Thursday, September 8, 2016

Alexander von Schlippenbach - Jazz Now! (Live at Theater Gütersloh) 2016 CHALLENGE RECORDS

Among jazz fans, you can have a lot of fun arguing whether “European Jazz” is a useful counterpoint to the American tradition, an original supplement thereto or “is worth less than American jazz on the market” as it can be read in a Wikipedia forum. There is no doubt that there have been and are gifted musicians this side of the Atlantic, who have molded and formed jazz for decades. They have developed very unique playing styles by merging European music traditions with American influences. To give these pioneers of European jazz a stage was the idea for the series of articles “European Jazz Legends”, which we launched in the magazine Jazz thing in our 100th issue in September 2013. We can now look back on 11 issues. The symbolic stage has now become a real one, and it is in Gutersloh in the middle of Europe.

 Accompanying each edition of our magazine appearing five times a year, a concert planned especially for this occasion is being organized in cooperation with the label Intuition, the city of Gutersloh and Westdeutscher Rundfunk Koln with current protagonists of the series, hosted by our author Gotz Buhler. Each concert including an on-stage interview with the artist will be broadcast by Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR 3) at a later time, and the musical highlights of the concert will be released on a CD.

In other words, five concerts and five CDs in the series “European Jazz Legends” are planned for each year in the future. In addition, a book will be published, for which the article from the magazine will be revised and supplemented, among other things, to provide impressions from the concerts and discussions.

The CD of Alexander von Schlippenbach is the fourth publication in the “European Jazz Legends” series. We from Jazz thing are very proud of this and would like to thank all partners and especially the musicians – and hope that you enjoy this new series.

When Alexander von Schlippenbach debuted his composition “Globe Unity” and the orchestra of the same name at the Berliner Jazztage on November 3rd 1966, the mainstream press was not sure whether to find the result radical or ridiculous: “Witches cauldron” or “Male prank in the Philharmonie” read the headlines the next day. „Back then you could shock people with music, which is not really possible anymore today”, notes the now 77 year old. “But that is not what it is about anyways.”

With a Berlin based ensemble featuring Antonio Borghini on double bass, Heinrich Köbberling on drums and Rudi Mahall on bass clarinet – musicians around thirty to forty years his junior – the pianist and composer offered his current musical concepts during a celebrated concert at the Theater Gütersloh on October 3rd 2015; the audience witnessed a compelling and challenging program of up to date improvisations and (Pre-)Bebop-compositions by Herbie Nichols, Thelonious Monk, and Eric Dolphy. “Free Jazz to me was not necessarily something revolutionary or volitional, but rather a logical music-historical development”, the Count said during the interview for Jazz thing’s series “European Jazz Legends” leading up to this concert.

This time the press lauded the fact that “the music of the pianist from Berlin is not about going the easy route, the one aimed at pleasing everybody, and reproducing something that had been done before.” The headline? “Improvisation till ecstasy.”

01. Gold Is Where You Find It
Written-By – Alexander von Schlippenbach

02. 12 Bars
Written-By – Herbie Nichols

03. The Gig
Written-By – Herbie Nichols

04. Serene
Written-By – Eric Dolphy

05. The Bells Of St. K.
Written-By – Alexander von Schlippenbach

06. Tropi
Written-By – Alexander von Schlippenbach

07. Something Sweet Something Tender
Written-By – Eric Dolphy

08. Devices And Desires
Written-By – Alexander von Schlippenbach

09. Les
Written-By – Eric Dolphy

10. Bishop
Written-By – Alexander von Schlippenbach

11. Every Cloud
Written-By – Herbie Nichols

12. Miss Ann
Written-By – Eric Dolphy

13. Epistrophy
Written-By – Thelonious Monk

14. Interview With Alexander von Schlippenbach
Interviewee – Alexander von Schlippenbach
Interviewer – Götz Bühler

Bass – Antonio Borghini (tracks: 1 to 13)
Bass Clarinet – Rudi Mahall (tracks: 1 to 13)
Design – Knut Schötteldreier
Drums – Heinrich Köbberling (tracks: 1 to 13)
Engineer [Sound Engineer] – Holger Siedler
Liner Notes – Götz Bühler
Mixed By, Mastered By – Georg Niehusmann
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Lutz Voigtländer
Photography By [Cover] – Lutz Voigtländer
Piano – Alexander von Schlippenbach (tracks: 1 to 13)
Producer – Volker Dueck
Recording Supervisor [Supervising Engineer] – Georg Niehusmann

Recorded Live at Theater Gütersloh, 03.10.2015
Mixed and mastered November 2015