Gratkowski | Zoubek | Landfermann | Mahnig

Frank Gratkowski – Saxophones, Clarinets, Flutes
Philip Zoubek – piano
Robert Landfermann – Double bass
Dominik Mahnig – Drums

Frank Gratkowski (saxophones, clarinets, flutes), Philip Zoubek (piano), Robert Landfermann (double bass) and Dominik Mahnig (drums) ennoble this recording with a wide-awake interplay, also an attentive and empathetic collective playing. Despite all the eventfulness, the ensemble sound is transparent and strikingly contoured. Free-tonal joy of movement, rhythmic-metric unboundedness triumph on Torbid Daylight and give this CD its agile and glamorous qualities. In addition to gripping bursts of energy, there is also room for a sparing sound language and quiet developments.

It is also impressive how all four players repeatedly expand and transform the vocabulary of their instruments, have diverse idioms at their disposal (from free to new music influences). A dramaturgically particularly unusual track is certainly “Catalyst”: Brilliant, how the ensemble here gradually condenses the voices, gains drive and especially Frank Gratkowski’s insistent abbreviations on alto sax may remind you of the hymnalism and the unbounded playing of a Coltrane.

….Aber Music is more than craft, music is above all spirituality, emotion, language. And these four musicians know that in all seven pieces. From the short Fervent Glow to the 18-minute hymn Catalyst, the four of them join hands and create a musical magic moment of peace and serenity. It’s a pity that Christmas is already over, but you can give presents without an occasion, simply because it’s fun! FREISTIL