- jan klare – alto saxophone, clarinet, flute
- jeff platz – guitar
- meinrad kneer – double bass
- bill elgart – drums
recorded by karl godejohann, october 29, 2010
live in concert at bunker ulmenwall, bielefeld/ germany
mixed by karl godejohann at studio la tonnelle, bielefeld/ germany
mastered by oliver siegel
all compositions by klare/ platz/ kneer/ elgart © buma
special thanks to karl godejohann, oliver siegel
and bunker ulmenwall/ bielefeld
design: lysander le coultre (strangelove creatives)
photography: monique besten
evil rabbit records is a member of www.toondist.com
dave wayne, 24 november 2012, allaboutjazz.com
steeped in various aspects of jazz tradition as much as it is on the cutting edge, the sonic territory covered by modern primitive is vast, to say the least. the music here, all freely improvised, has a warmth and immediacy that comes from intense, shared listening. though there are no tunes or changes per se, that each player has an extensive background in modern jazz and other non- improvised music is quite evident. historically, this is something that a lot of free improvising musicians try to hide. instead, this quartet uses its "inside" musical chops to its advantage, producing a truly cohesive collective sound that moves from sweet melancholy to the brink of total chaos and back in the blink of an eye.
drummer bill elgart is probably the best known name here. the american expat is best known for his collaborations with pianist paul bley, vibraphonist karl berger, and saxophonist lee konitz, to name a few. his innate sense of swing and tendency towards restraint in the face of heated exchanges between the other players is critical throughout modern primitive, particularly on "meat dress" and "puppet party."
elgart has also worked extensively with bassist meinrad kneer, which is evident in their deeply connected playing throughout. kneer is a highly responsive player, anchoring the music with muscular boppish lines ("beekeeper's song," "meat dress") or wailing away, horn-like, in the upper registers ("blank mask," "can you hear the rain?").
highly impressive is the work of veteran electric guitarist jeff platz, another american expat who's worked with multi-instrumentalists daniel carter and joe morris, and saxophonist jim hobbs. like elgart, platz is an unpredictable, mercurial player whose sound, while rooted in the jazz tradition, can go anywhere at any time. his slide guitar work on "a gently sloping knoll" is a welcome, whimsical surprise. platz tantalizes further on "impish episode" where he whips a fuzzbox out of the musical ether. multi-reed man jan klare, a frequent associate of platz, has a pleasantly throaty, somewhat ornette coleman-like sound on alto. his clarinet playing is mobile and authoritative, bringing john carter to mind.
modern primitive lives up to its name in the best possible way, combining instant music-making with beguiling craftsmanship in a variety of forward-looking contexts.
felix, august-september 2012, freistil
this quartet concert was recorded two years ago exactly in the bunker ulmenwall in bielefeld, where, since a short while, about a 100 freistil books are available.
it is remarkable how this underground setting has a positive effect on the free jazz quartet.
this album offers again the opportunity to witness after a very long time the drumming art of the once in linz/ austria living bill elgart, furthermore, we recognize a meticulously sketched, clearly unmistakable signature. this characteristic is unveiled in front of the excellent balanced background provided by all participants.
the wheel has not been reinvented here - although one would wish that from each new recording. but, jan klare and jeff platz, two forces previously unknown to me, develop their advanced potential in jazz. i was familiar with elgart as i knew meinrad kneer, bassist and label co-owner of evil rabbit. as such, the cd title "modern primitives" hits the bull's eye.
