Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Frederic Rabold Crew - 1980 - Berlin

Frederic Rabold Crew 

01. Berlin 7:35
02. Children Of The Sun 3:00
03. Pocket Tiger 6:02
04. Beerdigung Eines Avantgardisten 13:14
05. Noon In Tunisia 4:36

Tracks 1-3 (1976)
Frederic Rabold: Flugelhorn, Trumpet
Lauren Newton: Voice
Erich Stagni: Sax
Wilfred Eichhorn: Sax
Walter Huber: Sax
Uli Buhi: Piano
Fritz Heireck: Bass
Manfred Kniel: Drums

Tracks 4 & 5 (1968)
Frederic Rabold: Trumpet
Wolfgang Lohnert: Flugelhorn
Helmut Wilberg: Sax
Walter Huber: Sax
Klaus Schmidt: Bass
Lala Kovacev: Drums

This is obviously the last from this group we needed to hear and I dedicate it to all  'children of the seventies'.  

I remember well when I purchased it some years back in West Berlin at the Musiksammlerschallplattenrekordsboutique because when I attempted to send it to my friend Franz in East Berlin at the notorious Brandenburg gate I was held up an unusually long time at german customs by a very rule-bound military/customs officer: 
"You say this is not jazz, not fusion, not rock?  it is somewhere in between?  then please sir how do you expect me to fill out this customs form? Do you not see this form, with--" (here he counted the number of spaces available to him) "-- ten possible letter entries, in accordance with the number of human fingers anatomically correct?  you must provide me with a specific style, in order to list it as such.  Please, you do understand these formalities, sir, is it -- Herr Stefan?"
I laughed perhaps awkwardly with my hands deep in my pockets mining for debris for the mutual satisfaction of my thumbs but persisted, 
"I do indeed maintain, good sir customs officer, that the style is somewhere in between those which you have mentioned, just as your rifle is somewhere between your right and left testicles."
"I shall ask you to inform me of your language of preference as this seems to be a not inconsiderable part of the problem.  Would you prefer we converse in English or German as I am fluent in both of these kingly languages having had an american vater (whose name I regret to inform you was Joe) und eine deutsches mutterlein, Heidi."
"Please customs sir, I prefer German-- the language of Hermann Hesse und David Hasselhof.  Bitte sehr."
"Then you shall explain to me the manner of this record, for I do not understand it-- is this perhaps a pornographic item you are attempting to export? " And he set aside his severe circular glasses on the shiny table and put his hands into a triangular shape that to me was quite isosceles both in shape and in emotional content.
"Pornography? bitte, can you please examine the front photograph.  These individuals are quite ugly all.  In fact they are jazz musicians.  Is this even a possible actuality in your opinion good sir? I mean, yes there is one attractive female upon the cover who probably recorded the album naked in the studio, and thereafter, of course, all the males had intercourse with her one at a time, probably some simultaneously in various positions enabling multiple openings entered, but surely you agree with me, this was normal for recording artists at this time this being neither pornographic nor unusual?"
For many long minutes he studied the photo on the cover during which period, ticked away slowly by the cuckoo clock with fake nestlings and tiny chastity belt for birds hung on the wall, I subtly mopped the sweat from my brow with the Hustler magazine I had carried in my back pocket.   Finally I spoke up, attempting to resolve the issue once and for all:
"SIR!! this is progressive jazz-rock fusion!  it is a style all of its own, one of its kind, like the alsatian sauerkraut with knackwurst you know so well made from your own mother's eczematous hands and the sweat of her armpits!  You shall let me depart at once and cease this insidious and unnecessary interrogation!!!!"  --however I believe I spoke too loudly for not only did this annoying individual stand up, but many of the neighbouring officers stood suddenly and reached for their rifles.
"You shall lower your voice before your hominid superiors!"
At this point my friend Franz, who in point of fact lived but two blocks away in E. Berlin (but across the wall) overheard us yelling as he was strolling the Spitzbergenstrasse, and exclaimed,
"Ah but dear Herr Stefan!!  I urge you, to simply throw in the manner of a projectile, the vinyl record, as I shall catch it with utter facility right here where I stand! !"
"Dearest Franz, it is you!  but do you not think the guards shall destroy it in chronic machine gun fire, which shall not add a pleasant dimension to the music of Herr Frederic Rabold? (albeit there will be some who will enjoy it highly thus disfigured or perhaps not even notice a difference)"
"we merely have to indicate to the guards it is a US government-made UFO, and they shall leave it in peace to cross the wall!" 
"Excellent idea!  or I shall simply state it is part of Yuri Gargarin's superego-protection device falling back to earth!"
At this my dear customs officer became impatient and stamped his boot upon the ground, striking a small bug in the process, CIA-planted of course:
"Enough of your womanly chatter!  it will take two weeks to transmit this record over to the other side--  it is worth how much you said, 40 marks?"
"Yes, 40 marks."
"Then you must pay german duties of 518 marks for the export."
"Ha ha! dear sir, you may easily observe my friend is but 20 yards away from us, please, turn around and see!"
"I shall not turn and play your childish games! At this time I do not desire anal penetration sir, for it is too soon!! "

