Almut Kühne / Gebhard Ullmann / Achim Kaufmann: Marbrakeys / Geode
Restless reed musician Gebhard Ullmann offers up two albums that reflect his never-ending search for new sounds and contexts.
US Release Date: 2016-05-27
UK Release Date: 2016-03-18
The ever-productive reed musician Gebhard Ullmann has dropped his third and fourth releases for 2016 at the same time. Geode boasts 12 new improvisations performed by Ullmann on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet and Achim Kaufmann on piano and Marbrakeys adds vocalist Almut Kühne to the same lineup for 10 jointly-composed tracks.
Geode was recorded in a chamber music hall in Berlin and it finds Ullmann and Kaufmann playing off one another wonderfully. Kaufmann consistently blurs the line between jazz and classical music, as he does on "Eulenblind", and Ullmann keeps stretching the sounds of his instruments to their breaking points, as on "Fault-lines" and "Fleckgeist". Almut Kühne, for her part, doesn't seem to be performing off of Ullmann or Kaufmann for much of Marbrakeys. Instead, she seems content puncturing the air with as many histrionic distractions as she wishes, no matter what the other two musicians are up to. It can make for agitated listening, one in which, Geode, for all its atonal risks and loose structure, becomes an unlikely antidote.