Monday 8 December 2008

Peter Herbert - B-A-C-H: A Chromatic Universe (2001)


With B-A-C-H: A Chromatic Universe, Austrian bass maestro Peter Herbert, serenades Johann Sebastian Bach while basing his schema upon the four-note-motive of the letters B-A-C-H and the chromatic transpositions. Basically, Herbert’s novel intentions allude to melding elements of classicism with softly rendered rhythmic structures and the band’s modern jazz style interplay as the leader penned all but three of these works.

Herbert’s employment of semitones and non harmonic tones within daintily performed motifs presents a curious proposition. However on the opener, “Fuga” pianist Marc Copeland’s wonderfully articulated phraseology and often magical thematic developments offer some respite from a nondescript theme brimming with extended note choruses by trumpeter/flugelhornist Ingrid Jensen and bass clarinetist Carol Robinson. The piece titled, “Stauber” features an underlying Afro-Cuban pulse amid a few diversions and sullen overtones, whereas Herbert, Jensen, Copeland and Robinson perform brief solo interludes on their respective works, “B-A-C-H bass”, B-A-C-H trumpet,” “B-A-C-H piano” and B-A-C-H bass-clarinet”. The band executes subtle alterations in pitch, sans a strong reference point on the composition, “Divi Blasii”. On this piece, Copeland elevates the somewhat ambling or meandering proceedings to fairly lofty heights via his imaginative embellishments and sweet tempered musings. Glenn Astarita

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There is a striking balance achieved in this unusual Johann Sebastian Bach-inspired set of original compositions performed by a quintet organized by leader and bassist Peter Herbert. There are also a number of enigmas to this intriguing recording that draw the listener's attention. While four of the shorter feature pieces use the letters of Bach's name as a four-note "motive" (Bb/A/C/B), elsewhere the connection to the great classical composer is a tad nebulous. The influence of trumpeter Franz Koglmann, artistic director for the label, is more pervasive. The choice of Marc Copland on piano and particularly Ingrid Jensen on trumpet and flugelhorn for a fairly free style meeting might seem strange, but they both acquit themselves splendidly. In fact, Jensen is so impressive and convincing that this is one of her best sessions to date. As for the music, it is strikingly original: soft, and chamber-like; and it winds, curves, and peers about with a graceful elegance that belies its improvisational input. Steven Loewy

1. Fuga
2. Stauber
3 B-A-C-H bass
4. Stadtpfeifer
5. B-A-C-H trumpet
6. Divi Blasii
7. B-A-C-H piano
8. Hausmann
9. B-A-C-H bass clarinet
10. Actus Tragicus
11. Heavy Snow

Carol Robinson: bass-clarinet
Ingrid Jensen: flugelhorn, trumpet
Marc Copland: piano
Kenny Wollesen: drums, percussion, "bug"
Peter Herbert: bass

Recorded & mixed by Bob Ward, 25-26/9/2000
Released by Between the Lines in 2001.

link@320

7 comments:

Rui said...

THANK U AND HAPPY NU YEAR!

SW said...

A great record! But I think that it owes much more to the legacy of Duke Ellington than to Bach's. Thanks!

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Greetings Bravo Juju and readers!
All I want to say is thank you so much for sharing this very wonderful music, which indeed, brings to my memory many good old times I lived and of course, I used to listen to Peter Herbert as my favorite artist

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