Gebhard Ullman & Steve Swell | Constellation | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Gebhard Ullman & Steve Swell Recommended Free 18+ Soundboard Image

When: Wed., Sept. 16, 9:30 p.m. 2015

Berlin reedist Gebhard Ullmann has retained strong connections to New York for more than two decades, thanks in part to the shifting membership of his long-running band Basement Research. Brooklyn is well represented on the recent Hat and Shoes (Between the Lines), with trombonist Steve Swell, drummer Gerald Cleaver, and bassist Pascal Niggenkemper (a German expat) all taking on roles. In addition to the usual ingredients of brawn and beauty, the lineup added a thoughtful UK perspective to the mix with the inclusion of British baritone saxophonist Julian Argüelles—and the band sounds better than ever for it. The album opens with the hard-strutting burner “Trinidad Walk,” which features three horns jabbing and weaving in contrapuntal tangles as the tempo toggles between a hyperactive sprint and chaotic breakdowns. Later on, the ballad “Blues Trees and Related Objects” conveys a Mingus-like heft as Argüelles’s tender yet muscular lines glide and rumble over the deep grooves meted out by the rhythm section. Ullmann composed all seven pieces, but tonight he’ll show off his improvisational chops, joined by Swell in addition to percussionist Michael Zerang and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm.

Peter Margasak

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