bernie koenig, july-september 2012, cadence vol. 38, no 3
here we have another collective group. all tunes tunes are listed as being by all four, so that means all the tunes are collective improvisations. the titles, while cute, are meaningless. like so many such groups, they- try to vary the tempos and textures of the different pieces to keep things interesting. the cd opens with a boppish sounding line by klare, but soon becomes freer. klare’s style is somewhat pointilistic followed by a short melodic burst or with frantic arpeggios. while he plays with great energy, and on the slower tunes with great sensitivity, there is still a repetitiveness about his playing. his flute playing is a bit more flowing than his sax playing. but on “the rain” there are times when the sax sounds like a human voice. platz has a strong presence, his attack reminds me of pierre dorge, which is a compliment. he provides great accompaniment to klare’s solos as well as some good solo work of his own. this is the third evil rabbit cd i have reviewed with kneer on bass. i am becoming a big fan of his. he provides rock bottom support and great solo work, both arco and pizzicato. he is definitely an original player but every once in a while i think i hear a mingus influence. elgart provides great support throughout. he primarily plays on toms—i only occasionally heard a snare drum. every once in a while his attack reminds me of a military pattern, but he makes it work. his brush work is particularly sensitive. on the whole, an interesting record which will stand up over repeated listenings.
germán lázaro, july 2012, cuadernos de jazz
trataré de matar dos pájaros de un tiro (en un sentido figurado). podríamos decir que, independientemente de lo que uno considera jazz o no, existen unas dinámicas que se producen en el ámbito de la praxis, esto es, en la vida, trabajo y encuentros entre músicos, que no conciernen a ese estadio más abstracto de la definición y la norma (al que todos, en un momento u otro, tendemos). ya se ha explicado mil veces, pero tal vez hay que volverlo a recordar. a finales de los 60, una serie de jóvenes músicos europeos (y digo europeos porque procedían de varios países, como alemania, holanda, bégica, gran bretaña o francia), totalmente noqueados por el free jazz americano de esa década, comienzan a tocar "a su manera" pero inspirados por esos gigantes del free norteamericano: coltrane, ayler, coleman, taylor, shepp… dentro de ese "a su manera" que los aleja de la mera emulación, habría que señalar que debido a la formación específica de algunos de ellos, echarán mano de algo que entonces también resultaba innovador, y era la música europea contemporánea, dentro de la cual también se habían desarrollado unas particulares formas de improvisar. la resultante de todo esto -que ya va para el medio siglo de historia- puede gustar o no gustar, me limito a exponer grosso modo cómo fue la cosa. ¿que no es jazz? probablemente no. pero, para ser justos, yo nunca he oído decir a peter brötzmann o a tom chant (que es un joven saxofonista inglés que sigue esa estela) que ellos hacen jazz. al contrario, ellos no saben muy bien cómo definir lo que hacen. ahora, lo que sí son todos ellos -como nosotros- es buenos aficionados al jazz, eso también lo puedo garantizar. lo que sí pediría es que seamos justos y no los acusemos de algo que ellos -o al menos la mayoría de ellos- no dicen. y me estoy refiriendo únicamente a esta corriente en concreto que algunos, quizá también con no demasiado tino, llaman "improvisación libre" (término que tampoco me convence). ¿por qué digo todo esto? aparte de porque las aguas bajan revueltas, porque modern primitive, y en general todos los trabajos del sello evil rabbit (fundado por el contrabajista alemán meinrad kneer y el pianista holandés albert van veenendaal) se inscriben de pleno en esta reciente tradición que he comentado. tal vez habría que hacer una salvedad con ellos, y es decir que se refieren a los trabajos que editan como "jazz contemporáneo". se trata de música completamente improvisada, que no está sujeta a patrón armónico o rítmico alguno, y en la que se incide más en la búsqueda de determinados aspectos musicales que normalmente quedan relegados a un segundo o tercer plano: el juego entre dinámicas individuales o aisladas, la exploración de técnicas instrumentales extendidas, la experimentación tímbrica, la creación de texturas y cómo lograr con ellas estados de ánimo, o la idea de la actuación como acontecimiento único e irrepetible (en una formulación tan radical que tal vez proceda más del mundo del arte de los 60 que del de la propia música). hay un fuerte componente especulativo, como no podía ser de otra forma tratándose de sesiones en las que no hay nada escrito y en las que se trata, en la medida de lo posible, de no encontrar la vía rápida sino el meandro (más largo y tortuoso si quieren, pero eso es una opción personal). tal vez una cosa diferencia a estos "primitivos modernos", y en general a todos los jóvenes, de sus parientes pioneros, y sería el hecho de que por motivos generacionales han ido introduciendo elementos provenientes de lo que seguramente ellos escuchaban cuando eran adolescentes: el rock, bien el más experimental o bien el más duro. no obstante todo lo dicho, hay al menos dos cosas que tendrían en común con los primeros bopers, y son el planteamiento de improvisar en grupo con total libertad y la obstinación de cada músico por hacerse con un sonido propio. he tratado de hablar de modern primitive al tiempo que lo hacía del movimiento en que se inscribe. no sé si habrá salido bien.
