Friday, June 10, 2016

Manfred Schoof - 1980 - Horizons

Manfred Schoof 

01. Horizons 9:43
02. The Abstract Face Of Beauty 6:12
03. Hope 8:54
04. Sunrise 7:34
05. Old Ballad 8:52
06. Sunset 3:29

Manfred Schoof - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Michel Pilz - Bass Clarinet
Rainer Brüninghaus - Piano, Electric Piano, Organ
Günter Lenz - Bass
Ralf Hübner - Drums

Brüninghaus steps from the Jan Garbarek/Eberhard Weber mold and into open Horizons, where he adds lilting undercurrents and cascading solos throughout. Pilz’s fierce, uncompromising blues is downright brilliant amid the pianist’s sparkle in the waterlogged title track, in which Schoof emerges like a butterfly from its chrysalis, fluttering to and fro with the determination of a man on fire in search of water. In “Hope,” he sweeps a guiding hand through waves of thematic life, Pilz ever the underwater acrobat. The band rounds up a school of fish hungry for soul in “Old Ballad,” with Brüninghaus and Lenz hauling a fair catch each, while the final “Sunset” fronts the trilogy’s brightest stars, Schoof and Pilz, against a gradual rhythm section, carrying us out toward a forever receding waterline.

Two worthy, if confected, tracks have been elided from Horizons—strange when you consider the collection could have accommodated both. “The Abstract Face Of Beauty,” penned by Hübner, paints a vista of clouds and barren land, every bit the sonic analogue to the album’s cover, and features prime soulful blowing from Pilz. “Sunrise” taps a similarly rubato vein and throws the spotlight on Schoof’s technical prowess. The 14-minute loss isn’t likely to matter to those new to this material, of whom many listeners of Resonance are likely to be. In any event, Schoof himself assembled the included tracks, and one can only imagine his good reason.

Tyran Grillo

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