265

Gratkowski / Brown / Winant: Wake

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Gratkowski / Brown / Winant: Wake California meets Germany happens to be the headline of this trio of Frank Gratkowski, William Winant, and Chris Brown. Maybe the story-behind-the-story here is that great minds think alike and great improvisers improvise, well...greatly.

German composer/reed musician Frank Gratkowski has been active on the European scene for the last 20 years. He has an affinity for strong pianist like George Graewe, Misha Mengelberg and Achim Kaufmann, and drummers including Gerry Hemingway and Tony Oxley. It seems natural that he would connect with pianist Chris Brown and percussionist William Winant. Both West Coast artists have been associated with Glenn Spearman and Larry Ochs of ROVA fame.

This live recording is from March 2007 at Mills College in Oakland. It opens with the lengthy, 25 minute "Slide," which starts out tentatively—acoustically very simple. The combination of Gratkowski's bass clarinet and Winant's vibraphone has a pleasing, swaddled sound. Brown also carries a percussive touch that compliments Winant. As tension builds, the introduction of electronics moves away from any sense of security. Odd sounds, repetition, and some welcome fuzz joins the mix. These three musicians never allow the electronics to dominate the affair, and throughout democracy reigns. The remainder of the tracks, all greater than 10 minutes in length, present organic creations of natural sound-making.

The trio permits the music to get a bit sentimental at times, and while the softer side of improvisation is rarely mined these days, it never gets sugary here. They simply have the diligence and humility to pursue some self-restraint and humility in their music.

Track Listing: Slide; Ambitus; Scrabble; Parallax; Archipelago.

Personnel: Frank Gratkowski: clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone; Chris Brown: piano, live electronics; William Winant: vibraphone, percussion.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Red Toucan Records | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "True Love Collection" CD/LP/Track Review True Love Collection
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Madjafalao" CD/LP/Track Review Madjafalao
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Rehab Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Rehab Reunion
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Ida Y Vuelta" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Y Vuelta
by James Nadal
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "Taking Direction" CD/LP/Track Review Taking Direction
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: April 4, 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!