ken waxman, 16 march 2012, jazzword.com
working the sometimes arid boundary between rock and jazz is obviously a concept which fascinates reedist jan klare. however with the intersection point often the spot where showiness and bombast bury genuine improvisation, it’s a hit-and-miss proposition. this is forcefully demonstrated on these small-group cds featuring the münster-based saxophonist, clarinetist and flutist, best-known for his leadership of the massive german jazz-rock ensemble the dorf.
klare, who over the years has worked in theatre, dance and electronic music projects as well as with the likes of bassist wilbert de joode, is fully immersed in the punkier and speedier side of fusion with the you are so me trio, which has worked in this formation since 2005. drummer simon camatta, a regular the dorf member bears down excessively on his drum set on the cd’s 11 tracks, while oliver siegel, who is also a producer and who mixed the session, extrudes his synthesizer licks throughout. his playing bulldozes extravagant phrasing that resemble flashy r&b organ tremolo half the time and gaudy rock lead guitar licks the other half. klare himself blasts, cries and snorts from his horns on this collection of originals which he mostly composed.
a little more than half the length of you are so me, but almost twice as worthy, is modern primitive. the supposition may be that the cd, which is made up of nine group compositions played by a quartet, is of higher quality because the other players are from the jazz-improv field. german bassist meinrad kneer moves between berlin and amsterdam and among improvised, ethnic and contemporary music. co-founder of the evil rabbit label, he plays in bands like the ab baars quartet and the joost buis tentet. meantime boston area guitarist jeff platz leads his own band when not in europe with groups such as modern primitive. the most experienced member of the group is drummer bill elgart, an american expatriate based since the 1970s in ulm, germany. his associations over the years include pianist paul bley, trumpeter kenny wheeler and bassist ed schuller. he, reedist baars and kneer also work as a trio.
a colorist who expresses himself with pops, cracks and smacks, elgart would appear to be the dr. jekyll to camatta’s mr. hyde on the other cd. camatta cleaves heavily to a repeated backbeat and pushes nearly every tune with staccatissimo rhythms. on the weaker cuts the ghosts of keith emerson, sandy nelson and nino tempo seem to hover; fine companions for rock, but not jazz. better are tracks such as “es” and “het”. the latter brings up images of a fat man falling down the stairs, as the players spin out of a combination of calliope-styled organ glissandi, a clattering sand dance from the drummer and extended baritone sax slurs from klare. the former, a power-ballad, manages to mix john bonham-styled backbeats with popping snorts and squeals from the saxophonist and siegel doing double duty creating skittering keyboard washes and a melody line that could have come from a guitar. even “a” seems faintly derivative with a melody redolent of “spill the wine”, siegel’s organ work more reminiscent of earl grant than jimmy smith and the accompaniment divided between repetitive drum beats and harsh reed bites.
when the trio asserts itself with original configurations the result is more interesting. “ta” for instance matches almost mechanized backbeat shuffles and ruffs from camatta with constant, colorful pumps from the synthesizer surmounted by slippery slurs from the reed which sound like they were processed through a varitone. “o” harmonizes alternate snorting or screaming baritone sax licks with jagged organ-like chords, until the percussionist’s backbeat demands faux-orientalism from the keyboardist.
