What's better than pushing the envelope? Pushing two -– with style.
Gebhard Ullmann is like a Robert Pollard of reedists. If you are only familiar with the stuff that has his name front and center, which is quite a bit, you are only getting part of the picture. His exciting modern jazz combo Conference Call has been an ongoing concern for the past decade and his 2011 homage Mingus! was a big hit, but Ullmann has now taken the time to step back with not one but two chamber ensembles he started a number of years ago. The Clarinet Trio is just that -– Ullmann, Jürgen Kupke, and Michael Thieke on a variety of clarinets. BassX3 is Ullmann alternating between bass clarinet and bass flute with Chris Dahlgren and Clayton Thomas both on bass. The former's album 4 is a macabre twist on chamber jazz that you might not have ever heard before. The latter's album Transatlantic, however, is unlike anything anywhere. All twenty tracks and 114 minutes of Gebhard Ullmann's new music truly plunge to new depths without holding any pretensions. A class act.