Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
3

Frank Gratkowski Quartet: Le Vent et la Gorge

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Frank Gratkowski Quartet: Le Vent et la Gorge Multi-reedman Frank Gratkowski is a shrewd operator from almost all conceivable angles. And on Le Vent et la Gorge, the stylizations of drummer Gerry Hemingway's fabled quartet weave in and out of the full spectrum. Of course, this component is factored in by the drummer's appearance along with Hemingway's longtime band-mate, Dutch trombonist Wolter Wierbos, lending his wares as well. Ultimately, it's Gratkowski's hyper-inventive mindset that elevates this program towards its zenith, especially considering similar 2012 releases by others.

The quartet seamlessly bridges modern classical with the avant-garde jazz strata from a structural and improvisational platform. It also engages in some fun and frolic. At times, the leader swashes a path of destruction via boisterous sax choruses, but uncannily conveys a hidden beauty of sorts while doing so. When dishing out off-center rhythms, the band also executes fractured jazz-funk vamps amid Wierbos' ravaging solo spots. Add a few rather bewildering microtonal exercises and the set is literally a wide-ranging study in disparate contrasts and accentuates the musicians' cunning interactions.

The seventeen-minute "Le Vent et la Gorge" is a mind-boggling incursion, where the quartet imparts a nip and tuck pulse and enacts a tightrope-like balancing act as a suspenseful aura hovers above the proceedings. Here, Gratkowski's eerie sax overtones offset the alternating momentum. However, the group switches gears as Hemingway's dainty percussion grooves help transform matters into a near hypnotic state. The soloists explore multiple tonal ranges, abetted by Gratkowski's use of bass clarinet and acting as a mediator during a bit of band-induced angst. Moving forward, the quartet's turbulent shifts in tempo transform into punchy, odd-metered detours—a signature stylization of Hemingway's timekeeping mechanics. A magnum opus, Le Vent et la Gorge complements the quartet's multilateral tactics as an album that looms as one of Gratkowski's crowning achievements.


Track Listing: Harm-oh-nie; Le Vent et la Gorge; Lied/Song; GO!; The Flying Dutchman.

Personnel: Frank Gratkowski: alto saxophone, clarinet, bass and contrabass clarinet, composition; Wolter Wierbos: trombone; Dieter Manderscheid: double bass; Gerry Hemingway: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Leo Records | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Le Vent et la Gorge
Le Vent et la Gorge
Leo Records
2013
buy
[no cover]
Vermilion Traces |...
Original Jazz Classics
2012
buy
[no cover]
Fo[u]r Alto
Original Jazz Classics
2012
buy
Ardent Grass
Ardent Grass
Red Toucan Records
2011
buy
[no cover]
15 Instant Songs
Original Jazz Classics
2010
buy
Deployment
Deployment
Leo Records
2010
buy
William Parker William Parker
bass, acoustic
Evan Parker Evan Parker
sax, tenor
Satoko Fujii Satoko Fujii
piano
Tim Berne Tim Berne
saxophone
Herb Robertson Herb Robertson
trumpet
Ken Vandermark Ken Vandermark
saxophone
Henry Grimes Henry Grimes
bass, acoustic
David S. Ware David S. Ware
sax, tenor
Julius Hemphill Julius Hemphill
sax, alto
Ellery Eskelin Ellery Eskelin
saxophone

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.