seemingly a more profound effort is modern primitive and not just because of elgart’s relative restraint. kneer’s bass work provides the right mix of descriptive picks, distinctive arco sawing and rumbling; platz’s slurred fingering and tonal distortion breaks up the thematic material; and klare makes more use of his clarinet and flute. for instance on “impish episode” thin clarinet vibrations almost mirror guitar plucks until klare introduces narrow tongue flutters and split tone trills as platz claw-hammers his strokes downward. the drummer contributes cymbal slaps and rim shots while kneer strokes his bass strings steadily below the bridge before matching bow strokes to percussion outlays.
laid back but methodical slaps mark the bassist’s note stretching on “a gently sloping knoll”, while elgart’s rapid strokes, clangs and drags join reed slurps in counterpoint with rapid guitar licks. meanwhile rather than a romantic ballad, “can you hear the rain?” is instead a showcase for the guitarist’s slurred fingering and multi-effects, mixed with triple-tonguing overblowing and pressurized lip vibratos from the clarinetist.
most effective is the strategy on “puppet party’ that is stentorian enough that it could easily be adopted by you are so me’s trio. wide guitar twangs and harsh downwards strokes mix it up with long-lined vibrations from the saxophonist, while kneer outputs a spiccato, spiky bass line and elagart demonstrates his skills with energetic rim shots, bouncing ratamacues and rim shots. but no one’s reach exceeds his grasp.
on the evidence of these cds, and where klare is concerned, it appears that a more satisfying program arises when the players have less of a singular mind and are add a hearty helping of musical sophistication to their improvisations.
e.g., 2 march 2012, sands-zine.com
quartetto tedesco-americano di jazz 'bianco' elegantemente disteso fra free, punkedelia e cool jazz da camera. non so se il titolo intenda dare un contrasto fra i concetti di moderno e primitivo, anche se dopo la realtà dell'ascolto mi sembra più indoneo a indicare quelli che sono i primi passi del moderno. togliendo l'abbronzatura ai primi quartetti di ornette coleman, eric dolphy e john coltrane, e inserendo una chitarra al posto di pianoforti e/o secondi fiati, il risultato potrebbe approssimarsi a quello di questo quartetto. dovreste capire l'antifona. tolte queste riserve il disco è ben suonato e ben registrato, in concerto del 2010 a bielefeld, e potrebbe interessare quei lettori che hanno apprezzato il ritorno al jazz, passando per il rock, sponsorizzato prima dalla sst (saccharine trust, universal congress of…) e poi dal giro dei vari chicago underground (rob mazurek, joe morris, ken vandermark…)
ken vos, january / february 2012, jazzism
jan klare (alto sax, clarinet, flute), jeff platz (guitar), meinrad kneer (bass) and bill elgart (drums) have in common that they are somehow related to germany.
they all have a background in mainstream jazz. platz has a fluid, crisp sound that is reminiscent of the early john mclaughlin, while klare’s alto sax resembles the full r&b sound of arthur blythe sometimes. double bass player meinrad kneer (charlie haden?) and bill elgart (maybe paul motian?) recall less direct associations, but their sound is clearly rooted in american jazz.
i don’t know if it is their partially common background, but the musicians appear to be well connected in the nine spontaneously improvised pieces. these nine pieces were recorded live in a single concert, but it seems that they made a selection concerning differences in structure and group sound. all the involved musicians have the ability to adapt their sound to the evolving group improvisations spontaneously. this flexibility makes their combination very special.
evil rabbit records, a uncompromising dutch label that doesn’t shy away from taking risks, shows again a good ear for music that goes far beyond mediocrity.
luc bouquet, 2 january 2012, le son du grisli
in this world of confusion, jan klare (alto saxophone, clarinet, flute), jeff platz (guitar), meinrad kneer (bass) and bill elgart (drums) give birth to music resembling the compositions of henry threadgill’s latest creations.
