photo: Maarten Kerkhof
Frank Gratkowski – clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone
Achim Kaufmann – piano
Wilbert de Joode – bass
Okkyung Lee – cello
Richard Barrett – electronics
Tony Buck – drums, percussion
improvising trio, Achim Kaufmann, Frank Gratkowski and Wilbert de Joode
have been touring and performing internationally on a regular basis
since 2002, while constantly developing, deepening and enriching their
musical rapport now documented on four CDs.
Kaufmann/Gratkowski/de Joode invited three of their favourite
musicians to form a spectacular electro-acoustic sextet: SKEIN, which
had its premiere at the dOeK Festival in Amsterdam and subsequently
recorded live for SWR radio in Germany, later to be released on Leo
Martin Schray (freejazzblog.org) wrote about this recording:
“Like huge flocks of birds flying in formations (SKEIN
is therefore a perfect name for the band), they seem to have an
invisible radar sending out signals which shows them what they have to
do – it is intuitive understanding par excellence. (…)
like a mad and free expressionist dance consisting of a free jazz piano
trio part and which takes a different shift when electronics and cello
drop in. The tempo of the piece takes incredibly fast turns, the
structures seem to glide from one part to the next– and all this is
done effortlessly, out of the blue, as if it was the easiest thing to
This is one of
the best albums this year, it is music of an austere beauty, full of
the energy and unpredictability of free jazz and the subtlety of new
music textures. Or, as someone put it after the concert, when we were
talking to the musicians: After five seconds I knew this would be a great concert. There’s nothing more to add.”
Achim Kaufmann lived in Amsterdam from 1996 to 2009 and now resides in Berlin.
Since the late
90s, he has been collaborating with reedist Michael Moore in various
groups (trio kamosc, gueuledeloup quartet, duo Kaufmann/Moore). More
recent (Berlin-based) groups include a trio with Okkyung Lee and Axel
Dörner and grünen with bassist Robert Landfermann and drummer Christian
Lillinger. Besides, he has performed and/or recorded with Jim Black
(Trio kyrill), Mark Dresser, Han Bennink, Paul Lovens, George Lewis,
and many more. He writes music, primarily for his own groups, but also
for chamber ensembles such as the Vancouver-based Standing Wave
leads a quartet with Wolter Wierbos, Dieter Manderscheid, and Gerry
Hemingway (and sometimes an extended version, a double quartet). He
recorded duets with pianists Georg Graewe and Misha Mengelberg. Whereas
his trio with Chris Brown and William Winant straddles the line between
electroacoustic improvisation and contemporary chamber music, the
saxophone quartet Fo(u)r Alto explores the possibilities of
microtonality. He is primarily active as a composer for the
Cologne-based Multiple Joy[ce] Orchestra.
Wilbert de Joode
is a member of some of the most significant groups in the Netherlands:
the Ab Baars Trio, Fuhler-Bennink-de Joode, Corkestra, Eric Boeren
Quartet, Apa Ini, and various bands led by pianist Michiel Braam.
He has also
collaborated with Steve Lacy, Dennis Charles, Hamid Drake, Derek
Bailey, William Parker, the Schlippenbach Trio, John Tchicai, Sunny
Murray, Christine Sehnaoui, Barry Guy, Ken Vandermark, and many
more. He has taken part in a number of multidisciplinary
projects, working with dance and film.
A native of Korea and based in New York since 2000, Okkyung Lee
has been developing her own voice in a contemporary cello performance,
improvisation and composition for more than a decade. Without being
bound to any specific genre or style, her unique blend of music is
drawn out of classical, jazz, sounds, Korean traditional and pop music,
noise with extended techniques. She has collaborated with John Butcher,
Laurie Anderson, John Zorn, Vijay Iyer, Christian Marclay, Keith Lowe,
Wadada Leo Smith, among others, Her debut album was released on John
Zorns Tzadik label. More recent releases include a duo with Phil
Minton, a trio with Peter Evans and Steve Beresford, and a trio with
Evan Parker and Peter Evans.
was born in Wales and is now based in Berlin. He is internationally
active as both composer and improvising performer, and has collaborated
with many leading performers in both areas, while developing works and
ideas which increasingly leave behind the distinctions between them.
His long-term collaborations include the electronic duo FURT which he
formed with Paul Obermayer in 1986 (and its more recent octet version,
fORCH), composing for and performing with the Elision contemporary
music group since 1990, and regular appearances with the Evan Parker
Electro-Acoustic Ensemble since 2003.
has been involved in a highly diverse array of projects but is probably
best known around the world as a member of the trio The Necks.
Following studies and early experience in Australia, he spent time in
Japan before relocating to Europe in the mid-nineties.
Some of the
groups he has been involved with include Peril with Otomo Yoshihide and
Kato Hideki, Kletka Red, Corkestra, The Exiles, and The Ex. More recent
projects include Glacial (David Watson, Lee Ranaldo),The Fell Clutch
(Ned Rothenberg, Stomu Takeishi, David Tronzo), duos with Axel Dörner
and Magda Mayas, and Transmit (a guitar driven post-rock project based
in Sydney and Berlin).
SKEIN : Leo Records : LR 708
„The music is
very much like a chemical reaction as maybe seen from the inside.
Sounds are discontinuous and fragmented; the decomposing anions and
cations oscillate under their own electrostatic charges to form new
links where they can, rather than where they are willed, until one must
wonder if any of the equations will ever reach equilibrium.
This is a fine album of startlingly free improvisation. It's spectacular.“
Ken Cheetham – Jazz Views
Musik in kompromissloser Form: Nichts ist hier von vordergründigem
Effekt, nichts schielt nach Abgehobenheit, nichts ertrinkt in Routine –
es ist verwegene, bissige Musik. Schonungslos
Hannes Schweiger - Freistil Magazin (A)