Tuesday, January 14, 2014

ALEXANDER von SCHLIPPENBACH / SUNNY MURRAY – Smoke (1990)



Label: FMP – FMP CD 23
Format: CD, Album; Country: Germany - Released: 1990
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded on October 6th, 1989 at the FMP-Studio/Berlin
Mastered By – Jonas Bergler
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By, Photography By, Layout – Jost Gebers





This duet between Dutch pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and vanguard drummer Sunny Murray is one of those records that makes FMP such a necessary label. This impromptu meeting between two giants of that "other" jazz world, the avant-garde, reveals with startling clarity the inherent musical courage it takes to play freely with another musician you have never encountered. This nearly 80-minute recording was done in one day in 1989. Here, von Schlippenbach abdicates his normal responsibilities as a leader and becomes a collaborator. Murray, never really anybody's sideman, takes the reins and turns his rhythmic chops on in such a way that the pianist cannot help but to respond in a like manner. So listeners have a study in rhythmic improvisation. The colliding skeins of von Schlippenbach's notes are patterned after the rolling rim shots of Murray's left hand. His arpeggios land like punches in the heart of the tom-tom and bass drum fills, and together they create the rhythmic impulse to improvisation. With the exception of a truly bent -- that is, very innovative -- read of Monk's "Trinkle, Tinkle," the set is one of improvisations credited to one man or the other. Figures combine to make new structures, as bass notes are discarded in favor of side rolls and cymbal shimmers. Also, as middle-register tonal clusters are etched into the pulse of each track, Murray works to accent them, bringing them out from the drums so that they can become drums in and of themselves. And when it's over, in the silence, the listener will most assuredly sit for a while in disbelief at what just transpired.

_ Review by THOM JUREK



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8 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Hey Vitko . . . ANYTHING Sunny Murray I cannot resist and this is new to me. Thanks for the share. I have very little AVS, this looks quite promising!

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  3. Beautiful post, thank you very much for this. Do you have another gems of FMP like FMP 54 (Hans Reichel-The death of rare bird) and FMP 41 (Joe Sachse - European House). Thank you and many greetings.

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    1. One can purchase a download version of THE DEATH OF THE RARE BIRD YMIR & BONOBO BEACH here -- http://destination-out.bandcamp.com/album/the-death-of-the-rare-bird-ymir-bonobo-beach -- if that appeals.

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    2. Thank you very much for posting it, i did not know this site, that's very interesting.

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  4. Hey Vitko.

    As always, thanks for all the incredible music. I was wondering if the links for this record are ever going to pop up again. Is it still in print?

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    1. Almost all FMP albums have been digitally restored and can be conveniently purchased through http://destination-out.bandcamp.com/
      Cheers.

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