142

Misha Mengelberg: Solo

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
The intimacy of jazz has always been its most powerful draw. The listener, somewhat of a voyeur to the musician’s inner soul, is positioned either at a live concert, or in the case of a quality recording, at a comfortable (or uncomfortable) distance. Here the listener catches the creative act at its fountainhead.

Misha Mengelberg’s music has always been an endless source of creative vigor. The 65 year-old pianist made his first recording with the traveling Eric Dolphy in 1964 and began a long-standing association with drummer Han Bennink. Mengelberg has woven a career and life around jazz and classical music, Fluxus art, and improvisation, always improvisation. His alliance with Bennink and saxophonist Steve Lacy has associated him with the American innovators Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols. His work with Bennink, Peter Brotzmann, and the ICP orchestra has kept his mind in the world of free-improvised music. Of note are two trio records No Idea (DIW) with Americans Joey Baron and Greg Cohen, and Who’s Bridge (Avant) with Baron and Brad Jones. Mengelberg plays around with the classic jazz trio, inserting his droll (and very non-American) freedom to standards and his original music. His record Regeneration (Soul Note) with Steve Lacy, Roswell Rudd, and Han Bennink is considered a five-star classic recording of Monk and Nichols.

This Solo outing recorded in December of 1999 wanders between improvised jazz and improvised classical (not an oxymoron) forms. The immediacy of the music is conspicuous. As he counts off the opener, translated as “shopping list #4” you’re lulled than surprised by his fierce attack. He warms you up, tossing Handel-like music in “Koekok” (Cuckoo), and three tracks dedicated to Richard Wagner. Mengelberg flirts with classical forms moving in and out of composed pieces and improvisation, sometimes appearing to pause, in thought or just to make a point. His “Broezimann,” dedicated to the German powerful free jazz saxophonist Peter Brotzmann, is surprisingly sweet and gentle (I believe may be a glimpse into the mellow soul of the noisiest of saxophonists). Mengelberg isn’t performing here for an audience or being coaxed by the funnyman Bennink. This is Mengelberg’s response to Keith Jarrett’s The Melody At Night, And You. He’s performing, seemingly for an audience of one. It doesn’t get more intimate than that.

Track Listing: Boodschappenlijst; Loekoek; Richard Wagner Gewidmet: Reef; Knebus; Salz; Ik Heb Een Turquoise Muts; Wok Afhaal; Bill Evans En Dan; Broezimann.

Personnel: Misha Mengelberg

| Record Label: Buzz Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read This Is The Uplifting Part CD/LP/Track Review This Is The Uplifting Part
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 22, 2017
Read Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh CD/LP/Track Review Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2017
Read Glare of the Tiger CD/LP/Track Review Glare of the Tiger
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2017
Read Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana CD/LP/Track Review Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 22, 2017
Read From Two Balconies CD/LP/Track Review From Two Balconies
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Known-Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute To Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute To Jimmy Van Heusen
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "Cosmic Nickelodeon" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmic Nickelodeon
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 14, 2016
Read "The Candy Men" CD/LP/Track Review The Candy Men
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Hotel Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Hotel Cinema
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "Sus" CD/LP/Track Review Sus
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!