All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

292

Hans Koller with Bill Frisell: Cry, want

John Eyles By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Hans Koller with Bill Frisell: Cry, want No, there is no need to re-read the heading or check the personnel list; guitarist Bill Frisell is included as a member of this Hans Koller twelve-piece ensemble. So, too, is Psi proprietor Evan Parker, making this the first recording featuring Parker and Frisell together—quite an occasion, eh?

In addition, alongside German-raised, London-based Koller on electric piano, the ensemble features a wealth of fine British players. Of the eight tracks, six are Koller originals, joined by Charlie Parker's "Quasimodo" and Jimmy Giuffre's "Cry, Want." The album bears this dedication: "Cry, Want is for Jimmy Giuffre (1921—2008), quiet revolutionary." Hear, hear.

As a composer and arranger, Koller's most striking characteristics are his subtlety and restrained good taste. Fans of bombastic big-band music should look elsewhere for their adrenalin fix. Although Koller has eight reed and brass instruments at his disposal, he never blasts with their fire power. There are no sounds here that will frighten small children or animals. Instead, all the elements of this band are blended together to create a gently evolving ensemble sound that is reminiscent of Gil Evans at his impressionistic best. Has Koller put in time listening to Birth of the Cool (Capitol, 1957)? You bet.

Koller also deploys the members of the ensemble sparingly as soloists, so that no one player dominates—for instance, Frisell only gets three solos in total. Both solo and in the ensemble, the guitarist is in good form, as distinctive as ever. The solos from all the players are well-judged—as restrained as the ensemble passages, never outstaying their welcome or dominating. Koller himself takes a couple of solo spots, but his work in the ensemble is more impressive still; his timely, well-placed chords steer proceedings without drawing undue attention to his role—an object lesson in leadership.

Fittingly, in an album of standout tracks, it is the thirteen-minute title track which shines brightest and brings the album to an excellent conclusion. Koller's spare arrangement retains the plaintive, soulful beauty of Giuffre's original version while giving a solo each to Frisell and Parker. The latter's extended soprano saxophone solo could never be mistaken for Guiffre's clarinet, but it manages to tug at the heart strings in the same way.

No doubt, Cry, want is an instant classic.


Track Listing: Nocturne; Farewell: Riff Raff; Estuary: Hermetique: Quasimodo: Reunion: Cry, Want.

Personnel: Percy Pursglove: trumpet; Robbie Robson: trumpet; Jim Rattigan: French horn; Mark Nightingale: trombone; Sarah Williams: bass trombone; Finn Peters: alto saxophone; Robin Fincker: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Hans Koller: electric piano; Bill Frisell: guitar; Dave Whitford: double-bass; Jeff Williams: drums; Evan Parker: soprano saxophone.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Psi


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
[no cover]
Legends Live -...
FMP
2013
buy
Cry, want
Cry, want
Psi
2011
buy
London Ear
London Ear

2005
buy
Wild Roses
Wild Roses

2005
buy
[no cover]
MPS Reworks Vol. 02
Intakt Records
2004
buy
[no cover]
Out On The Rim
FMP
1991
buy
Bill Evans Bill Evans
piano
Art Farmer Art Farmer
flugelhorn
Lee Konitz Lee Konitz
sax, alto
Joe Lovano Joe Lovano
saxophone
Sonny Stitt Sonny Stitt
saxophone
Gerry Mulligan Gerry Mulligan
sax, baritone
Donny McCaslin Donny McCaslin
saxophone
Stanley Turrentine Stanley Turrentine
sax, tenor
Roy Haynes Roy Haynes
drums

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.