Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Herbert Joos - 1974 - The Philosophy Of The Fluegelhorn

Herbert Joos 
The Philosophy Of The Fluegelhorn

01. The philosophy of the flugelhorn
02. The warm body of my true love
03. Skarabaus II
04. Rainbow
05. The joker
06. An evening with the vampire

Herbert Joos - all intruments

Recorded in July, 1973, at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg, Germany

The Philosophy of the Fluegelhorn is Herbert Joos’s first of two albums for ECM’s sister label JAPO, the second being Daybreak. Where the latter was a lyrical, if longwinded, excursion, the former is something of a meta-statement for the German renaissance man—not only because he plays a bevy of overdubbed instruments, but also because its freer detailing gives pause over the sheer depth of realization.

The title track draws us into the outdoors, where field-recorded birds—and, among them, Joos’s horn—populate the trees with temporal awareness. Sibilant breath and popping bamboo flutes share the entanglement: the rhizomatic spread of Joos’s becoming-animal. Following this undulating prelude, “The Warm Body Of My True Love” opens the stage, a halved and hollowed whole. The nature of this soliloquy must be sought out in stirrings of life, excitations of molecules, and less definable physical properties. The horns are trembling, universal. “Skarabäus II” is of similarly finite constitution, navigating passage into darker dreams and adding to those horns a string’s uncalled-for response to the question of existence. Braided offshoots of trumpet fly around one another, each carrying its own flame of obsession. Next is the smooth and sultry “Rainbow.” Tinged by the alcoholic sunset of vibes, it is a hangover not yet shaken for want of the altered perspective. The squealing litter of horns that is “The Joker” segues into “An Evening With The Vampire.” Bathed in the sounds of nine arco basses, it enacts a morose ending to an otherwise luminescent session. Its sul ponticello screams recall George Crumb’s Black Angels and spin the echo-augmented horn like a chromatic Ferris wheel until the breath stops.

If you’ve ever been curious about Joos but didn’t know where to start, then by reading this you’ve already put your hand on the knob. Just turn it.


  1. http://www.filefactory.com/file/78kykoj9pgvn/3716.rar

    1. Zen this is one of my favorite records by one of my favorite people. Really wish it would be released on cd. I thank Manfred missed the boat with Herbert. He should have turned Herbert loose and recorded him like he did Keith Jarrett. Our loss!

  2. The closest reference point to this music is probably the Hermeto Pascoal-composed studio tracks that punctuate Miles Davis' "Live~Evil"..if instead of using Pascoal, John McLaughlin, etc. Davis had hired Gil Evans' Orchestra and dosed them with some psychedelic substance before the recording session. To such an extent that "Rainbow" is practically the same track as Davis' "Little Church".

    However this doesn't tell the whole story. Joos' gift for overdubs is amazingly natural, it really does sound like a small orchestra playing on these tracks and not at all like one person. There are also strong hints of krautrock, probably due to when and where the album was recorded. While it doesn't rock out at all, some of it is very spacy. These early ECM albums are a great history lesson, hope you keep posting them.