A bit of surface noise on the reissue of 1973's Flapsoriginally issued by Franz Koglmann's Pipe Recordscan be easily excused. This long out- of-print collectors vinyl has been made available by Black Monk Records, and we can now rejoice.
Steve Lacy went to Vienna and made this somewhat strange recording with the then relatively unknown flugelhorn/trumpet player Franz Koglmann. Strangely, Koglmann included Gerd Geier's electronics in the session at a time when few musicians and even fewer jazz musicians (with the exception of Sun Ra) were utilizing electronics. Lacy must have recognized budding talent. Bassist Toni Michlmayr and drummer Muhammed Malli are also heard here, playing again with Geier in 1976 on Opium For Franz (Black Monk, 2019).
Lacy's way with electronics makes him a rare find, as heard on Saxophone Special (Emanem, 1975), 1974's Sideways (Roaratorio, 2000), and New Jazz Meeting Baden-Baden 2002 (hatOLOGY, 2006). The singular sound of Lacy's soprano is evident throughout. Flaps's title song makes great use of the two-horn front line before the music crackles and scatters into both acoustic and electronic parts. The music is knitted together by skeletal compositions, for example on multiple takes of both "Misera Plebs" and "Bowery." The framework stands in each, emphasizing different entry points. Koglmann's muted trumpet maintains a running conversation with the electronics on the former piece, and switches to a Donald Ayler sound on "Steirish WC Nr. 2." Koglmann's "Hommage To An Old Raincoat (To Fritz Kotrba)" finds the soprano and trumpet in sonic competition with Geier's electronics. Which one prevails? That is up to the listener.
Flaps (To Pee Wee Russel); Misera Plebs, Take 1; Misera Plebs, Take 2; Bowery 1; Steirish WC Nr. 2; Flops (To Charles Chaplin);
Bowery 2; Hommage To An Old Raincoat (To Fritz Kotrba).
Franz Koglmann: trumpet, flugelhorn; Steve Lacy: soprano saxophone; Toni Michlmayr: bass; Gerd Geier: electronics;
Muhammad Malli: drums.
| Year Released: 2019
| Record Label: Black Monk
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