but here, it’s improvisation, as powerful as strangling embraces or, mercilessly blowing off too bulky structures.
here, without zapping and without staying with the material more than necessary, anger and edge dominates. on the other hand, the music can be mellow, expanding into muted projections, multiplying into heavy troubles. and it always leaves a persistent mark.
all this happens without transition or rest, risking repetition or suffocating the form, which would normally be major obstacles for musicians who refuse all temptations offered by calculation and relaxation.
but again, it’s improvisation, sometimes uneven but always decided on the spot.
december 2011, jazzbulletin 81
an international quartet: saxophonist and flutist jan klare from germany, guitarist jeff platz and drummer bill elgart from the usa, bassist meinrad kneer is originally from germany but has lived and worked for some time in the netherlands; in addition, he is the founder of the label evil rabbit records.
all are active in the european free jazz scene. the quartet came together on october 29, 2010 in bunker ulmenwall in bielefeld, germany. this cd is the result of that concert and contains nine free improvised pieces. the music is varied, fast aggressive, soft subtle: the four experienced improvisers know to find each other again and again within a wide range of atmospheres.
a new release from the small but profiled evil rabbits label. this label was founded about five years ago by pianist albert van veenendaal and meinrad kneer as an outlet for modern jazz and improvised music. ‘modern primitive’, their 18th release, is a live recording from a concert in october 2010 in bielefeld. the musicians that took part in this encounter, have a diverse background. german double bass player, composer and improviser meinrad kneer operates on the borders of jazz, improvised, ethnic and contemporary music. from 1995 till 1999 he studied music and double bass in the netherlands and ever-since he is present and active in the dutch music scene and abroad. jeff platz is a guitarist and composer from boston. he began his musical career playing guitar in local punk rock bands in the late 70’s. later he started studying and playing jazz and improvised music. drummer bill elgart is also from the states but lives and works in austria and germany since 1976. played with paul bley, gary peacock in the beginning of his career. later with karl berger, dave holland and many others. jan klare works as a sax player and composer since the 80s in many fields (music, theatre, dance, literature, electronics). active in bands as the dorf, you are so me, a.o. no idea if”modern primitive‘” was a one-off meeting. in any case the fine interactive playing by these experienced players is a joy. i’m not a connoisseur of improvised music. but often i had to think of ornette coleman. different soloing musicians at the same time weave a complex whole. nice trip divided in nine improvisations.
klaus huebner, december 2011, jazz podium
a small black rabbit looks through a hole in the cover packaging - look here, i'm not shy, i'm waiting for the listener's reactions to confirm my calm posture.
in consequence, the live recordings of the quartet from the bunker ulmenwall in bielefeld from october last year don’t spread a chicken-hearted mood. the quartet, consisting of jan klare, jeff platz, meinrad kneer (co-owner of the label evil rabbit) and bill elgart, is busy in those areas, where jan klare normally runs his sound related field research and always creates new combinations of acoustic stimuli and their juxtapositions from the depths of sound possibilities. well-dosed little noise units of all involved musicians, or discrete guitar riffs by jeff platz: crystal clear dissonances alternate with seemingly harmonious knitted structures.
modern: yes, primitive, yes. nevertheless, thought-through improvisations, whose origins are even dated before the first played notes and whose ends result from an unspoken understanding for timeline and length.
joachim keulemans, december 2011, kwadratuur.be
ad hoc ensembles in the genre of free improvisation are rather the rule than the exception. jan klare, meinrad kneer, jeff platz and bill elgart met each other already at various stages in their careers but never have played in this very constellation as presented here by evil rabbit.
