31 January 2009

Gunter Hampel Group + AMM Deutsches Jazzfestival 1972


















March 26, 1972 Frankfurt, Germany

Günter Christmann - tb
Gunter Hampel - ss, bcl
Lou Gare - ts
Evan Parker - ss,ts
Perry Robinson - cl
Alex Schlippenbach - p
Cornelius Cardew - cello
Keith Rowe - g
Buschi Niebergall - b
Eddie Prevost - per
Jeanne Lee - voc




Review:
AMM with the Gunter Hampel Group
March 26th 1972
Deutsches Jazzfestival, Frankfurt Germany

This is without a doubt the single strangest recording in my AMM archives. It basically is a huge jazz group that ranges from bop to fairly free with AMM buried somewhere in there. Prévost seem relatively content with to throw in some serious drumming along with his more percussive work, and Gare mixes his sound oriented sax with some more tonal lines. The first time I heard this I just assumed this was the duo AMM, which as they broke up in early 1972 made sense. But on doing some research and some close listening it does seem that Rowe and Cardew are present. Rowe seems to be laying out or perhaps just completely buried for nearly the first half, but then those scrabbling manipulated pickups of his can be heard coming and going depending on how much else is played. As for Cardew, well it’s impossible to really say, there does seem to be some of his dry bowing now and again, but impossible to say that it wasn’t the bass player or even another instrument. March 26th 1972, is right on the cusp of the disintegration of the quartet AMM; by the end of the month Rowe would have left the group with Cardew to follow shortly.

What is particularly bizarre about this recording is that if it is the quartet AMM it seems diametrically opposed to all that they espoused. The jazz that they had turned away from is the primary form here with continuous scatting from Jeanne Lee dominating this performance. Evan Parkers playing is a bit more sympathetic to AMM but here it leans toward tonal lines or fiery blasts, two poles this group swings wildly from as if they were a revue of the last decade of jazz. Rowe’s completely non-idiomatic guitar just sounds like noise on the tape and I suspect would be dismissed as such by your average jazz fan. Speaking of which your average jazz fan, one who could find nothing to like about AMM could get right behind this recording.

All in Together Now (G. Hampel)
Günter Christmann (trombone); Gunter Hampel (soprano sax, bass clarinet); Lou Gare (tenor sax); Evan Parker (soprano sax, tenor sax); Perry Robinson (clarinet); Alexander Von Schlippenbach (piano); Cornelius Cardew (cello); Keith Rowe (guitar, etc.); J.B. “Buschi” Niebergall (bass); Eddie Prévost (drums, percussion, etc.); Jeanne Lee (vocals); Unknown (announcer)

The recording begins with an intro in German that announces AMM “from London” and then the members of the Gunter Hampel group. The music comes right up with a bit of brushes on a ride cymbal and then some piano chords kick in. Melodic sax line over the top of this and then a bit of vamping background sax. A bit of discord between the saxes and then everybody is playing in this swirling miasma of sound. Very free jazz, nothing super out but only loosely connected. And then begins the vocalizations. Jeanne does either abstract vocalizations or scatting for pretty much the rest of the set with only a few short breaks. Lots of right up front drumming, a feature that runs through the bulk of the set it no matter how abstract it gets. The drums and the vocalizations are a constant and it really grounds the piece and keeps it from exploring new territory. Trumpet bleats come and go, some odd squiggles in the background, probably from Gare. Around thirteen minutes in things mellow way out, with the drumming at its most sedate, long vocalizations from Jeanne, and drawn out tones on the horns. But as is always the case in free jazz the mellow parts just serve to emphasize the active parts and it picks right back up with wailing sax, maddening drums and vocal wailing. This continues apace for some time, leading to a section with some real upfront scatting. Then another drop out, with just some cymbal work, low volume snare rolls (Prevost?), sax squeaks (Gare?) and a splattering of piano, under the scatting.

