279

Matthias Schubert Quartet: Trappola

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Matthias Schubert Quartet: Trappola In the heady climate of the 1970s loft jazz era, the fertile aesthetic common ground shared by Dixieland and free jazz was well documented by such notable innovators as Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton, Muhal Richard Abrams and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. German tenor saxophonist Matthias Schubert continues this exploration on Trappola.

Schubert and the other members of his group—clarinetist Claudio Puntin, tuba player Carl Ludwig Hubsch and drummer Tom Rainey—share common histories, having often played together in various combinations over the past decade. Blending the raw communal expressionism of free jazz with the joyous punch of early Dixieland and European marching band music, they make a riotous postmodern noise, laced with a wicked sense of humor.

The quartet defies standard rules of traditional accompaniment; Hubsch offers support without being fully relegated to the role of bassist. Rainey similarly navigates his trap set, injecting melodic contours and colorful textures while he maintains the pulse. Schubert and Puntin lock horns, weaving endless variations on angular themes full of intertwining melodic fragments as they negotiate Rainey's thorny palpitations with tricky counterpoint and witty rejoinders.

Toying with stop-start rhythms ("Plus Minus"), austere chamber dynamics ("Statik and Penetranz") and riotous, circus-like fanfares ("Upgradeing"), the quartet blends a variety of approaches. "Soldaten" encapsulates the furthest reaches of the group's potential, vacillating between turbulent, Braxtonian march rhythms and spectral explorations that border on silence.

Collective improvisation alternates with expansive solo statements on Trappola. The leader's intervallic tenor is brawny and propulsive on "Soldaten" and the lumbering funk of the title track, which features Rainey throttling his kit with the same focused intensity that he delivers when accompanying Tim Berne. Rainey's solo statements and supportive fills blend seamlessly with his open-ended approach, sounding occasionally like one endlessly nuanced, driving improvisation. Hubsch contributes mesmerizing multiphonic solos, most notably on "Statik and Penetranz," while Puntin unveils a fertile blend of Old World lyricism and klezmer-inflected sarcasm on "Don Cordolone."

A lively rendition of Jelly Roll Morton's "Shreeveport Stomp" makes an appropriate cover choice, complementing the album's ancient-to-the-future aesthetic. Blending freewheeling structures, fervent improvisation and ironic humor with Old World traditions, Schubert and company lend a new wrinkle to the tried and true. Historical revisionism never sounded so good.


Track Listing: Plus Minus; Soldaten; Upgradeing; Statik and Penetranz; Shreeveport Stomp; Don Cordolone; Trappola; Brettspiel.

Personnel: Matthias Schubert: tenor sax; Claudio Puntin: clarinet; Carl Ludwig Hubsch: tuba; Tom Rainey: drums.

Title: Trappola | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Red Toucan Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read My Head Is Listening CD/LP/Track Review My Head Is Listening
by John Sharpe
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Passin' Thru CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Ugly Beauty CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Nick Davies
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet CD/LP/Track Review Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "The Space Between" CD/LP/Track Review The Space Between
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Troy Collins
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Wake Up Call" CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Dream Within A Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "What Do I Miss" CD/LP/Track Review What Do I Miss
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A DONATION  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!