Gunter Hampel Group + Jeanne Lee
02. O, Western Wind 6:00
03. The Capacity Of This Room 5:45
04. The Four Elements (11:01)
05. Lazy Afternoon 9:57
Recorded: April 1968
Studio: André Van De Water, Soest (Holland)
Bass, Harmonium – Arjen Gorter
Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Willem Breuker
Percussion – Pierre Courbois
Vibraphone, Flute, Bass Clarinet – Gunter Hampel
Voice – Jeanne Lee
German multi-instrumentalist Gunter Hampel (1937), originally a vibraphonist, was credited with starting the free-jazz scene in continental Europe in 1964 when he formed a quintet with trumpeter Manfred Schoof and pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach that recorded Heartplants (january 1965). Hampel played vibraphone, flute and bass clarinet (that would remain his three main instruments), but composed only one of the five titles. The quartet of Assemblage (december 1966), with Willem Breuker on several saxophones and clarinets, was a far more decisive unit, and Hampel stepped up as a composer with the 22-minute Assemblage and the eleven-minute Heroicredolphysiognomystery.
Relocating to Europe in 1967, the American black vocalist Jeanne Lee joined Hampel's and Breuker's quartet on Gunter Hampel Group + Jeanne Lee (april 1968). Hampel's growing confidence as a leader/composer and Lee's acrobatic vocals highlighted The 8th of July 1969 (july 1969), that also added American saxophonist Anthony Braxton to the Hampel-Breuker-Lee quintet and contained the 18-minute Morning Song and the 25-minute Crepuscule. The magic combination of Hampel's conduction and Lee's decoration permeated Ballet-Symphony (january 197O) for a quintet with Hampel, Lee, cello, bass and drums; People Symphony (march 1970), that added Breuker on clarinet and tenor sax as well as Willem van Manen on trombone; Out Of New York (july 1971), for a quartet with clarinetist Perry Robison and a bassist performing Hampel's seventh and eight symphonies; Spirits (august 1971), a trio with Robinson; Familie (april 1972), a spectacular trio with Braxton, Waltz For 11 Universes In A Corridor (june 1972), a trio with violinist Toni Marcus containing Waltz for 3 Universes in a Corridor and Galaxie Sun Dance. Most of these albums were taken up by lengthy eponymous improvisations, that Hampel painstakingly numbered according to the conventions of classical music.
Hampel and Lee then formed the Galaxie Dream Band, still a nine-piece unit on the colossal jam Angel (may 1972), but, after I Love Being With You (july 1972), the imposing Broadway (july 1972), Unity Dance (june 1973), and Out From Under (january 1974), the first collection of shorter pieces, expanded to an eleven-piece ensemble for Journey to the Song Within (february 1974), that contained Bolero. The Galaxie Dream Band shrank back to an octet for the double-LP Celebrations (june 1974) and to a sextet for Ruomi (october 1974), that did not feature Lee, and then expanded again to an octet (with Lee and Braxton) for Enfant Terrible (september 1975). Transformation (september 1976), by a classic line-up featuring Lee, Robinson, Schoof and flutist Thomas Keyserling, and All Is Real (november 1978), by a quintet with Lee, Robinson, Keyserling and a percussionist, marked a return to the extended format. Despite being reduced to a quartet (with Robinson, Keyserling and a percussionist), the combo was still called Galaxie Dream Band on Vogelfrei (october 1976).
The collaborations with Lee went beyond the Galaxie Dream Band: Cosmic Dancer (september 1975) for a quartet with Lee, Robinson and drummer Steve McCall, and especially Freedom Of The Universe (june 1978), that contained another lengthy meditation, and the double-LP Oasis (july 1978), that contains the 20-minute Oasis.
Hampel resurrected the Galaxie Dream Band (now a sextet with Lee) for the album-long improvisation of All the Things You Could Be If Charles Mingus Was Your Daddy (july 1980), and (as a quartet with Lee and Keyserling) for the shorter pieces of A Place To Be With Us (january 1981), and (as a quintet with Lee, Robinson and Keyserling) for Life On This Planet (july 1981), that contained the side-long Infinite Transparencies.