... needless to say I am still standing there at the Brandenburg Gate to this day holding my record and arguing with the german customs officer, even though now the gate is gone, the wall is dismantled, and my record has melted in the acid rain ... .... ach, deutsches burokratie!

by Tristan Stefan 

Frederic Rabold Crew - 1979 - Funky Tango

Frederic Rabold Crew 
Funky Tango

01. Funky Tango For A.M 13:30
02. Nina's Dance 3:38
03. Newtones 3:02
04. Goblins 5:21
05. Patience 6:42
06. Fingerfarben 8:16

Recorded At – Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik

Bass – Fritz Heieck
Drums – Manfred Kniel
Guitar – Thomas Horstmann
Piano, Electric Piano – Uli Bühl
Saxophone – Erich Stangl, Walter Hüber, Wilfried Eichhorn
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Frederic Rabold
Vocals, Voice – Lauren Newton

Frederic Rabold had been into Dixieland and Swing Bands, and had let his Free instincts flow while in Gunther Hampel’s Band before he started recording with this Crew in 1975; one of the reason’s behind this project was his love for and his desire to use voices in his Music; another one might have been his admitted admiration for Gil Evans and George Russell; the third his wish to widen the scope of contemporary Jazz; this ambitious 1979 opus – the last with the Crew – consists of all the aforementioned and other unusual and surprising elements, and the 1st impression it makes on the listener may well be: “An UFO has landed!”. Curiosity intercalates with astonishment as one plunges deeper into the spaceship’s travel book, and although this listener might have occasionally wished a little more nerve or less cerebral motivations, this is often an exciting journey where many reference points sound familiar and the déjà-vu sensation is accompanied by admiration for the inspired ways the octet molds the soundscape and the sense of renewal and braving of virgin territories is a constant. 

Rabold also puts his composer skills to test, as he authored four out of the six tracks including the almost epic title track which occupies more than a third of the album’s length, while US-born singer Lauren Newton and drummer Manfred Kniel wrote one each of the remaining; after some minor changes through the years the other Crew members at the time were Eric Stangl (alto/soprano saxes and clarinet), Wilfred Eichhorn (tenor sax, bass clarinet and flute), Walter Hüber (baritone sax and contrabass-clarinet), pianist Jürgen Dollmann and bass player Tomas Stabenow. 

The opening title track is clearly the more easily digested by traditional Jazz fans, although the 13 minutes plus tour-de-force is all but prosaic or cliché-prone; atop the Tango rhythm Eichhorn’s tenor moves either sensually or acrobatically until the piano starts banging and accentuating counter tempos and the rest of the crew enters with Big Band bombast and appetite for some blaring or cacophonic options; the fractured tempo than gives place to some epic feeling ensemble blasts which alternate with the leader’s solos – starting with lyrical flugelhorn and ending with incisive trumpet statements - as the underlying and beautiful harmonic sequences alternate between descending and zigzagging , before an inspired upright bass part, laden with tasty glissandos and brisk fast runs, brings back the tango. 