the quartet performed in october 2010 in bielefeld and this concert is presented here to the listener of 'modern primitive'. perhaps not the most evocative names are signed up for this album, but the presence of german reed player jan klare (the dorf, 1000) and the american drummer bill elgart throw in some weight. especially the latter boasts a nice list of recordings, including not only releases alongside tomasz stanko, kenny wheeler and dave holland, but as well two albums in a trio with paul bley and gary peacock. the now 69-year-old elgart lives in germany since the seventies and therefore, he is not coincidentally flanked by some germans on 'modern primitive'.
besides the previously mentioned klare, there is also bass player meinrad kneer, one of the driving forces behind the label evil rabbit, and who operates regularly with elgart and ab baars as a trio. the relatively unknown american guitarist jeff platz completes the line-up of this quartet.
instantly striking when listening to this album is the sound and recording quality, thanks to the mixing work of karl godejohann and oliver siegel (the sound technician jan klare usually cooperates with). 'modern primitive' could easily pass for a studio album because really everything works out sound-wise. the balance between the instruments is perfect, elgart's detailed work comes out perfectly and kneer's bass is never pushed away, despite the often intrusive and intense interplay. the musical foursome therefore doesn't mince words. it has been flirting with dense textures and experimenting with sound and timbre, but the german-american company chose in most cases an open, straightforward approach.
kneer's bass parts act as an anchor in many pieces. the german works in this context with short motifs (and variations on them), making the job somewhat easier for his colleagues.
platz also often seems to be satisfied with establishing a secure base, which continually develops, rather than going for a horizontal development. his riffs and chords are like small clouds that enrich the total sound, but never overpower it.
it is klare and elgart, who take care of the more direct creative stimuli. the german often has the last word with his alto sax and makes frantic jumps within his solid power play, but he seeks alternating contact with platz and kneer. often he uses their ideas to launch himself.
elgart adds pure joy of life with his broken rhythms and chopped drum patterns. the american appears to be a master of variety and manifests himself as the most interesting personality of the four. especially his interaction with kneer's ideas (or his remarkable counters regarding them) arouses admiration.
the only minus seems to be the small variation in mood and dynamics. the heights vary hardly enough from the hollows, which doesn't bind the concentration of the listener, despite the consistent quality. only when klare chooses for the flute or clarinet, the quartet seems to adjust its tactics slightly. this is particularly the case in 'blank mask', a short improvisation where kneer and elgart score good points by using respectively bow and brushes to create a hissing sound carpet. to bring in a bit more variety would not have hurt, so that the score of this already successful recording would have been perhaps even higher.
luca casarotti, 29 november 2011, allaboutjazz italy
un disco dal titolo piacevolmente ossimorico, pubblicato da evil rabbit, documento di una live session di improvvisazioni, tenutasi a bielefeld, germania, nel 2010. il quartetto che ne è autore ha natura composita, sia per provenienza geografica, essendo per una metà tedesco e per l'altra statunitense, sia per le eterogenee esperienze musicali che vi confluiscono.
si va dal fraseggio tornito ed assertivo di klare, maturato nei suoi lavori con i grandi organici, alle radici punk di platz; dalle frequentazioni di kneer con la musica colta europea contemporanea, alla militanza di elgart al fianco di bley, peacock, d'andrea e fasoli, per fare alcuni nomi. era quasi fisiologico che questo incontro desse vita ad una musica complessa, esplodente, che si colloca comunque all'interno di una ricerca improvvisativa ben delineata e praticata convintamente sin dagli anni '70: citare derek bailey o evan parker è facile e non deve risultare fuorviante.
va detto in primis che il disco suona benissimo. questo del suono è anzi uno dei suoi maggiori punti di forza. il mix è corposo, tagliente e preciso. le nove tracce sono idealmente suddivisibili in tre aree, ciascuna di tre brani.
quella iniziale e quella conclusiva vedono il prevalere di forti e fortissimi, accentuati dal carattere quasi sempre collettivo dell'interplay.
questi due blocchi, poi, ne incastonano uno centrale, in cui dominano dinamiche intime ed il gruppo si articola volentieri in sottorganici, per poi ricomporsi in quartetto e dare slancio finale ai brani.
