32

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

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: The Chicago Plan | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Ta Lam

Ta Lam

Gebhard Ullmann
The Big Band Project

Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
The Chicago Plan

The Chicago Plan

Clean Feed Records
2017

buy
 

Transatlantic

Leo Records
2012

buy
News? No News!

News? No News!

Jazzwerkstatt Berlin-brandenburg E.v.
2010

buy
 

What About The ...?

Not Two Records
2010

buy
Don't Touch My Music

Don't Touch My Music

Not Two Records
2009

buy
Don't Touch My Music Vol. 2

Don't Touch My Music...

Not Two Records
2009

buy

Upcoming Shows

Related Articles

Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019
Read A Pride Of Lions Album Reviews
A Pride Of Lions
By John Sharpe
April 21, 2019
Read Sunburst Finish Album Reviews
Sunburst Finish
By Glenn Astarita
April 21, 2019
Read This Should Be Fun Album Reviews
This Should Be Fun
By David A. Orthmann
April 20, 2019
Read Transoceanico Album Reviews
Transoceanico
By Patrick Burnette
April 20, 2019
Read Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection Album Reviews
Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 20, 2019