28

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

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Swell - Gebhard Ullmann - Fred Lonberg-Holm - Michael Zerang: The Chicago Plan 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 exceed expectations on this multifaceted set that offers a contrasting track list. They gel to an edgy and quasi-experimental New Orleans tinted bump and grind on the broadly based opener "Variations On A Master Plan (Part 3)." And kick off "Composite 10" with Zerang's poetic, polytonal drum vamp, leading to the hornists' diametric phrasings, densely articulated conversations and emotive solo spots. But the plot thickens on "Rule #1: Make Sure You Can Play Your Own Tune," which is designed with a complex and regimented unison free-bop pattern that is instigated by the drummer's fierce support and heightened by Swell and Ullmann's fluid solos. Hence, the quartet delves into scorching cadenzas amid a few nicely placed lulls, etched out by Lonberg-Holm's angular arco notes.

The final piece "For Henry," progresses like a fractured dirge, yet weirdly lyrical and capped off by Swell's bluesy, barrelhouse lines and Ullmann's loping bass clarinet notes, where Zerang's rolling fills generate an expansive musical canvass. Other movements interspersed throughout the program are framed with hair-raising free-form sorties and a labyrinth of dips and spikes via an undulating current and the ever-present element of surprise. Thus, all the nuts, bolts and moving parts converge into a near-flawless outcome.

Track Listing: Variations On A Master Plan (Part 3); Composite 10; Variations Of A Master Plan (Part 2); Rule #1: Make Sure You Can Play Your Own Tune; Déjà vu; For Henry.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Steve Swell: trombone; Fred Lonberg-Holm: cello, electronics; Michael Zerang: drums, percussion.

Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "We Drift Meridian" CD/LP/Track Review We Drift Meridian
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Migration Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Migration Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Manhattan EP" CD/LP/Track Review Manhattan EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Silent Light" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Sweet Ruby Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Sweet Ruby Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!