così avviene per esempio in "a gently sloping knoll," condotta per una buona metà dal duo di contrabbasso a note ferme e chitarra suonata con lo slider, cui si aggiungono dapprima la batteria e poi il sax sui medioacuti per il tutti conclusivo.
efficaci anche l'accostamento di flauto e contrabbasso con arco di "blank mask," che strizza l'occhio a un certo novecento francese (barraqué) e quello spiazzante di clarinetto, chitarra crunch e nuovamente contrabbasso con arco, ma a corde stoppate, di "inpish episode". in questi brani l'esplorazione timbrica ha una funzione pregnante. nei restanti, invece, la composizione vive soprattutto di brevi idee motiviche di ciascun musicista, sovrapposte a formare incastri poliritmici e polimelodici molto densi.
un'osservazione di carattere strutturale. in modern primitive c'è un rischio, almeno a mio giudizio. quello di non scorgere, nella materia musicale, discontinuità, punti di rottura (l'affermazione di una pulsazione metronomica, un cambio di densità) che giustifichino la fine di un brano ed il passaggio ad una successiva improvvisazione. laddove ciò avviene, come in "a gently sloping knoll," in cui il suono diventa di colpo più rarefatto rispetto alle tracce precedenti, l'episodio risulta caricato di freschezza e spinta emotiva nuove, in un disco che risulta di valore tecnico indubbio.
jacques los, 29 october 2011, draaiomjeoren.nl
he label evil rabbit, which released 18 cds since 2007, is particularly specialized in the production of improvised jazz.
both, national and international improvisers released their music already on the label. besides work of the initiators of the label - pianist albert van veenendaal and bassist meinrad kneer - cds, by among others, mark alban lotz, ab baars, fabrizio puglisi, eric boeren, jorrit dijkstra, gianni lenoci and esmee olthuis have been released. on 'modern primitive', alto saxophonist / flutist / clarinetist jan klare, guitarist jeff platz, meinrad kneer and drummer bill elgart got together in bunker ulmenwall in bielefeld to record an improvised set.
the result is a fresh and varied performance, in which energetic free-jazz pieces are interspersed with calm, thoughtful tone gems. each of the musicians masters the métier of improvisation excellently. this mastery of their instruments on one hand, plus insight and musicality, respecting the collective improvisations on the other hand, are a guarantor for exciting and high quality improvisational music, including quiet, as well as intense moments of virtuosity.
'modern primitive' is again another asset to the special (also in terms of layout) evil rabbit collection.
herman te loo, 24 october 2011, jazzflits no. 166
the german-american quartet klare/ platz / kneer / elgart makes a successful attempt on a sort of trans-atlantic improvised music.
the swing and almost rock-like approach (in some tracks) sound american, the openness and the attention for details on the other side are more european. this mixture is successful, since in result, the music is both - energetic and intelligent. these last two facts and platz’ guitar sound made me think instantly of john mclaughlin’s album "extrapolation”.
the quartet shows itself in a wide spectrum of moods and tempos. from the fierce "meat dress" (with a hoarse alto solo by klare, reminiscent of threadgill) to the atmospheric "a gently sloping knoll ' (with fine slide play by platz).
the flawless bowing of kneer and the colorations from veteran elgart’s drums and cymbals accentuate the adventure. the album, which was recorded live in bielefeld, makes appetite for more. hopefully this quartet will stay together for a while.
françois couture, september 2011, monsieurdelire.com
a free improvisation quartet that starts from jazz to leap toward music that is actually both modern and primitive-sounding. reedsman jan klare (who leads the dorf), guitarist jeff platz (reminiscent of fred frith in improv mode), drummer bill elgart (strongly reminiscent of paul lovens), and doublebassist meinrad kneer, a regular on evil rabbit records and a fierceful improviser – i’m very impressed by his thunderous glissandi on this release. that said, everything doesn’t always fall in its rightfull place on this uneven recording.