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King Übü Örchestrü 2021: Roi


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King Übü Örchestrü 2021: Roi
The large improvising ensemble King Übü Örchestrü first saw the light of day when they recorded their debut album, Music Is Music Is (Uhlklang, 1985) in Akademie der Künste, Berlin, in December 1984. It was a sign of the times that their trumpeter Mark Charig was prevented from going to Berlin for the recording. But, with players such as drummer Paul Lytton, trombonist Radu Malfatti, cellist Alfred Zimmerlin and violinist Phillipp Wachsmann in the line-up, the music was exceptional. Two further studio-recorded albums and two live ones were released but the ensemble recorded nothing from 2003 onwards.

Now comes a reformed version of King Übü Örchestrü, a suffix "2021" indicating that. The new version includes familiar names such as Charig, Lytton, Wachsmann, Zimmerlin, trumpeter Axel Dorner, guitarist Erhard Hirt, tuba Melvin Poore and double bassist Hans Schneider; new recruits are sopranino saxophonist Stefan Keune, who also plays in the quartet Xpact with Hirt, Schneider and Lytton, replacing the late Wolfgang Fuchs, and Matthias Muche on trombone, replacing Malfatti. Here, the ensemble is joined by vocalist Phil Minton who had previously guested with the ensemble in 2003.

Recorded live on September 27th 2021 at Dialograum Kreuzung an St. Helena, Bonn, the album comprises two extended tracks, clocking in at 27:05 and 35:06. As ever, all the ensemble's music was freely improvised. The interactions between the ensemble members are testament to the time that they have known one another and played together. No one plays a solo in the jazz sense of the word, drowning out others and hogging the limelight. Instead, everyone seems to be listening to the others all of the time and contributing when there is an appropriate space for them. There are occasional crescendos but these arise naturally as a result of players reactions and do not sound pre-planned. In similar fashion, there are also quiet patches during which the quietest sound is audible. This is not an ensemble in which members feel they must play as much as possible to justify their existence; rather it is one in which the members have developed the same instincts and complement each other perfectly. An object lesson in free improvisation. More, soon, please.

Track Listing

First set: Roi 3; Second set: Roi 4.


Additional Instrumentation

Stefan Keune: sopranino saxophone; Mark Charig: cornet; Phillipp Wachsmann: electronics; Erhard Hirt: electronics; Paul Lytton: percussion;

Album information

Title: Roi | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: FMR Records



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