Schlippenbach Trio – First Recordings

"Found in the archives of FMP!
 The very first – never released – recordings of the Schlippenbach Trio."

"Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach along with Evan Parker on tenor and soprano saxophone and Paul Lovens on drums are one of the longest lasting and most well respected groups in free jazz improvisation. Apparently it all began here on April 2, 1972 during the Workshop Freie Musik at the Acadamy of the Arts, Berlin. It hardly sounds like a first recording, because they come out of the gate with almost telepathic unity on "Deals" which is a continuous collective improvisation lasting over thirty eight minutes. The musicians show an amazing degree of stamina considering that the music is played with a very exciting degree of high energy. While each of these musicians were well on their way to developing their own unique original sounds, Schlippenbach displays a fascinating degree of classical technique filtered through the funhouse fractals of Thelonious Monk's music and Evan Parker's love of John Coltrane is evident. A comparison for Paul Lovens escapes me, but perhaps the fast fleet form of Andrew Cryille or Sunny Murray would be apt. "Deals" is a wonderful roller coaster, most exciting for me when they are barreling ahead full blast with Parker's caustic tone leading the charge over percussive piano and drums. There is quite a bit of dynamism at play as well, the musicians throttle through different speeds and dissolve into solos and duos as the joyride plows onward. Far from exhausted, there are three more shorter improvisations: "Village", "With Forks and Hopes" and then appropriately "Then, Silence." These shorter tracks point to a sharper juxtaposition than the lengthy leading track and show that the group has a wide range and diverse manner of approaches at their command. This was a very enjoyable album, quite exiting in the rough and tumble way that I enjoy, since I often lose my way listening to very quiet and abstract music. This is a must for fans of European free improvisation and is quite interesting in that it shows where the heralded trio got its start." (Music and More)

---

Alexander von Schlippenbach / piano


Evan Parker / tenor and soprano saxophone

Paul Lovens / drums

---

Recorded by an unknown engineer april 2nd 1972 during the Workshop Freie Musik at the Acadamy of the Arts, Berlin.
All music by Parker/Von Schlippenbach/Lovens
Mastering by Olaf Rupp & Martin Siewert. Produced by Jost Gebers. Cover by Lasse Marhaug. Photos Dagmar Gebers

Available as 320k MP3 or 16bit FLAC 

Tracklisting:

1. Deals

2. Village

3. With Forks and Hope

4. Then, Silence

Alex von Schlippenbach

Well known - in improvising circles - for his trio with Evan Parker and Paul Lovens and as constant moving force behind the Globe Unity Orchestra, Alex von Schlippenbach's involvement with the music spans over 30 years and, inevitably, many other associations.

Schlippenbach started to play piano from the age of 8 and went on to study composition at Cologne under Bernd Alois Zimmermann. While studying he started to play with Manfred Schoof. At the age of 28 he founded the Globe Unity Orchestra. In 1988, he founded the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, a big band that has over the years comprised, among others, Willem Breuker, Paul Lovens, Misha Mengelberg, Evan Parker, Schlippenbach's wife Aki Takase and Kenny Wheeler. In 1994 he was awarded the Albert Mangelsdorff prize.

Schlippenbach has produced various recordings and worked for German radio channels. He played with many players of the European free jazz community. In 2005 he recorded the complete works of Thelonious Monk, which were released on CD as Monk's Casino.

Evan Parker

"If you've ever been tempted by free improvisation, Parker is your gateway drug." - Stewart Lee 

Evan Parker has been a consistently innovative presence in British free music since the 1960s. Parker played with John Stevens in the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, experimenting with new kinds of group improvisation and held a long-standing partnership with guitarist Derek Bailey. The two formed the Music Improvisation Company and later Incus Records. He also has tight associations with European free improvisations - playing on Peter Brötzmann's legendary 'Machine Gun' session (1968), with Alexander Von Schlippenbach and Paul Lovens (A trio that continues to this day), Globe Unity Orchestra, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, and Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra (LJCO). 

Though he has worked extensively in both large and small ensembles, Parker is perhaps best known for his solo soprano saxophone music, a singular body of work that in recent years has centred around his continuing exploration of techniques such as circular breathing, split tonguing, overblowing, multiphonics and cross-pattern fingering. These are technical devices, yet Parker's use of them is, he says, less analytical than intuitive; he has likened performing his solo work to entering a kind of trance-state. The resulting music is certainly hypnotic, an uninterrupted flow of snaky, densely-textured sound that Parker has described as "the illusion of polyphony". Many listeners have indeed found it hard to credit that one man can create such intricate, complex music in real time. 

Paul Lovens

Paul Lovens plays drums, percussion, singing saw and various selected and unselected cymbals. Since the early 1970's then he has played with musicians such as Cecil Taylor, Harri Sjöström, Günther Christmann, Eugene Chadbourne, Peter Brötzmann, Teppo Hauta-Aho, Mats Gustafsson, Thomas Lehn, Phil Wachsmann, and Joëlle Léandre. He also played with Florian Schneider and Ebehard Kranemann in an early incarnation of Kraftwerk. Lovens has run the record label Po Torch with Paul Lytton since 1976.

“Paul Lovens somehow epitomises the free drummer/percussionist who is not there to lay down the beat and kick everyone else into action but to listen, colour, contribute, guide, and occasionally direct, the overall cooperative sound. In concert one cannot fail to be moved by his intensity and concentration and there is an overiding feeling that even the most random events are somehow planned in time. In this respect, there is a nice irony that on the Nothing to read CD with Mats Gustafsson, Lovens describes his kit as consisting of 'selected and unselected drums and cymbals'. Miking seems to be a problem at times with some recordings giving him undue prominence and others insufficient. Good recordings are Elf Bagatellen, Nothing To Read, Pakistani Pomade, and Stranger Than Love.” – EFI