191

Schlippenbach Quartet: Hunting the Snake

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Schlippenbach Quartet: Hunting the Snake The '70s were a banner decade for free improvisation in Europe. Much of the free jazz of today—especially recent material from the New York avant/free scene—owes huge debts to early European improvisers. Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach made great leaps at both the compositional level and the performance level, integrating a high level of structure into a setting fully embodying musical democracy. Schlippenbach's playing per se spans the range from focused harmonic concentration to all-out glissando/clustering abandon. While the obvious comparisons to players like Cecil Taylor and Matthew Shipp may help to clarify Schlippenbach's structuralist musical vision, his approach can also be readily compared to Monk and classical composers as well.

In the company of masters like saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist Peter Kowald, and drummer Paul Lovens, Schlippenbach's music rises to a higher level. Parker constantly teeters on the brink of overblown textures and whistling overtones, building and releasing tension in coordination with the rest of the group. The unique combination of Kowald and Parker together creates a web of sound which frequently steps outside the bounds of conventional notation and enters into a range of timbre that approximates the human voice. Lovens's percussion also defies any sort of regular pattern, jumping from rhythm to rhythm with creative abandon.

Hunting the Snake, a never-before released record from a 1975 Radio Bremen session, is the only CD recording in print of the Schlippenbach quartet. For those listeners who have absorbed and appreciated the underdocumented genius of Schlippenbach in settings like his fantastic 1990 FMP trio recording Elf Bagatellen (with Parker and Lovens), this disc is a must-listen. For those curious about the free jazz innovations of the '70s, Hunting the Snake is a fine starting point. Regardless, it's great music, delivered from the heart with sensitivity and unbridled creative freedom.


Track Listing: Glen Feshie; Moonbeef; Hunting the Snake; Wenn Wir Kehlkopfspieler Uns Unterhalten.

Personnel: Alexander von Schlippenbach, piano; Evan Parker, tenor and soprano saxophones; Peter Kowald, bass; Paul Lovens, percussion.

Title: Hunting The Snake | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Atavistic Worldwide


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "April" CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Untitled" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II" CD/LP/Track Review Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Horizonte" CD/LP/Track Review Horizonte
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 31, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.