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Steve Swell - Gebhard Ullmann - Fred Lonberg-Holm - Michael Zerang: The Chicago Plan

Read "The Chicago Plan" reviewed 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 ...

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Gebhard Ullmann and Theo Nabicht: Clarinets plus Basses

Read "Gebhard Ullmann and Theo Nabicht: Clarinets plus Basses" reviewed 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 ...

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The Ullmann / Swell 4: News? No News!

Read "News? No News!" reviewed 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.

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Ullmann-Swell 4: News? No News!

Read "News? No News!" reviewed 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 ...

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Ullmann / Swell Quartet: News? No News!

Read "News? No News!" reviewed 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 ...

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Gebhard Ullmann Basement Research: Don't Touch My Music Vol. 2

Read "Don't Touch My Music Vol. 2" reviewed 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, ...

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Basement Research: Don't Touch My Music

Read "Don't Touch My Music" reviewed 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 ...

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Gebhard Ullmann: New Basement Research; Die Blaue Nixe & Leo Records 25th Anniversary: Loft, Koln

Read "Gebhard Ullmann: New Basement Research; Die Blaue Nixe & Leo Records 25th Anniversary: Loft, Koln" reviewed by Robert Iannapollo

Reedman Gebhard Ullmann has always been a bit apart. Never an inside player yet rarely as extreme as some of his German contemporaries, he has doggedly pursued his own muse and released a stream of excellent discs since the '80s. Ullmann divides his time between Berlin and New York and has several groups based in each city, all of who seem to offer the saxophonist a wide range of options for his many-faceted improvising ideas.

Gebhard Ullmann New ...

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Gebhard Ullmann At 50: A Career Retrospective

Read "Gebhard Ullmann At 50: A Career Retrospective" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Gebhard Ullmann (born in Bad Godesberg, Germany, November 2, 1957) is a composer and improvisor unique in the jazz world today. Playing a multitude of reeds and flutes, and maintaining an international presence with both European and American groups, Ullmann has created a body of work that is much more than a chronological series of recordings documenting his musical thinking. Each of his various projects addresses different musical issues and hence has its own distinctive ...

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Gebhard Ullmann: New Basement Research

Read "New Basement Research" reviewed by Budd Kopman

The year 2007 marks multi-reedman Gebhard Ullmann's fiftieth birthday, and as part of the celebration, he has released New Basement Research, a blistering and brutally propulsive record with a completely new group, and the fourth for this project. The Basement Research project was started in 1995 with the pre-existing American trio comprised of saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Phil Haynes. Two recordings were made by this group, Basement Research (Soul Note, 1995) and Kreuzberg ...

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Gebhard Ullmann: New Basement Research

Read "New Basement Research" reviewed by Troy Collins

A key presence on the European jazz scene with nearly forty albums to his credit, German multi-reedist Gebhard Ullman turns fifty this year. In celebration, Ullmann has reformed his critically acclaimed Basement Research ensemble with all new members. New Basement Research, their studio debut, is an effective summation of Ullmann's talents as an improviser and composer.

Initially formed in 1995, Basement Research featured the talents of tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Phil Haynes. The ...

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Gebhard Ullmann: Vancouver Concert - Ta Lam Zehn

Read "Vancouver Concert - Ta Lam Zehn" reviewed by Budd Kopman

What a joy it is to listen to and be engulfed by Vancouver Concert - Ta Lam Zehn! Setting aside the music's roots in the stunning Ta Lam (99 Records, 1993) or the group's roots in Ta Lam Acht from Moritat (99 Records, 1994), this live recording's group energy, spark and good humor make it an outstanding achievement. This was a truly amazing performance by a group that is sharp as a tack, playing music that sweeps the audience away. ...


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