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
119

Frank Gratkowski Project: Loft Exil V

By

Sign in to view read count
Frank Gratkowski Project: Loft Exil V In the first movement of Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony, the composer musically presents the birth of the world and nature, with plants and animals coming to life in a wild and brilliant procession. It's the familiar sound world of the composer translated into a rich tableau that is somehow both familiar and brand new.

In this set's first extended piece, "The Morning Beckons, saxophonist Gratkowski and his band offer an emergence from the darkness, as presented in the improvising chattering and chirping of an ensemble that's smaller than the Mahler orchestra but no less expressive in its dramatic comings and goings. Two basses and two drummers do more than give the piece a base—they also add so much sound that the others cannot help but be buoyed by the weight of their presence.

All the musicians collectively are credited with the composition of this and the three pieces on the second disc, all of which come from a live performance at the 32nd New Festival in Moers, Germany. Hans-Martin Muller gave the musicians a new venue—The Loft—from which to present these startling works and the players rose to the occasion.

As in the Mahler work, the sound world is one we know. Here it's the sphere of free jazz improvisation, but Gratkowski and his cohorts (who played the opening week of The Stone last month) have the time and setting to create a new sonic environment. They go from whispers to wails, creating their own path as they go. Gratkowski has a world of jazz and other improvised musics at his back, and they propel him to use them to find otherworldly modes of expression. Americans Herb Robertson and Gerry Hemingway are no strangers to this kind of environment, where they find a home and a starting-off point for musical adventure. Gratkowski's fellow Europeans—Wolter Wierbos, Dieter Manderschied, and Wilbert DeJoode—also know the Loft and the company of Gratkowski and the others as home.


Track Listing: Disc 1: 1. The Morning Beckons. Disc 2: 1. There Could I Marvel; 2. And the Mystery Sang Alive; 3. Out of the Loom.

Personnel: Frank Gratkowski, alto saxophone, clarinet, bass and contrabass clarinets; Tobias Delius (on CD 2 only), tenor saxophone, clarinet; Herb Robertson, trumpet; Wolter Wierbos, trombone; Dieter Manderschied, bass (left); Wilbert DeJoode, bass (right); Gerry Hemingway, drums (left); Michael Vatcher, drums (right).

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Leo Records | Style: Modern Jazz


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

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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