All four mid-tracks include Newton’s groundbreaking vocal style, her arsenal of vocalizations made up of idiosyncratic scatting, whispers, screams, noises, loosen syllables you name it – which occasionally remind me of Flora Purim but much more intensely reveal themselves as a very likely major source of inspiration for Maria Joâo extraordinaire style: the intriguing and creepy “Nina’s Voice” as her surreal voice hovers above and initiates a dialogue with Stangl’s  muscled alto; Newton’s own “Newtones”, melancholic and eerie, where the dialoguing partner is Rabold’s flugelhorn and where the tasty and alert work of the rhythm section stands out once more; 
I detect some Magma-like vestiges on the tempoless “Goblins” as the flute, contrabass and standard clarinets blow like a breeze on the tree leaves and Newton speaks a vocabulary which might well have been that of the little forest creatures pinpointed by Kniel’s sweeping  use of his drum-kit, whereas on “Patience” the bass clarinets weave a calm yet disturbing intro before the ensemble’s broad palette of colours, voice included, submerges all in kaleidoscopic waves and Dollmann becomes the major protagonist as his piano goes from romantically  classical to exuberantly McCoy Tyner-ish and back. 

Clocking at over 8 minutes, Kniel’s “Fingerfarben” is the album’s other tour-de-force, a multi-parted, time-signature changing piece which flirts with floating contemporary Classical, and impressionistic horn paintings, takes the shape of an alto lead Jazz ballad, morphs into a march with Zappa-like reminiscences, before the trumpet fierily, fiercely and goofily blasts and blares upon a fractured, limping, hard-hitting anti-groove and everybody finally converges into a calm and brief finale.

Frederic Rabold Crew - 1977 - Balance

Frederic Rabold Crew 

01. Emotion 6:08
02. Flying Bird 3:11
03. Bouillabass 2:27
04. Achilibuie 5:30
05. Balance 4:38
06. Feeling 5:20
07. Sound In Charge 8:15

Recorded in July 1976 and January 1977 at Tonstudio Bauer Ludwigsburg.

Bass – Fritz Heieck
Bass Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Walter Hüber
Drums – Manfred Kniel
Electric Piano – Uli Bühl
Guitar – Thomas Horstmann
Saxophone – Wilfried Eichhorn
Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Erich Stangl
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Frédéric Rabold
Vocals, Voice – Lauren Newton

Frederic Rabold Crew - 1976 - Package Of Voices

Frederic Rabold Crew 
Package Of Voices

01. Time Machine II 1:37
02. Package Of Voices 2:42
03. Tribute To Lasse 3:32
04. Time Machine I 13:26
05. Doing 5:38
06. Exus '70 4:38
07. Blätter Schaukeln Im Wind 4:18
08. Zest 3:58
09. Power Bass 3:05

Recorded in July 1976 at Tonstudio Bauer Ludwigsburg.

Bass – Fritz Heieck
Bass Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Walter Hüber
Drums – Manfred Kniel
Electric Piano, Piano – Uli Bühl
Guitar – Thomas Horstmann
Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Clarinet – Erich Stangl
Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Flute – Wilfried Eichhorn
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Frédéric Rabold
Vocals, Voice – Lauren Newton

This one got me curious since I really love the Frederic Rabold Crew, which here has 9 members total incl. american jazz singer Lauren Newton (whose picture is above of course). I don't see her on the cover though, another female has taken her place, puzzlingly, or perhaps, unfortunately. 
This strays somewhat more into the free-jazz territory than the other outings from the Crew.

Frederic Rabold & Jazz Inspiration Orchestra - 1975 - Kinetic Noise

Frederic Rabold & Jazz Inspiration Orchestra
Kinetic Noise

01. Berlin 8:07
02. Relaxing Walk 7:24
03. Kinetic Noise 3:00
04. Waltz For Christin 6:12
05. Child Song 1:52
06. Stratum 10:30

Recorded At – Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik April 1975

Bass Guitar – Fritz Heieck
Drums – Manfred Kniel
Electric Piano – Uli Bühl
Flugelhorn, Trumpet, Piano – Frederic Rabold
Flute – Erich Stangl
Percussion – Manfred Kniel
Piano – Frederic Rabold
Saxophone – Erich Stangl

Here as requested:  despite the title of the record this is definitely straightforward modal jazz by Fred and the jazz inspiration orchestra. His style on the flugelhorn as usual is really warm and gorgeous and highly enjoyable.  The last track on the first side-- Kinetic Noise-- really shows off his supernal abilities.  Incidentally, this is much better than the average Fred Rabold album.

