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SCHUBERT / MANDERSCHEID / BLUME

«Spindrift»
LEO RECORDS, LR883

«Spindrift» – the album and the trio – brings together three of the most experienced and exceptional German free-improvisers, all originate from North Rhine/Westphalia region: sax player Frank Paul Schubert, double bass player Dieter Manderscheid and drummer Martin Blume, the binding link in this trio. Blume is a long-time collaborator of Manderscheid and he has played in a trio with Paul Schubert and Alexander von Schlippenbach. «Spindrift» was recorded at the Loft, Cologne, in April 2019.

These three musicians have played with the most innovative improvisers, from Peter Brötzmann to Paul Dunmall, John Butcher to Ken Vandermark and Barre Phillips to John Edwards. They have refined their very own personal, expressive languages, but already established a strong identity as the Spindrift trio. Their performance at the Loft features two extended pieces, each over thirty minutes, and both stress the trio work as a subtle and exuberant sound research.

The first one «Gale» begins with sparse gestures that almost instantly are channelled into a layered texture that already suggests strong compositional architecture. Paul Schubert offers a series of ideas but Manderscheid and Blume are equal partners and often they take the lead and their improvised strategies set the course and the tone of this improvisation, from urgent to more contemplative but still a restless one. Manderscheid bowed solo towards the end of this piece is truly poetic and the inventive percussive work of Blume always shed surprising colors on the ideas of his comrades, They play with natural authority and affinity, strong, organic flow and playful-melodic sense. The democratic interplay leans on free jazz and European schools of free-improvisation but is more ambitious and embraces ideas from contemporary music.

The second piece «Leucothea» begins in a similar manner, but the tone is more quiet and introspective, still restless and searching. The trio constantly shapes and refines its ideas and always injects new sonic elements that disrupt the delicate balance and demand a new improvised strategy, but there is a loose thread that connects all these phases into a bigger whole. Towards the end of this piece the soprano sax of Paul Schubert sounds like an exotic flute while the percussive work of Blume and the bass playing of Manderscheid intensifies this  mysterious beauty. The trio sounds as one, three-headed organism that always searches for more, challenging possibilities, with great conviction and poetic sensibility.

If this great trio had not come together, someone would have had to invent it.

Eyal Hareuveni

Frank Paul Schubert (as, ss), Dieter Manderscheid (b), Martin Blume (dr, perc)

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