Ulrich Krieger: Fathom

Ulrich Krieger
Sub Rosa

For 20 years, saxophonist Ulrich Krieger has been a fixture in downtown New York City’s creative music community. Implementing his studies of composition and musicology at the Manhattan School of Music, as well as the Universtitat der Kunste and Freie Universitat in Berlin, he has accomplished such triumphs as transcribing the works of John Cage for saxophone; working with such masters of classical minimalism as Phil Niblock and Steve Reich; and fostering a new appreciation for Lou Reed’s controversial 1975 masterpiece, Metal Machine Music, by playing the entirety of the album live with Reed himself in 2008. Released as part of Sub Rosa’s limited edition Framework series, Krieger’s latest original composition is a 50-minute meditation in sound art that’s as abstract as the Rorschach ink blot on its back cover. This expressionistic ensemble, which includes Krieger’s old Text of Light compatriots Lee Ranaldo and Alan Licht on dual electric guitars, as well as percussionist Tim Barnes, has created a masterpiece of modal impressionism, one humanized by the quartet’s unique chemistry into a seamless breath of creativity.

RATING 7 / 10