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Album Review

Gebhard Ullmann celebrated his 50th birthday by convening his working band Basement Research for a live date in Krakow, Poland, at Alchemia. One of several excellent modern progressive jazz efforts by this group, Don't Touch My Music is another high-level improvisational foray, and as the group's discography grows, so does the expansive language of the bandmembers' collective consciousness. Ullmann on tenor sax and bass clarinet, soprano and baritone saxophonist Julian Arguelles, and trombonist Steve Swell are extremely intelligent in letting the concept of this music take them wherever it might spontaneously lead, while bassist John Hebert and new drummer Gerald Cleaver apply non-rhythmic functions that spur the front line into bold and inventive musings. Because of their singularly unique style, the music of Basement Research is hard to pin down or accurately portray, but it is highly emotive. "Das Blaue Viertel," for example, is decidedly sad, as the horns moan and sigh together in unison harmonic tones, a patient music that reflects the approximate note style of Ornette Coleman. An edited "Kleine Figuren No. 1" takes a hip and quick approach in 4/4 time, but also sounds like a quarter of a beat has been snipped off, the three horns rich as dark chocolate in strutting, stomping, and head-nodding motions. Where the extended "New No Ness" is spooky and underground to more free, nervous, loud, and rambunctious via the soprano sax of Arguelles, "Kreuzberg Park East" is spastic, accented by staccato bursts, then long tones and back to leapfrogging counterpoint without much development. "Don't Touch Our Music," with its pluralizing of the album title's singular possessive, is pure improv with disconnected phrases somewhat coming together into polytones with some groove glue from Hebert and Cleaver. What Ullmann and his mates have achieved is far removed from the mainstream, even of creative improvised music. It would be wise to absorb this music on repeat listenings to get the total gist of this extremely talented collective's depth and substance. That would be time well spent. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: 02 November 1957 in Bad Godesberg, Germany

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Multi-instrumentalist Gebhard Ullmann (born on November 2, 1957) grew up near Bonn, studied medicine and music in Hamburg starting 1976, and moved to Berlin in 1983 to live as a professional musician. One year later, the 27-year-old was leading (and co-leading) his own bands, releasing his first albums in 1985. The next few years saw him working with Alexander Von Schlippenbach and Paul Bley (among many others) as well as touring the Middle East, East Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia,...
Full bio
Don't Touch My Music Vol. 2, Gebhard Ullmann
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  • 4,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 20 March 2009

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