10

Free Range Music

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Hazel Leach: Free Range Music Hazel Leach has had quite a musical career. After college, where she studied classical flute as well as jazz / pop saxophone, the Englishwoman spent a number of years as a freelance musician / arranger before moving to Holland in 1979. Six years later she was named lecturer in music at the Arnheim Conservatoire, and in 1992 she co-founded the United Women's Orchestra with friend and colleague Christina Fuchs. The UWO lasted until 2009, after which Leach (who meanwhile had spent time in the U.S. as curator of the Omni International Music Residency, guest lecturer at Harvard and Columbia universities, and artist-in-residence at the Berklee School of Music) relocated to Germany where in 2011 she formed the Composers' Orchestra Berlin. The suitably named Free Range Music is one of the early fruits of that endeavor.

About the COB, Leach writes, "The music written for the band would have no exclusion zones. The mandate would be to combine elements from all possible styles to create music that is truly 'free range,' and to have that music performed by imaginative and creative players." Mission accomplished. The music herein, much of which would be better described by other musicians, is both inclusive and unfettered—not to mention quite demanding, for players and listeners alike. It starts with one of Leach's two compositions, "Spinoff," a relatively sedate and melodic theme that brings to the fore Martin Klenk's deep-voiced cello and Meike Goosmann's mellow soprano sax. As everything here is thematic, based on events, impressions or emotions, Leach's second piece, "Postcard No. 1," she writes, is the first in a series "exploring the apparently inexhaustible rhythmic possibilities of the waltz." Well, "Postcard" may be in ¾ time (that's presumably a given) but it's a sure bet it wouldn't be miscounted for something a member of the Strauss family may have written, even though it does have an explicit waltz-like ambiance.

The other themes, each of which gives free rein to the composer's imagination, range from Oleg Hollmann's assertive "Synthadventures of a Spacehero" to Christian Korthals' graphic "Berlin," the second movement of a suite for big band. In between are Susanne Paul's seductive "Mata Hari," Alexander Tzschentke's audacious "Kleiner Stau," Strakhof's prismatic "Belphegor," Horst Nonnemacher's reverential "Oracao," Ruth Schepers' bellicose "Totales Tanzverbot" and Fee Stracke's freewheeling "Zamboni." While there are solos, this is by and large a composer's enterprise, with the ensemble showcased much of the way. As for the music, it is highly sophisticated, sometimes enigmatic and not designed for unschooled ears. It does, however, in Leach's words, "[display] the wonderfully broad and inspiring diversity of uniquely personal styles, with influences ranging from classical to jazz and from folk to free . . . truly Free Range music."


Track Listing: Spinoff; Synthadventures of a Spacehero; Mata Hari; Kleiner Stau; Belphegor; Oracao; Postcard No. 1; Totales Tanzverbot; Zamboni; Berlin.

Personnel: Hazel Leach: leader, flute (3, 8, 10); Aaron Schmidt-Wiegand: trumpet (2, 3, 5, 6, 9); Sebastian Piskorz: trumpet (1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10); Abigail Sanders: horn (6); Ruth Schepers: alto, C melody sax, clarinet, flute; Meike Goosmann: soprano sax (1); Christian “Tian” Korthals: soprano, tenor sax; Edith Steyer: baritone, alto sax, clarinet (1, 4, 5, 7-10); Oleg Hollmann: baritone sax (2, 3); Nils Marquardt: trombone (1, 4, 5, 7-10); Philipp Domke: trombone (2, 3); Pauline Boeykens: tuba; Fee Stracke: piano; Alexander Tzschentke: guitar; Dirk Strakhof: bass (1, 2, 5, 9, 10); Horst Nonnemacher: bass (3, 4, 6-8); Lucia Martinez: drums, percussion; Daniel Friedrichs: violin; Philippe Perotto: violin; Katja Braun: viola; Susanne Paul: cello (2, 4-7, 9); Martin Klenk: cello (1, 3, 8, 10).

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: JazzHausMusik


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Tim Bowness: Lost in the Ghostlight Extended Analysis Tim Bowness: Lost in the Ghostlight
by John Kelman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon Extended Analysis Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon
by Doug Collette
Published: February 18, 2017
Read Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix) Extended Analysis Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)
by John Kelman
Published: February 12, 2017
Read The Rolling Stones: Blue and Lonesome Extended Analysis The Rolling Stones: Blue and Lonesome
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 27, 2016
Read Nat Birchall: Creation Extended Analysis Nat Birchall: Creation
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Tony Williams: Life Time" Extended Analysis Tony Williams: Life Time
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "Buddy Guy: Can't Quit The Blues" Extended Analysis Buddy Guy: Can't Quit The Blues
by Doug Collette
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "Søren Gemmer: The Lark" Extended Analysis Søren Gemmer: The Lark
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "Seth Walker: Gotta Get Back" Extended Analysis Seth Walker: Gotta Get Back
by Doug Collette
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Steve Khan: Eyewitness Trilogy" Extended Analysis Steve Khan: Eyewitness Trilogy
by John Kelman
Published: April 17, 2016
Read "Various Artists: Yugoslavian Space Program" Extended Analysis Various Artists: Yugoslavian Space Program
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: October 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET 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!

Buy it!