ARD Radio – Festival- 08/02/2017 To the 30th birthday of the Quintet Moderne Still Modernity? 30 years old and still modern. In 1987, the legendary group "Quintet Moderne" was founded by European top musicians of free jazz. There are only three recordings of this band and nevertheless it has cult status in the scene. "No free jazz band, no jazz band, no avant-garde jazz band, it really sounded like something else," says Harri Sjöström, soprano saxophonist from Finland and founder of the "Quintet Moderne", the sound of this ensemble. In 1987 there was a concert at the British Council in Berlin and a quintet, which interacted like a chamber music ensemble, emerged. The focus lay on the orchestral sound, little soloistic inputs, little explosive force, but fine penetration and subtle approach. The "Quintet Moderne" was born and went on tour in Finland. Since then the occupation has remained unchanged except for the trombonist. The musicians have their roots in classical and new music, in free jazz, but also folklore sounds from Finland or Italy can be found in the sound of the "Quintet Moderne". A legendary ensemble of free music in the portrait.
On the microphone: Ulrich Habersetzer (BR) “Ikkunan Takana”and “ The Strange and the Commonplace ", the CD" WellSprings "and a self-recording of the Bayerische Rundfunks of 23 February 2017.
Harri Sjöström - soprano and sopranino saxophone / Sebi Tramontana - Trombone / Paul Rutherford – Trombone / Jari Hongisto – Trombone / Phil Wachsmann - Violin / Teppo Hauta-Aho - double bass / Paul Lovens - percussion, percussion-
Jazz at the Weikersheimer club w71: The Quintet Moderne celebrates its 30 year stage jubilee at the Tauber / SWR broadcasting on March 10th
Talk of five gentlemen - sullen and meek
From our employee Ulrich Rüdenauer Weikersheim. Thirty years ago, five musicians were formed in the spirit of European free jazz. They met more or less regularly, so they were able to join one another, develop in and out of this formation, and remained faithful to their cause: even after three decades, they are free-weaving And freelance musicians.
The Quintet Moderne - so they called themselves then not unjustly - has now opened for its jubilee tour: four stations, the last of which the club w71 in Weikersheim.
Four performances to the anniversary, which sounds a little modest. On the one hand, it suggests that there are not too many reservations for free jazz all over Europe - one of which is undoubtedly the club w 71, which was awarded the "Applause" for its extraordinary program last year.
On the other hand, 30 years of musicians do not pass completely without a trace. After all, the two Finnish teutonicists include the Teppo Hauta-aho (double bass) and Harri Sjöström (saxophone), Aachen's Paul Lovens (drums), the German-born Sebi Tramontana from Italy (trombone), and Phil Wachsmann Violin) put together honorable 334 Lenze. Which is not a statement about their playfulness, quite the opposite.
The first long improvisation proved this impressively: Almost lyrically, the 30 minutes long piece, with varieté moments, began to pace, the instruments were mutually rocking and inciting - like a conversation of five gentlemen, If someone tells a joke or a robber gun, then seems gentle once someone talks about a past love or the death of a friend whom all five knew well.
Sentiment and trickery
What probably does not need to be a surprise after 30 years of common music is the tremendous feeling of the five soloists for what the other players have in mind. Free improvisation always means: not knowing where the journey is going. In the case of Quintet Modernism, however, one has the impression that everyone knows the habits of the other very well and, at the same time, eagerly embraces all the spontaneous ideas that flow into one of the five - sentiment and joke. Wonderful at this concert was the sensorium for dynamics and tempo change. The listeners - even those who have less free-jazz experiences - were invited to take the turns in speed, tone, intensity and volume.
It is often said that free music is difficult to access - the Quintet Moderne punishes such flatulent lies. At all events, and the wonderful eloquence of the musicians, the language of every single instrument could be heard and heard: the sonorous restraint of the bass, the pretentiousness of the partly electronically alienated violin, the swiftly soprano of the soprano saxophone With the pressureful playfulness of the trombone, and the rhythmic wonder of the percussion. Sometimes this was fined, sometimes by a raw energy.
Each of the five brings his experiences from a wide range of collaborations: Teppo Hauta-Aho, a legend in Finland, has starred with Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, and Marilyn Crispell; Paul Lovens has been part of the Schlippenbach Trio since 1970 and a member of the Globe Unity Orchestra; Harri Sjöström worked with Derek Bailey and Cecil Taylor; Sebi Tramontana played with Barre Philips, Ken Vandermark or Irène Schweizer; Phil Wachsmann with Paul Lytton or Paul Rutherford.
These are only very incomplete lists. If one were to follow the whole ramifications more closely, there would be a tribal tree of improvised music, which, however, had quite different roots. This was also felt in Weikersheim: in some short moments, this completely free music was closer to the genuinely formidrng avant-garde of classical modernism than to jazz. How European free jazz is anyway less close to the blues than the American. Less is therefore not exciting.
This can also be said about the evening with the Quintet Moderne: One could attend a sound event. And anyone who missed the spectacle because he was looking for a crime scene or was bored with a carnival event, can watch it: SWR 2 recorded the concert.
© Fränkische Nachrichten, Wednesday, March 1, 2017