Finally she drops out and it is just piano and very quiet trombone. Some bass plucking comes into this, almost a solo with scattered drums and a almost mechanical sound very quiet. Some electronic-ish sounding squiggles, the first obvious sign that Rowe is actually present. Then the scatting comes back up. The electronic scrabbling becomes a bit more aggressive, piano now being constantly played, though fairly low in the mix, Gare style abstract sax-work also fairly quiet. After this more down-tempo, almost AMM-ish interlude things explode again. Off the hook trombone, the scatting fast and furious, piano chords being pounded out, a drum “solo” level freakout, scrabbling on the guitar a total miasma of sound. Very dense now, the vocals drop out and there is some serious sax work. recognizable as Parker. Then as the vocals come back in, everything drops out but piano tinkling and a low plaintive horn. A lazy baseline drifts through, a bit of scrabbling guitar. One sax line comes in, then goes, then another and so on. Runs on the piano, some skronks and squeaks, the scatting now right up front and rather guttural. The energy isn’t so high but everyone seems to be coming back in for one last go around as the piece is in it’s final minutes. The track then ends with just as honking horn as Jeanne gives us a “Thank you very much”. Then applause and one last bit of sax probably from Parker.

This recording really raises far more questions then I have answers for. It could be that at this festival the organizers threw all these people together in the end for a “large group” and they all played along. Perhaps in the end this quote from John Tilbury is what we have to be satisfied by:
“Sometimes, when other people play with us, and because it’s a little bit unfamiliar to them, they’ll do something, and I think, ‘Well, what do you do when somebody does something that you don’t like?’ You can’t go up to them and say, ‘Don’t play that!’ You have to somehow take them by the hand and lead them somewhere else - but then why should you even do that? Maybe they don’t like what you’re doing, so who am I to judge? That’s not just a musical question, that’s also an ethical question.”
-John Tilbury (3)

34 comments:

gsrbrts2 said...

FLAC:

http://rapidshare.com/files/192227262/Hampel_1972.part1.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/192227261/Hampel_1972.part2.rar

gsrbrts2 said...

I'm curious about the links that appear soon after every post...who posts them and what is the purpose?

Thanks!

serviceton said...

gsrbrts2,

They;re called back-links and have been 'switched on' by you or one of your fellow blog admins.
Try this
http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=42533

Hampel _ ist gut! danke.

gsrbrts2 said...

Thanks Serviceton,

It's not my blog, and I'm not an administrator, I merely post some of my material here. I would love to see those links disappear.

Glad you enjoyed Hampel.. there's more where that came from.

L8r, Gus

Wallofsound said...

Thanks for sharing. I've not always warmed to Gunter Hampel, but I'll give this one a go.

Wallofsound said...

On the topic of back links, on or off, I am one of the posters who has admin rights. I've now disabled them, and it does make the comments section shorter. I suspect the nice people at blogger are trying to get us to look at more of their blogs by showing us links we may wish to follow. Looking at the links generated they seem to be the fixed links many bloggers put in.

If anyone feels it was a bad move to turn them off let me know.

Anonymous said...

@ gsrbrts2: you said
(... Glad you enjoyed Hampel.. there's more where that came from. ...)
you mean more Hampel or more AMM or more of their coop? - I´d be interested in AMM mostly
in any case, thanks a lot for this posting!

@ wallofsound: thanks for switching off the backlinks.

cheers
Owombat

glmlr said...

Thanks gsrbts2. A historically rare meeting of musically differing souls, but also a tragically missed opportunity in that the vocalist doesn't allow us to hear much of the contribution of the other musicians.

Steve H said...

Thank you for this truly strange recording. I'm new to AMM, but have known about Rowe for some time, originally thru the Fred Frith Guitar Solos (3?) record, and had the pleasure of seeing him perform solo in Philadelphia in fall 2007. Even an AMM performance that I downloaded here a while back (something from 1994 ...) felt more lyrical, if not outright jazzy, than what I would have expected from Rowe, so this stuff is truly freaky. I admit I get a perverse thrill out of hearing Rowe with these folks. What's next -- Rowe turns up in the Charlie Watts Orchestra alongside Parker? :)

Anonymous said...

I'm excited to hear this! thanks!

gsrbrts2 said...

I guess someone's ceiling is another man's floor. Vocalist Jeanne Lee is highly appreciated by many not only hear but in places like the Vision festival which dedicated an entire week in her honor in 2003. As far as AMM, listening ti them is an extraordinary experience which never repeats itsself. More info about AMM here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMM_(group)

kike hurtado said...

Thank you Gus for sharing this rare recording.

best regards, Kike.

1009 said...

Have to keep reminding myself I'm listening to AMM -- even more so than with the Gare/Prevost records. FWIW I don't hear Jeanne Lee completely overwhelming everything, although I suppose it is natural to focus on voice as if she were the "singer" (wch as most of us no is hardly the case). It'd be nice for the drums to have been a bit more upfront, but I'm enjoying it immensely right now anyhow.

