215

Manfred Kniel and his Reduction Quartet: Low Down Music

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Manfred Kniel and his Reduction Quartet: Low Down Music Drummer Manfred Kniel has leadership status on this release, and all the compositions are his. But this is also, perhaps, the key to the music's shortcomings, especially when the rhythmic vitality the leader habitually imparts is not matched by some other equally compelling element. His sly and sometimes witty melodic sense seems often to be a mere afterthought, something he feels obliged to tack on so as not to run the risk of creating a musical monoculture. The results feel like somewhat slapdash music, especially in view of the sometimes contrived humor which goes with it.

"Klagelied" provides a pertinent example. The theme is pretty negligible, perhaps no more than something on which to blow in the time-honored fashion, but the variations on it are far from compelling and take in a drum solo which highlights Kniel's vitality.

The heavy-handed humor comes to the fore on "Pozilei," and it's frustrating, in no small part, because it prevents a true picture of trombonist Mike Svoboda's instrumental personality. It also has the air of a pastiche from the Art Ensemble Of Chicago at itsmost playful, but that band's singular grasp of the art of tension and release is substituted with a kind of contrived grandstanding. It's true that, as the piece progresses, Svoboda and trumpeter Karl Farrent get the chance to strut, but their efforts are undermined by an apparent unwillingness to get loose.

"Eklat" highlights how incidental bassist Veit Hubner's contribution can be. The three-note motif which opens the piece is a kind of antithesis to anything with the potential for in the moment development, and proves the harbinger of the kind of disruption on which Kniel, the composer, seems to thrive. Farrent's solo is a model of economy, but given the material he's working with, it couldn't realistically be anything else.

It all makes for rather wearing listening, especially as there is the seed of something special here. Whether that seed grows into something substantial can't be predicted at this moment, especially given generally transitory nature of band lineups.

Track Listing: Burgermusi; Naiv, Tief Und Grausig-Schön; Miss Blue; Eklat; Free 'n' Open; Pozilei; Klagelied; Schneefelder II.

Personnel: Karl Farrent: trumpet; Mike Svoboda: trombone; Veit Hubner: bass; Manfred Kniel: drums.

Title: Low Down Music | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Neos


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Resonance CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Black Focus CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Monte Alban" CD/LP/Track Review Monte Alban
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Heart Of Gold: Live In Aarhus" CD/LP/Track Review Heart Of Gold: Live In Aarhus
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Now Hear This!" CD/LP/Track Review Now Hear This!
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Two Hands, One Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Two Hands, One Heart
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "The Colours Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 29, 2017
Read "Mask Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Mask Dance
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 3, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

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

Donate!