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Michel Doneda & Alexander Frangenheim: Murmuration (Doneda & Frangenheim)


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Michel Doneda & Alexander Frangenheim: Murmuration   (Doneda & Frangenheim)
Murmuration is the fruit of a long collaboration between the German double bassist Alexander Frangenheim and French saxophonist Michel Doneda. Born in Wuppertal in 1959, Frangenheim has a varied history, as illustrated by past appearances with the Cecil Taylor Ensemble and the Cecil Taylor Workshop Ensemble during Taylor's renowned 1988 residency in Berlin, and also as a member of the large ensemble Zeitkratzer, with whom Lou Reed recorded a live version of his Metal Machine Music (RCA Victor, 1975) in Berlin in March 2002.

Born in Brive-la-Gaillarde in 1954, Doneda is rare for a saxophonist in that he only plays the straight soprano or sopranino saxophones, not their larger cousins. Over the years he has played with a veritable Who's Who of improvised music, including such names as Rhodri Davies, Phil Minton, Keith Rowe, John Russell, John Zorn and Sonic Youth. Although Murmuration is the duo's first release, they have also played with Roger Turner in the trio Nail, which released the album Nail In Ulrichsberg (Concepts of Being, 2023).

Recorded at Studioboerne45, Berlin, in 2021-22, the album comprises six tracks totaling just over forty-eight minutes, ranging in duration from just under five minutes to almost eleven. Crucially, despite interactions between bass and saxophone that are very dense at times, both instruments can be heard clearly throughout. All six pieces are totally free improvisations, with both players playing the vast majority of the time. Throughout, it is obvious that they are listening to one another, the dialogue between them making their combined music sound controlled, sensible and logical. At times, the music gives the impression that it might have been written or discussed prior to recording. Altogether, this is a textbook example of two contrasting instruments gelling into a very listenable whole. Highly recommended to free improv converts and skeptics.

Track Listing

Logik der Verausgabung; Expansion Sans Division; Formations; Syncronised Mirrors; Areas; Singular Movements.


Michel Doneda
saxophone, soprano
Alexander Frangenheim
bass, acoustic
Additional Instrumentation

Michel Doneda: sopranino saxophone

Album information

Title: Murmuration (Doneda & Frangenheim) | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: FMR Records



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