In contrast to his work with the Charlie Kohlhase Quintet, Charlie Kohlhase seems to work more on the freer side of things on this KONK disc. In the liner notes trumpeter Keith Hedger says that KONK began "in 1993 as a band that could play pieces by its favorite composers, improvise freely, and generally just have fun." There's only one piece here by a favorite composer - Charlie Parker's "Au Privave." The rest are attributed to the quartet and have the flavor of collective improvisations.
That's by no means to say that they are merely chaotic or disorganized. In fact, there's a powerful architectonic to all of this - impressive testimony to the powers of each of these musicians. Hedger is a trumpeter with range and imagination enough to complement Kohlhase's rapid-fire flights of fancy, and he does so with aplomb. Occasionally he deploys a Milesian mute but more often he works all manner of sounds out of his horn, after the fashion of the disc's dedicatee, Lester Bowie.
Polar opposites, one might say, are the two tracks "Mandelbrot" and "Au Privave." The former, presumably named for the man behind fractal geometry, mines one note for an exhilarating wealth of possibilities. "Au Privave" is taken reasonably straight - albeit for a good while with Hedger and Kohlhase spinning out glorious lines simultaneously. So in other words, KONK finds music wherever it lays, and plays it superbly. Recommended.
Keith Hedger, tpt; Curt Newton, d; Nate McBride, b; Charlie Kohlhase, as, ts, bari s.
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.