Reviews that mention Georg Graewe

March 22, 2016

Microgroove: Forays into Other Music

John Corbett
Duke University Press

By Ken Waxman

Searching for the equivalent of a travel guide to the often uncharted territories of turn-of-the-century, so-called other music should lead to this volume. A collection of essays, interviews and reviews written between 1990 and 2014, Microgroove outlines the achievements of many of the progenitors and disseminators of non-mainstream music during that epoch. A Chicago-based music writer, concert promoter, art curator and record producer, John Corbett has been intimately involved with variants of what he describes as “music that demands a different mode of listening” for decades. Like an embedded anthropologist studying the culture of particular tribes Corbett is also able to place these sonic advances in a global context. MORE

July 6, 2015

Georg Graewe

Stills & Stories
Random Acoustics RA CD028

By Ken Waxman

Part of the generation of composer/instrumentalists not content to limit themselves Bochum, Germany-based pianist Georg Graewe has, since the aughts, investigated the links among music, poetry, visual arts and science and has composed several operas. Stills & Stories is a return to unhyphenated music however, 23 compositions for solo piano. Lasting a somewhat forbidding 78 minutes, the tracks are grouped into five suite and a barely one minute “Afterthought”, demonstrating that the skills the pianist regularly used, most notably in a trio with cellist Ernst Reijseger and percussionist Gerry Hemingway, haven’t atrophied. At the same time, like a boxer returning to the game after a long layoff, the pianist needs a few preliminary rounds or tracks to find his feet and regain the old fighting stance. MORE

March 20, 2013

Georg Graewe/Evan Parker

Dortmund Variations
Nuscope CD 1026

John Coxon/Evan Parker/Eddie Prévost

Cinema

Fataka 1

Rewarding meetings with old and new associates, these CDs demonstrate the intuitive tactics British tenor saxophonist Evan Parker adopts each time he improvises. One of his infrequent contacts with German pianist Georg Graewe, Dortmund Variations is an exploration of adversarial keyboard and reed techniques. In contrast Cinema is classic sound juxtaposition. Recorded in Bristol more than two years before the Dortmund set of 2010, it features Parker not only in the company of AMM percussionist Eddie Prévost, part of the same first generation of British improvisers as the reedist, but much younger John Coxon, playing electric guitar and prepared piano. One-half of the electronic duo Spring Heel Jack (SHJ), Coxon was fairly ubiquitous in Free Music circles then, releasing CDs where SHJ created a provocative variant of its own sounds mixed with live and sampled contributions from prominent Free players such as Parker. MORE

April 3, 2011

Red Toucan

Label Spotlight
By Ken Waxman

Like its aviary namesake, Montreal-based Red Toucan is rare bird in the recording industry. Dedicated to releasing what label owner Michel Passaretti calls “music with strong improvisational content”; the Canadian imprint operates in a unique fashion. Although founded in 1994 as an outlet for local productions, most of Red Toucan’s 36 releases so far have featured European improvisers.

Today the label accepts for release only already recorded projects no matter where they originate. What’s distinctive about this arrangement is that no matter the size of the ensemble or the fame of the performers – and Red Toucan’s roster includes discs by reedists John Butcher, Frank Gratkowski and François Houle, bassist Joëlle Léandre and bassist/composer Simon H. Fell among others – the label’s CDs are usually the first ones recorded by a particular group. MORE