crou025: Die Enttauschung LP
Die Enttäuschung is modern jazz at its peak. The quartet consists of highly skilled, internationally known players Axel Dörner, trumpet; Rudi Mahall, bass clarinet; Jan Roder, bass; and the always imaginitave Uli Jenneßen on drums. With two releases under their belts - a very hard to find double LP and a much more available CD - the group have thoroughly explored the tunes of Thelonius Monk, and will continue to on an upcoming release (elsewhere) with Alexander von Schlippenbach.
However, this LP on Crouton showcases the group’s original compositions, and is simply a total pleasure. Similar to their analysis of Monk, with their own work, the group find a comfortable balance between the smooth and the rough. An expected downbeat turns into an instigation, and frenzy somehow becomes a groove. But, this isn’t a head-scratching guessing game or open-fire intensity. It’s just a great time.
A limited editon of 500 vinyl pressings.
“Look closely and you’ll see Thelonious Monk lurking in the abstract expressionist photo montage of Frankenstein movies, 50s-style fitted kitchen ads, 60s girl groups, dancing bears and hardboiled eggs (?), a reminder that Die Enttäuschung’s debut double album on Two Nineteen consisted solely of Monk covers (which also featured prominently on their Grob CD, released in 2002 but recorded five years earlier). This time round all the material is penned by group members - bass clarinettist Rudi Mahall contributes five pieces, trumpeter Axel Dörner four, drummer Uli Jennessen three and bassist Jan Roder one - but reveals the same fondness for the angular, Third Stream-like quasi-serial structures beloved of early 60s pioneers on Prestige and Blue Note. Mention Dörner to most folk and they’ll immediately think extended technique, circular breathing, icy blasts of breathy noise, sub-bass growls and all manner of noises that you’d normally expect to find in a sawmill or a sewage works. However, as an Invisible Jukebox for Signal To Noise magazine a while back revealed, Dörner is well versed in jazz, namechecking Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Roy Eldridge, Rex Stewart, Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, Kenny Dorham, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis and Tony Fruscella as among his favourites. And Booker Little, whose “Man Of Words” he identified in seconds. It’s Little who comes to mind most often on this date, particularly - thanks to that bass clarinet - the Little of the 1961 Five Spot dates with Eric Dolphy. Of course, there’s no piano here (friendly relations do however exist between the group and Alex von Schlippenbach), and though it’s probably unfair to compare Roder and Jennessen to the Richard Davis / Edward Blackwell dream team that graced those legendary recordings, Roder attacks his solos with the verve and melodic forthrightness of Charles Mingus, and also has a nice line in Slam Stewart-style singalong bow solos, while Jennessen punches the music forward most effectively (Roy Haynes comes to mind). The horn players are, needless to say, superb throughout. The only doubt I have is to why they settled on the name Die Enttäuschung, which if my German is correct (that’s a big if), means “The Disappointment”. Because this most definitely isn’t.” - Paris Transatlantic
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