254

Theo Jorgensmann: Fellowship

By

Sign in to view read count
Theo Jorgensmann: Fellowship 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 another, as if the players were divided by a wall. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it makes for bizarre listening.

Drummer Klaus Kugel gives his four limbs a workout with a sustained undercurrent of feverish activity; keeping the energy level high, he dispenses a continually rotating kaleidoscope of timbres. Meanwhile, pianist and vibraphonist Karl Berger abandons virtuosity and opts to meditate on held chords, and bassist Kent Carter is similarly economical in his choice of notes.

The reeds' improvisatory language is rooted in classic jazz idioms, with fast-moving bop from Jörgensmann and soprano saxophonist Petras Vysniauskas, and a strong blues influence in Charlie Mariano's alto sax. Their identities and styles begin to blur, however, when set against the idiosyncratic rhythmic backdrop.

The high points of Fellowship occur when the intensity falls to a low ebb and the music transforms into something entirely different, taking the listener's ear by surprise. Unpredictable shifts in mood and texture lead to some sublimely strange moments that obscure the line between soloist and accompanist: a blowing section in "Nameless Child" segues into a beautifully ambiguous passage resembling atonal classical music; "Nightmare" contains a hocketing dialogue that melts the reeds imperceptibly into each other; and the ominous "It Will Come" finds Carter switching to arco for an eerie drone.

The chief flaw of Fellowship is its variable sound quality: the mix occasionally renders the bass indistinguishable from the bass drum, and elsewhere the former suffers from noticeable distortion. Otherwise, the recording levels are satisfactory.

Drawing on a rich musical past, Theo Jörgensmann and his fellow players have subsumed their influences into a unique vision. For listeners equal to the challenge, Fellowship offers a communal balance between continuity and change.

Track Listing: Nameless Child; Nightmare; It Will Come.

Personnel: Charlie Mariano: alto saxophone; Petras Vysniauskas: soprano saxophone; Theo J

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Hatology | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Circles CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Windmills CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Ugly Beautiful CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Trickster CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Caipi CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 24, 2017
Read United CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "05:21" CD/LP/Track Review 05:21
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Miles Smiles" CD/LP/Track Review Miles Smiles
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Of Colors" CD/LP/Track Review Of Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix" CD/LP/Track Review The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: August 23, 2016
Read "Ullr" CD/LP/Track Review Ullr
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Sooner And Later" CD/LP/Track Review Sooner And Later
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 4, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!