109

Globe Unity Orchestra: Globe Unity 2002

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Globe Unity Orchestra: Globe Unity 2002 Few dependable institutions exist in creative improvised music. The number of bands that span decades of temporal distance with their basic schematics intact can probably be counted on a single hand. Alexander von Schlippenbach’s Globe University Orchestra ranks among these fortunate few. Typically, though, the discography suggests a sporadic recording history with large gaps separating individual albums and the sum total being close in number to the fingers on that aforementioned hand.

Schlippenbach’s music has never been comfortable with categories, a feature that has likely contributed to the band’s slender catalog. Unlike many of his peers, he still embraces jazz forms and it’s not uncommon for him to break into a Monk tune in the midst of an unfettered free improvisation. That same sort of pliable eclecticism informs his playing for Globe Unity. It’s been fifteen plus years since their last conclave, but based on the music captured on this latest disc, the vagaries of time have had no effect on their shared brilliance as a band.



A large number of original participants are back in the Globe fold, including the surprising presence of brassman Manfred Schoof, an early celebrity on the European scene who later abandoned free music for more ordered forms. His sleek note streams contrast thrillingly with the boiling cacophony that surrounds him. Two of the most revered trombonists in the realm of free improvisation, Rutherford and Bauer, complete the brass section and form a tandem nearly impossible to beat.

The twin reed juggernaut of Brötzmann and Parker convenes spectacularly, something they’ve been doing far more often in recent years, much to their fans’ delight. Fellow reedist Petrowsky doesn’t carry the same redoubtable credentials, but holds his own in the commanding company, even stealing some thunder from his peers through his opening solo. Keeping the theme of consummate pairs going, Lovens and Lytton round out the band from their respective drum encampments. This is an orchestra that sounds just as superb musically as it reads on paper.



The nine men all sound in peak shape, repasting on one mammoth piece that snakes through a myriad of moods, tempi, and component combinations. After a riotous opening salvo tethered by Schlippenbach’s stair-stepping clusters and the tidal wash of colliding drums kits, the long-form improvisation unfolds into a solo by Parker’s skidding tenor which surfs the foaming chaos kicked up by his partners. He soon cedes to Brötzmann’s ululating tarogato, which in turn defers to Petrowsky’s cantankerous alto.

And so it goes, a trek through a rustling thicket of collective sound that is at times dense, at others remarkably diffuse and contemplative. There’s even space for one of Parker’s signature soprano fractals. The entire ride is an arresting experience from onset to end. A raw immediacy to the fidelity of the recording further compounds the feeling of being stage side, having one’s hair blown back by the force and magnitude of the sounds unleashed.



There is someone conspicuously absent from the proceedings. Bassist Peter Kowald was a focal point in early incarnations of the orchestra, and it’s possible that his busy schedule precluded his participation in this most recent outing. The vacancy brings with it a twinge of sadness in the realization that his oaken strings will never anchor the band again.

Globe Unity is notorious for dispersing to the winds for years on end. The participants' packed dockets and the financial logistics of assembling such a band make these breaks a necessity. With any luck, though, the next wait for another entry in the ledger won’t be so long.



Visit Intakt on the web.


Track Listing: Globe Unity 2002 (73:45).

Personnel: Alexander von Schlippenbach- piano; Manfred Schoof- trumpet, flugelhorn; Peter Br

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Intakt Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Pascal Battus / Dafne Vicente-Sandoval</em>" CD/LP/Track Review Pascal Battus / Dafne Vicente-Sandoval</em>
by John Eyles
Published: June 17, 2016
Read "Let Loose" CD/LP/Track Review Let Loose
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Stop Time" CD/LP/Track Review Stop Time
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 24, 2016
Read "Better Left Unsung" CD/LP/Track Review Better Left Unsung
by Doug Collette
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Three Octaves Above The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Three Octaves Above The Sun
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Nuit Blanche" CD/LP/Track Review Nuit Blanche
by John Kelman
Published: February 14, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!