All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Neuköllner Modelle: Sektion 1-2

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
The finest free jazz, that which is played at the highest levels, is actually quite tuneful. Not that the musicians rely on riffs or licks, or traditional themes. It is simply that the music, like an Abstract Expressionist painting, converges to form a whole. Just as a novice art student or someone without any art history background might not appreciate a painting by Willem de Kooning or Franz Kline, it's interesting to observe that both schooled artists and little children recognize the virtuosity instantly. The same is true for free jazz musicians, who often preach to the converted listeners (and should also do so to school children).

A case-in-point is the trio Neuköllner Modelle, made up of saxophonist Bertrand Denzler, bassist Joel Grip and legendary jazz drummer Sven-Åke Johansson. Sektion 1-2 is the first part of a seven Sektion (section) series of live recordings from Berlin in 2015. Self-described as two seemingly disparate strategies, "Constructive Free Jazz" or "Non- Expressive Free Jazz," the two sides of their LP (yes, this is vinyl) will sound either assembled or deconstructed, depending on your orientation.

If you're lucky, both.

Pairing Denzler, a musician with an astute approach to minimalist saxophone (check out Tenor (Potlatch, 2012)), with Grip, a collocating musician who ties many disparate European improvisational forms together, and Johansson, the Swiss army knife (although he is Swedish) of drummers, is a genius amalgam of musicians.

"Sektion 1" opens almost lazily with trudging bass and the rattle accents of Johansson warming up his snare, bass drum, and cymbals. Denzler puts lips to horn, honoring the footslog. Where another trio might have pushed and pulled each other to force, maybe squeeze, a performance out, these three never seem to play the provocation card. They build intensity as a unit, constructing both pieces here as if they were nurturing the music as an ecosystem. Highly recommended music.

Track Listing: Sektion 1; Sektion 2.

Personnel: Bertrand Denzler: saxophone; Joel Grip: double bass; Sven-Åke Johansson: drums.

Title: Sektion 1-2 | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Umlaut Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Uplift The People CD/LP/Track Review
Uplift The People
by John Sharpe
Published: August 21, 2018
Read A New Shade Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review
A New Shade Of Blue
by Chris May
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Rabbits on the Run CD/LP/Track Review
Rabbits on the Run
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Imaginary Numbers CD/LP/Track Review
Imaginary Numbers
by John Sharpe
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Point Blank CD/LP/Track Review
Point Blank
by Chris May
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Tell Me The Truth CD/LP/Track Review
Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read "Enemy" CD/LP/Track Review Enemy
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 7, 2018
Read "Wishing On The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Wishing On The Moon
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 1, 2018
Read "when the shade is stretched" CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "The Shakedown" CD/LP/Track Review The Shakedown
by Chris May
Published: May 2, 2018
Read "Dear Friend" CD/LP/Track Review Dear Friend
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: July 28, 2018
Read "Straight Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Straight Forward
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 14, 2018