by Glenn Astarita
The Chicago Plan equates to a strategic plan, evidenced by these magnetic and invigorating works by reedman Gebhard Ullmann (Berlin), trombonist Steve Swell (New York City) and Chicagoans, drummer Michael Zerang and cellist / electronics-ace Fred Lonberg-Holm. Recorded in Chicago, the musicians were seemingly immersed in the Windy City's cutting- edge jazz and improvisational forces that may have hovered over the studio like a guiding spirit. Here, some of the best and brightest live up to, or perhaps ...read more
by John Eyles
Back in 1999, Leo Records released the debut album, Oct. 1 '98, by The Clarinet Trio, which consisted of three German clarinettists, Jürgen Kupke on clarinet plus Gebhard Ullmann and Theo Nabicht both on bass clarinets. The three had contrasting interests and styles: Kupke had been performing from contemporary to New Orleans-type music, Nabicht focused on contemporary composed and improvised music and wrote music for theatre, while Ullmann had been composing and performing in the large field of what he ...read more
by Troy Collins
The international partnership of German multi-instrumentalist Gebhard Ullmann and Downtown trombonist Steve Swell dates back to 2004, when they first recorded together as the co-leaders of a quartet on Desert Songs and Other Landscapes (CIMP, 2004)--the same year Swell joined Ullmann's renowned Basement Research ensemble. News? No News! is the sophomore follow-up to their CIMP debut, a rare studio date for the German Jazzwerkstatt imprint that captures the vigor of the quartet's live gigs in a transparent studio environment.read more
by Mark Corroto
It is difficult to decide, when listening to The Ullmann-Swell 4 disc News? No News! whether the choicest parts are composed or purely improvised. With such talent heard here in this mini-supergroup of saxophonist/bass clarinetist Gebhard Ullmann, trombonist Steve Swell, bassist Hilliard Greene, and drummer Barry Altschul, maybe the extreme pleasure that results is allowing that tug-of-war to play itself out.
This disc is the second by the quartet, following Desert Songs and Other Landscapes (CIMP, 2004). Ullmann and Swell ...read more
by John Sharpe
In these days of global jazz alliances, the partnership of downtown trombonist Steve Swell and German reedman Gebhard Ullmann won't raise too many eyebrows. More noteworthy is its endurance, spanning some six years since its auspicious inception with Desert Songs and Other Landscapes (CIMP, 2004). Swell is also a fixture in Ullmann's Basement Research band, another combo that shows similar staying power. News? No News!, a studio date on Berlin's Jazzwerkstatt imprint, constitutes a worthy successor to the CIMP, featuring ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
When Gebhard Ullmann took his Basement Research into Krakow 's Alchemia Club to celebrate his 50th birthday, he recorded two sets of music. The first was released as Don't Touch My Music, Vol. 1. Like the first, this second set is unedited and unchanged, and shows just how intuitive and empathic the band is.
Ullmann's compositions encapsulate several idioms. He goes from blues to a march, transforming into free idioms without a twinge. And just as his writing is earthy, ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Gebhard Ullmann lays down the ground rules without ado with the slam-bang title Don't Touch My Music. There should be no qualms about that, Ullmann's music is made to draw rapt attention. The closer one listens, the more there is to discover.
Ullmann brings in an evolving, and revolving, cast of characters to give voice to his music. Each ensemble brings certain attributes and direction to his compositions that absorb various strains to enrich them. Basement Research ...read more