Die Enttäuschung [The Disappointment] (03.2002)
A Jazz CD. Really. The first to appear in GROB's program, the first that could ever appear in GROB's program.
The Enttäuschung is a super group of modern jazz. Axel Dörner plays trumpet, Rudi Mahall bass clarinet, Jan Roder bass and Uli Jenneßen drums, all personalities of the Berlin jazz scene, all internationally known. With Alexander von Schlippenbach as a guest, they interpreted the entire works of Monk while in Hong Kong.
The band plays at a very high level. Six years ago they released their debut double LP, on which they solely interpreted Monk. So too does Monk take a central role on their following album, which they recorded in the summer of 1997 and which only now appears, nearly five years later, on GROB; seven Monk compositions-among others, "Trinkle Trinkle" and "Brilliant Corner"-are to be heard on the CD.
One sits up and takes notice. For didn't Monk deal with the old problem of how one can move from tone/segment to the next without making lazy compromises? In his own reduced but spicy compositions he made an example of his solutions. The Enttäuschung manages to stay faithful to Monk's radical nature, to stay in close contact with the original and turn it upside down. Their model of coming to a head and resolution is to decompose, split, lay apart and put the pieces back together; one could enthusiastically analyze the disturbing noises, the cool solos, and the even cooler performance. Sound/melody/themes are isolated, looped by hand, processed, and joined with others. In these high-end trashily recorded pieces, a lot actually happens without becoming nervous or hectic. Concentrated intensity. It is exactly what one has always wanted to hear from jazz these days.
Uli Jenneßen (also on GROB321)
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GROB427 Prins/ van Bergen/ Fennesz - Dawn