169

Manfred Schoof: European Echoes

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
The cast of European Echoes is incredibly formidable, representating a veritable dream orchestra populated by youthful incarnations of many of free improvisation's leading lights. But sadly the stilted sonics sometimes stand in the way of undiluted enjoyment of what’s transpiring. Bailey’s amplified and excoriating strings are at times the only individual voice discernable. Bennink and Favre blend together into a tumultuous tidal wave of percussion and the horns frequently crash against the undulating reef of pianos and basses in a single topographically textured mass. On the piece’s first part, Rutherford’s unctuous trombone is the first voice to rise successfully as a soloist out of the roiling mire. According to the notes, Bailey and Parker precede him, but both sound shackled to the ensemble to these ears and neither achieves escape velocity. Next up into the firing tube: what sounds like Brötzmann howling like his life depended on it against a clattering wall of drum-driven noise. Rava’s brittle brass follows, ascending and plummeting along the amplitudes of the ensemble torrent. Other band members raise their voices in encouragement, further raising the decibel level into the red on the recording microphones. The side winds up with a furious pitch from all three pianists in succession, pounding and pulverizing their respective rows of ivories to dust.



Part two continues the trend of single instrument-multiple musician assaults. First, there’s Bennink and Favre in a duel of percussive violence that once again tests the microphones’ mettle. The trio of bassists has at it next, wielding bows with scything accuracy and whipping up a storm of ferocious harmonics. Dudek, Steinmetz and Schoof pick up the pieces in quick succession, taking the album out to a rioutous close. Playing time is at a premium on this disc, much like the norm of ESP platters birthed on the other side of the Atlantic. Some listeners are likely to feel slighted by the album’s brevity, but it bears considering that this single piece is meant to stand-alone. Outtakes and alternates would have been welcome, but the performance works on its own terms just as well without them.



UMS/Atavistic on the web: www.atavistic.com


Track Listing: European Echoes, Part 1/ European Echoes, Part 2.

Personnel: Enrico Rava- trumpet; Manfred Schoof- trumpet; Hugh Steinmetz- trumpet; Peter Br

Title: European Echoes | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Atavistic Worldwide


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Loneliness Road" CD/LP/Track Review Loneliness Road
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "Second Stream" CD/LP/Track Review Second Stream
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Roll On" CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends" CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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