Gebhard Ullmann Basement Research – “Impromptus and Other Short Works” (WhyPlayJazz, 2019)

“Impromptus and Other Short Works” is a new release of “WhyPlayJazz” label. Album was recorded by “Gebhard Ullmann Basement Research” – it’s a great ensemble formed from talented and experienced musicians. All of them are famous improvisers and central figures of international scene of avant-garde jazz. Musicians have a sense to each other’s playing, especially expressive playing manner, moving and vibrant style and unique sound. Here together play Gebhard Ullmann (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet), Steve Swell (trombone), Julian Argüelles (baritone saxophone), Pascal Niggenkemper (double bass) and Gerald Cleaver (drums). All music is totally based on experimental, avant-garde jazz and free improvisation. Each musician can express himself without any force or borders – the liberty to form its own musical pattern and sound is the key of each improviser’s playing. New forms, inventive musical decisions, original ideas, ambitious, bright, crazy, wild and stunning musical experiments contain the base of their music. Drive, passion, expression, vitality and original point of view are joined together to one place.

“Impromptus and Other Short Works” is filled with innovations and modern ways of playing. Avant-garde jazz is the key of all music. The influenze of bebop, post bop and other modern jazz styles makes an effort to ambitious, light, scandalous and aggressive sound. Soft tunes of cool, fusion, contemporary jazz, mainstream and other jazz styles also are used here. Nice and sparkling synthesis of different jazz styles makes an effort to bright, dynamic and moving. Colorful and multi-layed pattern is created. It’s illustrated with gorgeous factures, impressive ornaments, dizzy passages, colorful and original expressions, weird timbres, bright tunes, dynamic rhythmic, solid melodic line and simply fantastic instrumentation. Huge kit of instrumentation’s techniques is used here – traditional, extended and experimental ways of playing are mixed up in one place. Musicians are the innovators of avant-garde jazz. They don’t hesitate to make weird, eccentric, extravagant, wild, crazy or simply original, gentle and light musical decisions. Each improviser has its own playing technique and sound – here precise and marvelous playing technique is mixed up with the best quality of sound, drive, passion, contrasts and sudden turns. The melodic section is based on bright, moving, vibrant and frantic explosions and free improvisations. Reeds and brasses make the base of it. Tenor saxophone and bass clarinet by Gebhard Ullmann, baritone saxophone by Julian Argüelles and trombone by Steve Swell make a great combo. Three improvisers get on free and wild collective improvisations, furious and aggressive culminations, bursting energy\s explosions, moving and vibrant solos or silent contemplations. Their trio certainly makes an effort to whole sound – it’s the source of driving, explosing, terrific and wild sound. Roaring blow outs, expressive and vital melodies, stunning experiments, extraction of weird timbres, remarkable and terrific riffs, impressive passages, colorful glissando, dizzy and flowing melodies, who gently fit together – all these elements are the base of music, who keeps drive and energy all the time. Their collective improvisations are real bursts of energy, where thrill, drive, expression and wildness meets together. These episodes are the most effective and bright places of whole album. Double bass melodies by Pascal Niggenkemper are marvelous and impressive. Improviser, as usual, likes to make strange and extravagant musical decisions, rare combos, extraction of weird timbres, eclectic pairs or bright contrasts in the most unpredictable and original way. His improvisations is a set of movng solos, trembling, vibrant, aggressive and luminous culminations, wild free improvisations and silent, calm and relaxing contemplations. Each episode has its own mode, function and character. Silent pauses are contrasting with furiously loud and explosing culminations, gentle and light solos are against aggressive, scandalous and provocative pieces. Soft and subtle episodes is the source of weird, unusual, strange or evocative timbres. Striking melodies, breaking rhythmic sessions, wild and terrific riffs contain stormy and expressive culminations. All kinds of colors, tunes, expressions and motions are expressed on double bass improvisations. Drums section is terrific, rolling, aggressive, furious and passionate. Driving rhythmic sessions, all types of rhythms, trills, tremolo, vibrato, staccatto, arpeggio, glissando, special effects and all kinds of other elements makes driving and passionate sound. Gerald Cleaver is demonstrating his wide musical knownledge, preciese and impressive playing technique, expressive musical language and incredible instrumentation. He manags to jump on different moods without any force – from lonely and loud tunes it goes to striking and furious culminations, light and gentle episodes, scandalous, nreaking ,driving or simply free and wild rhythmic improvisations. The music of this album is based on contrasts – it has remarkable and bright sound.


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