes with Albrecht Maurer's violin and viola phrasings, bringing the duo closer from a timbral perspective. As such, the music emerges from a similar plane and intimates a tighter soundscape with a narrowed gap ...read more
by Richard Noel Taylor
Theo Jörgensmann, the German free jazz clarinet maestro likes to quote the Austrian cultural historian, Egon Fridell: pure originality has no great value--it is like a sheep with two heads." Fridell, who committed suicide in 1938 as the SA arrived at his door, was fond of illustrating his thinking with vivid and elliptical images of this type. It is a characteristic that Jörgensmann seems to share, as I discovered during a series of email exchanges that we conducted earlier this ...read more
by Chris May
Clarinetist Theo Jorgensmann's Alchemia is the third Hat Hut release in a row in which a free improvising, progressive musician has woven overt and telling references to past glories of the jazz tradition into his own, singular style.
Cellist Daniel Levin's Blurry (Hat Hut, 2007) evoked the chamber jazz of the 1950s and 1960s on an otherwise mostly sui generis disc, while pianist Steve Lantner's What You Can Throw (Hat Hut, 2008) summoned up the shades of keyboard ...read more
by Brad Glanden
Free jazz arrangements often spurn the development of form and structure, deriving their complexity from inter-ensemble relationships. The specter of 1960s collective improvisation looms large over Theo Jörgensmann's Fellowship. Though the compositions are founded on epigrammatic themes, they weave an intricate framework for moment-to-moment interaction.
The members of the clarinetist's conceptually sophisticated sextet bring six different perspectives to bear on the music, and the unitary thread of Fellowship is contrast. There are two negating rhythmic concepts functioning independently of one ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
Clarinetist Theo Jorgensmann’s discography, namely for the “hatOLOGY” record label, speaks intrinsic volumes. The title of this effort might intimate an obvious Ornette Coleman tribute, but the quartet merely skirts the fringes of Mr. Coleman’s pronounced musical ideologies. In fact, none of these pieces were written by Coleman, as the Hybrid Identity implications simply signify the guiding tone of the overall production. The band incorporates Coleman’s harmolodic concepts to a degree. However the musicians perpetuate a personalized game plan, awash ...read more
by Dave Hughes
This is a non-traditional quartet (the leader on clarinet, plus vibes, double bass, and drums/percussion) playing very non-traditional music. It's quite free-form and avant-garde. Except for the fact that there is plenty of improvization contained herein, it really bears little connection to jazz. Those who favor such traditional concepts as a melody, a recognizable meter (let alone anything swinging), and identifiable chord changes should look elsewhere. But it you favor envelope-pushing experimental music, you should give this a ...read more