Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

254

Theo Jorgensmann: Fellowship

By

Sign in to view read count
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

Title: Fellowship | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Hatology

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
art of making - Tribute

art of making -...

Niehler Werft
2015

buy
Bucksch

Bucksch

Konnex Records
2014

buy
Melencolia

Melencolia

NEMU Records
2012

buy
Alchemia

Alchemia

Hat Hut Records
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk CD/LP/Track Review
Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Pardes CD/LP/Track Review
Pardes
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Music for a Free World CD/LP/Track Review
Music for a Free World
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read "Outsidethebox" CD/LP/Track Review Outsidethebox
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 26, 2018
Read "Cheers" CD/LP/Track Review Cheers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 2, 2018
Read "Fatidic Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Fatidic Dreams
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 4, 2018
Read "Linger" CD/LP/Track Review Linger
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 23, 2018
Read "The Mind's Mural" CD/LP/Track Review The Mind's Mural
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 3, 2018
Read "Beautiful Liar" CD/LP/Track Review Beautiful Liar
by Patrick Burnette
Published: May 8, 2018