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...

13

Free Jazz Group Wiesbaden: Frictions / Frictions Now

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
When an obscure buried treasure is reincarnated and unexpectedly arrives in your mailbox, it often looms as a source of interest. Case in point is this little known Wiesbaden, Germany-based experimental jazz group that formed in the late 1960s and recorded two limited edition LPs: Frictions (1969, Self-produced) and Frictions Now (1971, Self-produced). At the time, free jazz in West Germany was an embryonic idiom with the advent of saxophonist Peter Brotzmann, pianist, Alexander von Schlippenbach and other notables. But this quartet hustled and bustled in the regional Wiesbaden club circuit for a mere pittance and eventually disbanded in 1972 for various reasons, as the artists splintered into other persuasions and never flourished within nascent European avant-garde circles.

Now condensed on disc, the albums unveil a paragon of improvisational flows, commencing with the multipart 37-minute title track "Frictions," which is mesmeric journey, heightened by the musicians' multitasking modalities and thrill-seeking impetus. From the onset, you experience the musicians' dazzling interactions whether they role play as opposing forces or deep dive into a swirling eddy. With either Michael Sell or Gerhard Konig's searching flute lines, and Dieter Schiff's punctual block chords on piano, the band marches to a higher order via buzzing interludes and the hornists' melodic phrasings that detour into mind-bending semi-structured escapades. Their enthusiasm and nanosecond-speed inventions intimate a dizzying speedway, coupled with a few nods to Ornette Coleman's harmolodics and solemn digressions, engulfed in a myriad of disparate motifs seamlessly woven together.

The musicians multitask by using prepared guitar, Eastern flutes, prepared trumpet and other instruments that augment the shifting paradigms while broadcasting polytonal choruses and wraithlike overtones. Along with a few brisk and unanticipated unison riffs, the quartet will encounter a fork in the road or a dead-end while switching gears then soar into parts unknown. They underscore the preponderance of this impressive work with countless reengineering processes sans any filler material. It's an energized rush! But they temper the pulse and momentum on "Frictions Now Part II," where Konig and Schiff employ their arsenal of flutes, contrasted by trumpeter Michael Sell's bold phrasings amid some delightfully strange mini-motifs; cat and mouse romps, and asymmetrical beats. No doubt about it, this unit plotted intensely layered and shrewdly focused gambits with winding plots and joyful noise, encapsulated by the players' strategic goals and irrefutable camaraderie.

Track Listing: Frictions; Frictions Now Part I; Frictions Now Part II.

Personnel: Michael Sell: trumpet; Dieter Schiff: alto saxophone, oboe, piano, shepherds flute, shenai, prepared trumpet, bamboo flute; Gerhard Konig: guitar, prepared guitar, flute, double bass; Wolfgang Schlick: drums, metal bracket.

Title: Frictions / Frictions Now | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

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.

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 "Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 25, 2018
Read "Traveling Moving Breathing" CD/LP/Track Review Traveling Moving Breathing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 29, 2018
Read "Globe Unity - 50 Years" CD/LP/Track Review Globe Unity - 50 Years
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2018
Read "New Devices" CD/LP/Track Review New Devices
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 14, 2018
Read "Radiant Imprints" CD/LP/Track Review Radiant Imprints
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 8, 2018
Read "The Influencing Machine" CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018