Have to put on *The Crypt* after this for juxtaposition, I think.

upkerry14 said...

Wow, this looks great. I really want to hear it. He looks like a homeless guy though. Rough. Thanks for upping it. Gotta get a minute and do the other thing I have been promising for some time now. Best, Bill

Anonymous said...

Gunter Hampel is a better man then you will ever be, punk. -TheSuperFreak

plato said...

I'm a long time visitor, but this is my first post. Here are some gifts from myself. None available on CD or other blogs, as far as I know. Got them on soulseek many years ago. Gunter Hampel and Jeanne Lee are great.

gunter hampel [1968] group & jeanne lee - s-t [lp #wergo wer 80001 @224]
http://www.mediafire.com/?y2mzy1weny4

gunter hampel [1970] group - people symphony [lp #birth 005 @256]
http://www.mediafire.com/?m4ox1gzxjmz

gunter hampel [1975] galaxie dream band - enfant terrible [lp #birth 025 @160]
http://www.mediafire.com/?ycytlyxgnia

serviceton said...

It is worth mentioning that Hampel has many recordings (CD & LP) available for sale on his Birth label here http://www.gunterhampelmusic.de/orderlist/orderlist-1.html

Is there anything *dull* on this listing? Hmmmm.. don't think so!

1009 said...

Thanks a lot for your posts, plato. I'm listening to the wergo lp right now -- it's a very clean rip & a great performance. Highly recommended. I hope it doesn't get lost in the comments down here.

1009 said...

I take back what I said about the rip. The first side is excellent; the second side is riddled with the sound of internet explorer "clicks."

I just hope this guy doesn't get mail.

plato said...

I knew that but I had forgotten it. Indeed minutes 7 to 11 on the B side are almost ruined...

gsrbrts2 said...

Hi Plato, Your post puzzles me. First, there is no "side B", the entire performance is one improvisation lasting about 40 minutes. I checked the original source and then d/l my own post and found no errors in eithr one. Can you be more specific?

Thanks, GUS

plato said...

Dear gsrbrts2, I was replying to 1009 about the Wergo LP I posted in the comments. Your post (the main post) is perfectly fine. I liked it so much that I wanted to give something back, instead of a simples thanks. Thanks again!

gsrbrts2 said...

Plato,

My apologies for not understanding your original note, and thanks for your explanation.

Gus

Anonymous said...

Thanks 'gsrbrts2' for the Hampel/AMM post, it's downloading right now. I was not impressed with his experiments with rappers but this is another matter. Thanks for all your efforts, much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Being doing a lot of downloading lately and just wanted to say thanks for running such a great site.

-Joel

Anonymous said...

would be wonderful if this link could be re-upped!

SOTISE said...

anon , i'll re-upload soon

SOTISE said...

new link
14-8-013
http://h1aby2.1fichier.com/en/

Anonymous said...

The title is a little irritating.

these people:
Günter Christmann - tb
Evan Parker - ss,ts
Alex Schlippenbach - p
Buschi Niebergall - b
(Paul Lovens missing)
are the Schlippenbach Quintet which also played on that festival (r.o.i.o. exists) - but they are not part of the Hampel group (- that's my main point).

The Hampel Group in this case was only the trio:
Gunter Hampel - ss, bcl
Perry Robinson - cl
Jeanne Lee - voc
(r.o.i.o. exists)

The remaining guys are AMM:
Lou Gare - ts
Cornelius Cardew - cello
Keith Rowe - g
Eddie Prevost - per

Anonymous said...

thanks!

Anonymous said...

i hear piano on this

Anonymous said...

"i hear piano on this"

If this refers to my comment from 14.08. Sure, Schlippenbach, Parker etc do participate in this session - of the Hampel group, AMM & (members of the) Schlippenbach Quintet.

I'm just not sure if anybody of the Schlippenbach Quintet would be that eager to be put, in retrospect, into a Hampel working group from 1972, like the title suggests. But whatever... :o) - interesting document, cool it's shared here.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for new link !

Anonymous said...

Thanks for getting the groupings straight. It's strange to see a lot of hand-wringing over this collaboration in the description. From the date, it appears that this was recorded the week before Familie, which featured Günter, Jeanne Lee and Anthony Braxton. It seems like a productive time for Günter and the music is consistently interesting (although he need to like Jeanne Lee, which I do).