Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Roby Glod / Roberta Piket / Mark Tokar / Klaus Kugel: Op Der Schmelz Live

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
This pan-European-American collective quartet, named after the Op Der Schmelz venue in Luxemburg (where this album was recorded), focuses in transforming intuitively detailed sonic moments into balanced movements, full of surprises and risk- taking. The quartet is comprised of four experienced improvisers—Luxemburg-based saxophonist Roby Glod, New Yorker pianist Roberta Piket, Ukrainian bassist Mark Tokar and Köln-based drummer Klaus Kugel- -who share emphatic interplay, a discursive approach and natural intimacy.

All the pieces begin in a conventional manner with a simple theme, but then all is opened up; anything can happen. These continuous pieces are developed as a long suite; each enriches the sonic range of the quartet and solidifies its rapport. "Dredger of Pig Rolls" revolves around the engaging and unforced intimacy of Glod and Piket, embraced by Tokar's contrapuntal articulations and Kugel's lightly propulsive foundation, all channeled through this distinct quartet's sound. The melancholic "Lviv," written by Kugel after the Ukrainian city where Tokar was born, features emotional, spare solos by Glod and Tokar, both emphasizing the yearning for an innocent bond with Tokar's hometown. "Budamo, Hay!" (a Ukrainian toast) moves from a complex duet, featuring Glod's serpentine flights (on soprano sax) and Kugel's increasingly pronounced cymbal rides, to an intense and full-blown quartet eruption, with another impressive solo from Tokar, both pizzicato and cpn arco. "Nazar," a lyrical chamber jazz piece, highlights Glod's commanding and distinctive tone (now on alto sax), and reflective delicately articulated responses from his band mates. Only on the long, title track does the quartet choose to structure itself out of abstract timbral searches, exploring such unconventional aspects of their instruments as plucking the piano wires, bowing the cymbals and blowing the sax after moving its mouthpiece. These brief explorations are organically translated into an emphatic, immediate flow of ideas and associations, lending this intense piece a profound and colorful texture. The finale, "Still Alive" is a free, heartfelt play on Ukraine's national anthem, once again demonstrating the manner in which quartet follows its impulses and employs its imaginative vocabulary in order to form surprising pieces.

An exceptional quartet.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read The Forest from Above CD/LP/Track Review
The Forest from Above
by John Eyles
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Imaginary Band CD/LP/Track Review
Imaginary Band
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Night CD/LP/Track Review
Night
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 13, 2018
Read An Ayler Xmas Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
An Ayler Xmas Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2018
Read I Always Knew CD/LP/Track Review
I Always Knew
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 12, 2018
Read "Explosion" CD/LP/Track Review Explosion
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 24, 2018
Read "Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 6, 2018
Read "Kiss Your Darlings" CD/LP/Track Review Kiss Your Darlings
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 27, 2018
Read "Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by John Sharpe
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "Threefold" CD/LP/Track Review Threefold
by John Sharpe
Published: October 1, 2018
Read "Disarm" CD/LP/Track Review Disarm
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 8, 2018