Note that the song called "Waltz for Christin" is not a typo perhaps deserving a 'sic' after that name as spelled-- perhaps if I was in a more bitter mood.  But since it's a gorgeous song, and the arrival hereabouts of a warm spring has provided a timely boost to my spirits and libido, I will pass it by with a smile on my face and lap.  And who wouldn't have a spring in their step and neighbourhood?

Frederic Rabold Crew - 1974 - Open House

Frederic Rabold Crew 
Open House

01. Explosion 2:15
02. Time Machine I 6:35
03. Beatschön 3:10
04. Indian Impression 4:00
05. Open House 3:45
06. Fenja's Dream 6:35
07. Ride On 3:25
08. Yahtzee 3:40

Recorded in December 1974 at Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik Stuttgart

Bass – Fritz Heieck
Bass Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Walter Hüber
Drums – Manfred Kniel
Electric Pian – Uli Bühl
French Horn – Wolfgang Löhnert
Guitar, Vocals – Martin Ederer
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Frédéric Rabold
Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Erich Stangl

Frederic Rabold Crew - 1972 - Flair

Frederic Rabold Crew 

01. Lapsus Penetrans 8:50
02. a) Emotion
    b) I Remember Renée 11:00
03. Ansia 9:30
04. Flair 9:30
05. Januschka 3:30

Acoustic Guitar – Gerhard Bader
Alto Saxophone – Eberhard Stockmann, Helmut Wilberg
Baritone Saxophone – Helmut Wilberg, Walter Hüber
Bass – Jan Jankeje
Bass Saxophone – Walter Hüber
Clavinet – Paul „Laps“ Schwarz
Drums – Martin Bues
Electric Bass – Billy Buchwald
Electric Guitar – Gerhard Bader
Horn, Trumpet – Frédéric Rabold
Percussion – Frank Köllges
Recorder [Bass] – Walter Hüber
Soprano Saxophone – Eberhard Stockmann
Trombone – Wolfgang Czelusta

Recorded 6th & 7th January 1972 in Düsseldorf

Frédéric Rabold (born November 23, 1944 in Paris , France ) is a German jazz musician ( trumpet , flugelhorn , composition ).

Rabold studied from 1961 to 1964 at the University of Music Karlsruhe . From 1965 he played in the Alex Lauser Quartet . In 1968, he founded his first Frédéric Rabold Crew , which quickly attracted attention in the German Modern Jazz scene and was able to participate in significant festivals. On behalf of the Goethe-Institut , the group undertook extended tours through Eastern Europe. The different occupations of this crew belonged u. a. Herbert Joos , Bernd Konrad , Paul Schwarz , Eberhard Weber , Thomas Stabenow or the singer Lauren Newtonat. In addition, Rabold has worked with avant-garde jazz musicians such as Gunter Hampel , Jan Jankeje , Leszek Zadlo , Perry Robinson , Lester Bowie , Manfred Schoof , Michael Sell , Albert Mangelsdorff , Tony Oxley and Jeanne Lee . After a break since 1984, during which Rabold essentially cared for the promotion of young talent with the Stuttgart University of BigBand , which he still leads, he revived his crew in 1995 ; Currently (2018), three saxophones (Regina Büchner, Benjamin Himpel andMagnus Mehl ) the frontline enriched by singer Gisela Hafner; the rhythm section is made up of pianist Jörg Büchler, bassist Fritz Hajek and drummer Joe Kukula. He also performs with the Jazz Inspiration Orchestra (which includes Erich Stangl, Uli Bühl, Manfred Kniel and Fritz Heieck) and the Stuttgart Small Stars . He played Dixieland and Swing with his ice-cream jazz band