The picture above depicts a part of the interior of the Kurfürstliches Schloss in Mainz, Germany. Some may wonder what the Schloss had to do with the annual Treffen in Baden-Baden, but as it happened, the 1977 Treffen culminated in a concert in front of an audience at the Schloss. The concert took place after rehearsals at the SWR studios in Baden-Baden, the usual locality of the Treffens over the years.
In contrast to the 1970 Treffen which we posted a little while ago, the 1977 one was a more consolidated affair with a smaller cast of characters. The core appears to be Mumps, a slightly extended version of the John Surman - Barre Phillips - Stu Martin trio with Albert Mangelsdorff making it a quartet. To this core is added vocalist Karin Krog (whose collaborations with Surman have continued apace ever since), guitarist Attila Zoller, trumpetist Tomasz Stanko, pianist Stan Tracey, tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin and bassist Motoharu Yoshizawa. The brunt of the cast was also on the 1970 sessions, leaving Griffin, Tracey and Yoshizawa as the new ingredients to the mix.
As usual there are full group performances as well as several splits into duos and trios, though no pure solo performances on this set of tunes. Less rowdy and rambunctious than some of the predecessors, the accent is here on solidly grounded modern jazz, some anchored in reworkings of Monk standards, others venturing into ambient landscapes - with synths and abstract vocalese. Some of the rehearsal pieces reappear in the concert, also a regular feature of the Treffens.
I can't dish up seven hours this time, but there should be enough here to sink one's tastebuds into. I find myself liking this set better than some of the earlier ones, possibly because it sounds more coherent and consoliated. In any case, enjoy!
Cast of characters:
Tomasz Stanko, trumpet;
Albert Mangelsdorff, trombone;
Johnny Griffin, tenor saxophone;
John Surman, soprano and baritone saxophone, synthesiser;
Stan Tracey, piano;
Attila Zoller, guitar;
Barre Phillips, bass;
Motoharu Yoshizawa, bass;
Stu Martin, drums;
Karin Krog, vocal
Baden-Baden Free Jazz Meeting – radio broadcast
Recorded 27-30 November 1977, Baden-Baden, Germany unissued (see folders BB77 1-3)
Recorded 1 December 1977, Kurfürstliches Schloss, Mainz, Germany unissued (see folders BB77 4-5)
Full track listings in the comments and inside the zipped folders