Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved reader experience across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

111

Schlippenbach Trio: Pakistani Pomade

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
In the free improv Book of Lists the Schlippenbach Trio holds an enviable distinction. Together since 1972, they’re the longest running ensemble in the history of the music. This new UMS reissue augments their debut for FMP with an additional 20 minutes worth of material, making an already indispensable slab of music even more so. Yet another added extra is the trove of sessions photos included. It’s a trip to see Parker outfitted in paisley print shirt and sweater vest; full-on beard and circular spectacles, looking uncannily like Jerry Garcia. But what of the music? Corollaries with Kashmirian hair grease are anyone’s guess, but the sounds shed meanings of their own.



Lovens' asymmetric percussion style is in place from the start, shifting from trip-hammer strokes to hyperventilative tattoos. The virility of his stick play keeps things moving, but never in a predictable trajectory. Schlippenbach affects a similarly varied style, moving from dark, pedal- weighted chords to dancing right hand pirouettes. Parker chimes in on tenor first, trading in tight braids of multiphonics, his signature sound already in place at this early date. “Sun-Luck Night- Rain” serves as a perfect inaugural salvo, a snapshot of the trio’s collective style and an instructive roadmap for the interplay to come.

“Butaki Sisters” refracts light through another facet of the improvisatory prism as the three players experiment with extended pitch dynamics. Lovens’ bowed cymbals weave with Parker’s mewling soprano as Schlippenbach goes under the hood to manipulate his own instrument’s innards with what sounds like a bucketful of loose change, springs and sprockets. Isolating the advertised two seconds of Monk in “A Little Yellow” is something of a needle-haystack pursuit, but the wide-berth sound floor sculpted by the three has plenty to offer on its own. Parker moves from eructative breath sounds to churlish, moist soprano lines while Lovens’ slaps out a martial sortie of percussion noises including what sounds like a shaken sheet of metal. Schlippenbach fingers step between, crafting nimble strings of notes both diffusive and densely drawn.



“Ein Husten...” starts promisingly as Lovens’ lone gong punctuates segments of silence, but wheezing mutterings and hacking coughs soon intervene with lurching percussion chatter to derail the track into diffusive navel-gazing. Mere fragments in duration, “Von “G”...” and “Kliene Nüll...” contrast effectively with the lengthier excursions like “Moonbeef,” a tense circuitous journey that gains speed with locomotive momentum. The disc’s title piece begins as arguably the most accessible of the date, with Schlippenbach building robust, cleanly articulated chords in tight collusion with the rhythmic push of Lovens’ galloping sticks. Parker’s soprano trills pierce the track’s median and strip the music of any accommodating accoutrements. Four ‘new’ alternates close out the collection. Each mirrors the diversity inherent to their commercially issued counterparts.



Three decades later, Schlippenbach, Parker and Lovens are still going strong, both as a trio and as individuals, and their body of work speaks for itself. As the landmark entry signaling their continuing association, this session automatically earns historical importance. That the music ranks of such a consistently absorbing caliber almost seems like a bonus.



UMS/Atavistic on the web: http://www.atavistic.com


Track Listing: Sun-Luck Night-Rain (5:20)/Butaki Sisters (9:05)/ A Little Yellow (Including Two Seconds of Monk) (7:03)/ Ein Husten f

Personnel: Evan Parker- soprano & tenor saxophones; Alexander Von Schlippenbach- piano; Paul Lovens- drums. Recorded: November 1972, Bremen, Germany.

Title: Pakistani Pomade | Year Released: 2003

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Better By Far" CD/LP/Track Review Better By Far
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Sermon Organ Combo" CD/LP/Track Review Sermon Organ Combo
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 2017
Read "Don't Blink" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Blink
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "Southern Blood" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Blood
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Just Left of Center" CD/LP/Track Review Just Left of Center
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "Clockwise: The Music Of Cedar Walton" CD/LP/Track Review Clockwise: The Music Of Cedar Walton
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 11, 2017