Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Globe Unity Orchestra - 1986 - 20th Anniversary

Globe Unity Orchestra 
20th Anniversary

01. 20th Anniversary 66:41

Globe Unity Orchestra
Toshinori Kondo: trumpet
Kenny Wheeler: trumpet, flugelhorn
Gerd Dudek: soprano & tenor saxophone, flute
Evan Parker: soprano & tenor saxophone
Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky: clarinet, alto saxophone, flute
Günter Christmann: trombone
George Lewis: trombone
Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone
Bob Stewart: tuba
Alexander von Schlippenbach: piano
Alan Silva: double bass
Paul Lovens: drums

Recorded live on November 4th, 1986, during the JazzFest Berlin, at the Philharmonic Hall in Berlin.

"Colossal, brutish, majestic, here is the world’s (greatest?) orchestra asserting its primal role in the aftermath of free jazz." -- Richard Cook, Jazz Express

"...a magnificent recording of a magnificent 12-piece ensemble. Paul Lovens (drums) and Alan Silva (bass) provide pace and stimulus from the bottom up, aided by the fat, greasy power of three trombones (George Lewis, Günter Christmann and Albert Mangelsdorff – phew!) and Bob Stewart’s beautiful tuba. Everyone involved understands the mystery and majesty Schlippenbach is aiming for, and everyone sounds great." -- The Wire

As a continually evolving unit, the Globe Unity Orchestra has been able to maintain a surprisingly high level of musical acumen. This is achieved perhaps by a constant core of musicians that includes Albert Mangelsdorff, Evan Parker, Alexander von Schlippenbach (as musical director), Kenny Wheeler, and Paul Lovens. Add-ons for this date in 1986 were Japanese trumpeter Toshinori Kondo, trombonist George Lewis (his free-for-all with Mangelsdorff about halfway through this improvisation is literally amazing), tuba player Bob Stewart from Lester Bowie's band, and bassist Alan Silva, among others. By 1986, the group had made the transition to a totally free music conglomerate from its 1966 incarnation as a highly arranged entity with free jazz soloing. Amazingly enough, despite the extreme nature of the proceedings, the band never sounded better than it did here. Perhaps it was the democracy von Schlippenbach allowed on the bandstand, offering the newer players choice positions for soloing, or perhaps it was the general good feeling that, in its 20th year, the Globe Unity Orchestra had finally shed all bonds of convention and expectation in its performances. Whatever the final reason, the GUO played here with the sense of drama and dynamics that only the sum of this many parts could: They offer music as an entire universe replete not just with sounds but characteristics, mechanical approximations, emotional pathos, and abstract expressionistic verve. Though there are Americans in this outfit, the improvisational proceedings are decidedly European and yet universal at the same time. Here is the atonal evidence of just how "together" free jazz can be.

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