Basement Research’s eighth album celebrates the band’s 25th anniversary. Gebhard Ullmann, Global citizen and winner of the City of Berlin’s 2017 Jazz Prize, celebrates his improvisations through a focused aesthetic in which each of the short pieces begins at a particular point and evolves into a collective band sound. Great music that consistently delves into the heart of the matter and, without skipping a beat, moves on to the next creative moment.
Eleven old and new Ullmann compositions are brought together in a concept album, a balancing act between Europe and America that blends modern jazz and contemporary compositional methods. Traditional idioms are roughed up by quarter-tone improvisations and twelve-tone rows; a gospel emerges, and then, echoes of Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, and Charles Lloyd, as the music takes a bow to these jazz greats. Interwoven improvisations and continual twists and turns constantly amaze. Pieces from the band’s history are re-arranged and given new interpretations in this six-part impromptu suite. With Ullmann’s current line-up of trombonist Steve Swell, baritone saxophonist Julian Argüelles, bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and drummer Gerald Cleaver it’s all a matter of intuitive conciseness, a rich range of musical colours and the sensual pleasure of complex play. This clever diversion revolves around continuous unexpected movement and corroborates the seemingly limitless power of this brilliant band.
2019 WhyPlayJazz (WPJ045) : Basement Research – “Impromptus and Other Short Works”
Gebhard Ullmann (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet), Steve Swell (trombone), Julian Argüelles (baritone saxophone), Pascal Niggenkemper (double bass), Gerald Cleaver (drums)
- Gospel 3:43
- Twelve Tones – Impromptu #5 5:07
- Impromptu #1 5:16
- 29 Shoes 4:45
- Kleine Figuren 3:12
- Lines – Impromptu #2 4:43
- Shifting Tonalities – Impromptu #3 6:09
- Air 2:31
- Sticks – Impromptu #4 3:17
- For Jim – Impromptu #6 4:35
- Almost Twenty-Eight 4:05
All compositions by Gebhard Ullmann. Produced by Gebhard Ullmann for WhyPlayJazz. Recorded April 23, 2018 by Guy Sternberg at Low Swing Studios, Berlin. Mixed and Mastered by Martin Ruch at Control Room, Berlin. Photos by Oliver Potratz. Design and artwork by Travassos. Funded with the kind support of the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, Berlin.
Full review soon on #jazzpress.gpoint