Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

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

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Dirt In The Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Dirt In The Ground
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "Blue Maqams" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Maqams
by John Kelman
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass" CD/LP/Track Review Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Avalon" CD/LP/Track Review Avalon
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Planets + Persona" CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor