INTAKT RECORDS – CD-REVIEWS
GIANNI GEBBIA
XAVIER GARCIA
NILS WOGRAM

 

GIANNI GEBBIA, XAVIER GARCIA, NILS WOGRAM. PRONTO! INTAKT CD 076

 

This spunky trio pushes the envelope by interrogating a throng of variegated tonal concepts, partly due to Xavier Garciačs tantalizing sampling escapades. Modern/free-jazz trombonist Nils Wogram and saxophonist Gianni Gebbia coalesce for jazzy improvisations and oscillating countercurrents throughout this often fascinating program, where sounds and motifs seemingly drift into thin air, only to be realigned and deconstructed into amorphous patterns. The band abides by a multilateral credo consisting of interlinking dialogues and off-kilter harmonic forays. To that end, youčll hear electronic percussion patches, sublime sax lines, and old- fashioned analogue synth sounds amid the artistsč intensifying passages. The musicians subliminally merge elements of previously applied electronic maneuvers with forward thinking tendencies. An obvious fun factor exists during a good portion of this affair, as Garcia seemingly mimics his partnersč acoustic sounds with chirpy sampling exercises. Consequently, the groupčs penchant for discovery comes with a slightly antagonistic disposition that might be akin to a science project gone awry. Recommended. Visit Intakt Records on the web. ~
Glenn Astarita. All About Jazz. USA, June 2003. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/reviews/r0603_034.htm

 


At first blush, a combination of only sampler, saxophone, and trombone may appear limiting, and if not in the right hands it might be. Xavier Garcia, Gianni Gebbia, and Nils Wogram, though, combine to make something special, and incredibly, there is not a stale moment among these thirteen pieces, which range in length from just over a minute to more than eleven minutes. The sampler is a subtle presence, felt implicitly, while the horns take the leadership roles. Recorded in Gebbiačs native Sicily, the saxophonist is the dominant voice, and his elastic lines combined with some incredible trombonisms deliver the goods with an uncompromising approach that is as thrilling as it is innovative. It is difficult to believe that there are only two horns present, as the range of timbre and color cover the waterfront. Gebbia defies conventional technique, as is customary for him, as he rolls, spurts, and sputters, while Wogram continues to expand his palette while remaining true to his highly developed technique. Garciačs use of samplers is surprisingly tame except on a couple of pieces in which he incorporates vocals. When this was released, Wogram and Gebbia were two of the most underrated horn players around, perhaps due to their immersion in so-called Avant Garde styles. The range of musicality, though unquestionably immersed in the genre of free improvisation, is astonishingly diverse, and should at the least raise a few eyebrows.
Steven Loewy. All Music Guide to Jazz, USA, January 2003

 

Ein spannender Klang-, Geräusch- und Artikulations-Kosmos ganz eigener Ausprägung, mit langen, melodisch-balladesken Sequenzen, aber auch prickelnden Intensitätswechseln, mit spontan er-improvisierten Ministrukturen, Phrasenfragmenten und Klangfeldern, die immer wieder von stark wechselnden, punktuellen Ereignisdichten vibrierend fluoreszierender Soundcollagen geprägt sind, wobei überlegt eingesetztes Sampling das sich ständig in Fluktuation befindliche, wellenförmige Aufflackern und Verlöschen der Kontrastebenen noch steigert, gespielt vom Franzosen Xavier Garcia, sampling, dem Sizilianer Gianni Gebbia, saxophones, und dem Deutschen Nils Wogram, tb, aufgenommen in Palermo im Februar 2001. ja (5 Noten)
Johannes Anders. Jazz'n'more, Zürich, Dezember 2002

 

In Palermo, der Heimalstadt von GIANNI GEBBIA entstanden in der nicht alltäglichen Besetzung mit Alto- & Sopraninosaxophon, dem Zoom- & Root 70-Posaunisten NILS WOGRAM und XAVIER GARCIA am Sampler die dreizehn Imrovisationsminiaturen der italienisch-deutsch-französischen Kollaboration Pronto! (Intakt 076). Dabei sehe ich weniger den Einsatz von Sampler als bemerkenswert an. Der auch als Studioelektroniker renommierte Garcia, der seine Live-Elektronik im Kontext der Lyoner ARFI-Szene etwa bei L'Effet Vapeur einsetzte, liegt damit im Trend. Ungewöhnlich ist vielmehr die Kürze der Soundclashes, von denen immerhin acht mit weniger als drei Minuten im würzigen Single-Hit-Bereich liegen. Quickes Brainstorming ist also angesagt, Hardcorespritzer wie 'Vite, vite, vite', 'Clonebone', 'Vucciria' und 'Bavardage'. Daneben aber auch stöchernd-tastende Geräuschexplorationen oder ein gespenstischer Mini-Thriller wie 'Street of Shit'. Garcia spielt dabei das Phantom, das viele Namen hat und bei jedem Stück mit anderer Zunge spricht. In den Bläserstimmen hallen die Erinnerungen an den abgeräumten Jazz- und Improplunder nach, nie abfällig, aber doch abgeklärt. Zeit, nämlich 11'37", lassen sich die Drei nur für 'A soulful point of view', eine in lyrischer Gefühlsinnigkeit vibrierende Huldigung an den pathetischen Zauber von Musik.
rbd, Bad Alchemy, Würzburg, Deutschland, 2003

 

Cosa succederebbe se prendessimo un iceberg e un albero secolare della Nera Foresta germanica ...e poi?, e poi andassimo nel centro Europa, magari infilandoci nelle arterie cittadine di Lione, prendendo un auto, qualcosa che fa rumore, ma che fa anche simpatia e folklore, e decidessimo di trapiantare tutto ciò per un'oretta, dico anche il tempo di un caffè, in un punto di un'isola, ecco magari la Sicilia, dove c'è sole, caldo ...e c'è un pure un Gothe Institute???
Sono sicura che l'iceberg non si scioglierebbe, che l'albero non perderebbe foglie e che la macchina, una Tinguely's fantasy, non sbotterebbe tutti i suoi bulloni in ogni dove disintegrandosi in un batter d'occhio solo per trovarsi in un istituto culturale. Ogni cosa, per incanto, si posizionerebbe prontamente al suo posto, aspettando ...
Eeeh, amici miei, ... a questo punto solo Gianni Gebbia potrebbe svelare il trucco ai convenuti, magari dando il fatidico la che l'incantesimo si sblocchi, perchè è lui l'organizzatore di questo favoloso incontro tra diversi pezzi da repertorio. Vi assicuro che da fuori scena incute l'ombra di Mr. Albert Ayler, mago dello scompiglio, pertanto non c'è nulla da fare per fermare l'imminente esplosione sonora, perchè il sipario, amici miei, è già calato.
La pianta, con appresso l'iceberg, la macchina scassata e il siculo re dell'impro hanno prodotto insieme suoni continui in un'unica frequenza, dissonanze e assonanze su tredici temi. Gli imput/output elettronici fungevano da percussioni su cui trombone e sassofoni potevano improvvisare, con uno spettro di possibilità e di varianti illimitate. Relazioni, incroci, salti, disfunzioni, sincronie, trialoghi, silenzi, sinusoidali sonore: il tutto accompagnato da un leggero brivido che non ha mai lasciato la scena.
Ma la tazzina è stata svuotata con gran fretta, il mistero si è dissipato in un incantesimo di note e l'ordine è tornato.
I tre musicisti che sono stati fatti convenire a questo appuntamento in Sicilia sapevano decisamente il fatto loro. Uno, quello della pianta della Nera Foresta germanica e che scappando da Colonia s'era messo di tutta fretta un trombone in tasca, si è fatto notare per aver inciso in pochi anni una carrellata di CD uno più interessante dell'altro (più belli di tutti quelli con Simon Nabatov). L'altro, quello al quale è stata presa la macchina, è davvero noto nella musica d'avanguardia, soprattutto perchè ha dato anima e corpo per l'Association à la recerche d'un folklore imaginaire, con sede nella città di Lione. è di quelli che fa, manovra e triga-e-disfa elettronica. Il terzo, è uno "dei nostri" in tutti i sensi. Improvvisa di mestriere, ma sul serio. Dunque, la sa lunga, anche se è giovane. Ed è bravo.
pronto!: Xavier Garcia - Gianni Gebbia - Nils Wogram.
pronto! ... pronto!: Xavier - Gebbia - Wogram.
pronto! ... pronto!... prontooooo!: X - G - W ... X-G-W ... x-g-w ... .. . xgwxgwg.
Valutazione: * * * * *

Francesca Bellino, http://www.allaboutjazz.com/italy, Febr. 2003, Italiy

 

URSEL SCHLICHT-STEVE SWELL 4TET Poets of the Now CIMP #272 GARCIA/GEBBIA/WOGRAM Pronto! Intakt CD 076
Often awkward and unwieldy to manipulate, the slide trombone attracts fewer sonic explorers than, say, the trumpet or the saxophone. But as these two discs show, committed musicians can still produce convincing improvisations within those limitations.
American Steve Swell (b. 1954) and German Nils Wogram (b. 1972) are two 'bone men establishing a place for themselves in the expanding jazz/improv traditions.Yet each CD offers a different take on that tradition. Simplistically, with its piano, bass and drums backing, you could describe Swell's disc as more "American," even though leadership of his 4tet is shared with German pianist Ursel Schlicht; while Wogram's, which finds him improvising alongside an Italian saxophonist and French sampler player is more distinctively "European." But both call equally upon robust Yank techniques and Continental inventiveness.

After all, it was the German trombonist who studied at New York's New School, before taking more expected gigs with Swiss drummer Lucas Niggli's Zoom, Russian-American pianist Simon Nabatov's bands and Martin Fondse's Dutch Octet. Moreover, Sicilian alto saxophonist Gianni Gebbia has a history of collaboration with experimental players from the Bay area. Sampler player Xavier Garcia from Lyon, with a background in theatre, dance and New Music, may not fit this equation. But who says the French and Americans get along? Just act George Bush and Jacques Chirac. Schlicht, who recorded the CD shortly after gaining her green card as an "alien of extraordinary ability," has moved back and forth to and from the U.S. for years, bringing her experience playing focused EuroImprov with German guitar torturer Han Tammen to situations with Swell among others. Meanwhile trombonist Swell, who often works with drummer Lou Grassi, has also recorded with experimental Portuguese musicians and other Europeans. As an added fillip, bassist Tom Abbs, whose associations include multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore, brought his tuba to the session, and drummer Geoff Mann, who often works with the bassist as a Paul Chambers-Jimmy Cobb combination in downtown New York, brought along his cornet -- an indirect homage to British improviser John Steven, perhaps? It's true that Swell's plunger work references earlier times, but isn't it European who pride themselves on remembering their history? Take his tune "Bluesy," for instance. From its beginning the trombonist slurs dirty, plunger tones all over the place, a lot more Kid Ory than J. C. Higginbotham. Schlicht comes across with some light-fingered, right-handed bop-blues à la Junior Mance or Red Garland and Mann produces breezy swing like a modern day Jo Jones, emphasizing his hi-hat. Growling, Swell exits, reprises the theme first andante, then presto. Other pre-modern wah wahs vie with off-kilter piano sweeps and intentionally (?) muffled drumbeats and shaking chains or a tambourine outline on "Han Bennink," which Swell named for the eccentric Dutch drummer. Later on, though the trombonist's pitch appears particularly elevated as he mixes it up with the unvarying, shofar-like tuba blasts from Abbs. In contrast, the pianist's "12/2," named for its 12:22 length, is a mixture of primitive and modern. Working out pedal pressure high notes with Abbs' string topping a Henry Grimes-like attack, Swell enters with a Peter Gunn theme-style rhythm that resolves itself in a wiggling beboppy line. More intense than elsewhere, Swell's Jungle sound splits into smart bomb shards as Schlicht hammers away at the keys, and the bass and drums double the tempo. Reprising the theme in unison the trombonist and pianist leave room for Mann's drum break filled with rim shots and press rolls. Other pieces encompass march tempo drum tattoos; near static bone drones or double tongued hearty legato lines; breakaways from the pianist that recall romantic Bill Evans at times and powerful McCoy Tyner modal playing elsewhere; and even a point where the massed brass sounds as if it's reading "Maiden Voyage" charts. Poets of the World is definitely POMO. It's also an excellent confirmation of the talents of these musicians. Pronto! doesn't come off as well, not so much because of the horns, but because there's really not enough rhythmic heft from Garcia. Furthermore, while the other band explores only seven tunes, Garcia, Gebbia and Wogram have their way with 13 (!), some of which clock in at little more than one minute and are more a compendium of effects than full statements. "Bavardage" or "blabbering" in French translation, is one of the two shorties with any real life. Here you find all three players grunting, spitting and gurgling as they produce offbeat instrumental toots, slides and whistles. At one point Garcia sounds like he's spinning an orchestral LP backwards.

The other, "Clonebone," is unsurprisingly an example of how the sampler can take Wogram's wide-vibrato metallic tone and multiple it in such a way that his triplets become sextuplets and then mutate and split some more. Both are fun but not exactly notable. Conversely, "Un peu de doucer dans un monde de brutes" ["A little softness in a world of brutality"] is much more interesting. As the sopranino saxophone slowly advances the fragile melody then turns to circular breathing, Garcia is able to create mewling samples that at one point resemble flute tones and at another vibrate like the metal bars of a vibraharp. "Street of Shit" [sic], on the other hand, features Wogram's ghostly plunger tones melding with muted rodent-like squeaks from Gebbia. Garcia replicates the output of both horns, then add a synthetic drone that sounds like the manufactured cries, labored breathing and whispered panting from the couplings in a Triple XXX soundtrack. Maybe the title is best left unexplained. Finally there's "A soulful point of view," the longest track, at a little more than 111/2 minutes. With echoes of the era where cool jazz met sophisticated, East Coast arrangements, Gebbia, as straightahead as you'll ever hear him, playing largo, comes up with purring grace notes and is soulful enough to reference "Harlem Nocturne". Wogram, expels mellow chromatic tones in a burnished, lazy J.J. Johnson-like tone and Garcia's sampler makes like an entire orchestral string section. Later as the hornmen play higher and are more abstract in their work -- think Frank Rosolino and Art Pepper as experimentalists -- the trombonist sustains two alternating pedal tones for an extended period as the saxophonist squeals his way into an outside Neapolitan boatman's tune. Besides that, there are enough reed tongue slaps and tongue flutters from the sax, , growls and air forced through valves from the trombone and sampled bells, drones, sci-fi clamor and even sitar/tabla imitations from the sampler to show the trio's versatility. The challenges of such experimentation is that some attempts do fall flat. Gebbia and Wogram have recorded solo sets and both seems to thrive in situations with heartier rhythmic input. Although they hold their own here, it may be that fewer, longer tunes would have provided a better display for their capabilities. --
Ken Waxman, www.jazzweekly.com, June 2003

 

 

Un disco nato a Palermo da un progetto assolutamente non pianificato, un set estemporaneo raccolto attorno al già noto alto-sassofonista siciliano Gianni Gebbia. Questo pronto! sembra suggerire l'assoluta velocità con cui certe esperienze prendono piede, come ci aveva già suggerito lo stesso Gianni nel corso della nostra intervista. Il Goethe Institut e l'Istituto Culturale Francese hanno chiamato a raccolta Gebbia, Xavier Garcia e Nils Wogram per inserire un loro intervento all'interno di una serata di inaugurazione delle due sedi palermitane. Non sappiamo cosa sia successo nel corso di quella serata (anche se non stentiamo ad immaginarlo), ma sappiamo cosa hanno combinato i tre il giorno dopo nello studio di Gebbia, dove hanno cercato di ricreare quel feeling improvvisativo attivato nella serata precedente. Ne è nato questo disco, pubblicato da Intakt, in cui sono messi ben in risalto le doti dei tre musicisti. In particolare l'ottimo sax di Gebbia, sempre capace di mutare colori e impasti, trova due saldi supporti nei sampler di Garcia (area dell'avanguardia jazzistica francese e appartenente all'ARFI, Association à la Recherche d'un Foklore Imaginaire) e nel trombone multifonico di Wogram (musicista con base a Cologna). Come si dice in questi casi: estensione del vocabolario espressivo, ricerca dei confini e suoni non convenzionali. Ma si può anche più semplicemente dire: musiche per nuove orecchie in ascolto.
© altremusiche.it / Michele Coralli

 

 


Un trio davvero luciferino, con i sax guizzanti di Gianni Gebbia e il trombone łumanoideČ di Nils Wogram, legati tra loro da quello che sembra un vero e proprio stregone dei campionamenti, tal Xavier Garcia di cui abbiamo smilze notizie (attivo in quel di Lione, tastierista e manipolatore, autore di una trentina di opere elettroacustiche, membro dellčARFI, Association à la Recherche dčun Folklore Imaginaire), ma che parla assai bene di sé in questa prova.Prevale la pratica dellčimprovvisazione collettiva, ma in genere controllata, con uno dei fiati (più spesso Wogram) a fornire stimoli in qualche modo iterativi/ritmici, sul ricco e spesso suggestivo tessuto fornito da Garcia, per il solismo dellčaltro fiato. A fronte di durate per lo più non eccessive (sei frammenti superano di poco il minuto, quattro sčaggirano intorno ai 4-5 minuti, due sono sui 2č50Č), un solo brano supera gli 11 minuti: ed è proprio questčultimo, A Soulful Point of View, lčepisodio ovviamente più impegnativo, con larghi squarci lirici, una piccola citazione ornettiana a 8č00 e un andamento finale che sfuma verso una sorta di epicità sommessa e coinvolgente.
Voto Artistico: 7,5 Voto Tecnico: 7 http://www.suono.it/recensioni/352/393.htm
Maurizio Favot, SUONO numero 352 di gennaio 2003

 

Audacieux dans le choix de ses productions, Intakt continue dčaffiner un catalogue pointu, ouvert aux improvisateurs européens les plus passionnants, de Barry Guy à Joëlle Léandre. Ici, le label suisse nous livre lčenregistrement dčun trio hybride composé de Xavier Garcia, Gianni Gebbia et Nils Wogram, soit une formation à lčinstrumentation atypique: sampler, saxophones (alto et sopranino) et trombone. Coutumier de ce genre de projet, ces musiciens, dčune grande mobilité, préconisent des rencontres inlassablement ouvertes. Ils constituent une articulation importante de la scène européenne, entre lčItalie, lčAllemagne et la France. “Pronto!ł est le reflet de nombreuses influences, puisées aussi bien dans lčhéritage de lčimprovisation européenne que dans la musique électro-acoustique, mêlant lointains souvenirs dčune tradition transalpine, détours orientalistes, folklore imaginaire et rigueur germanique. Les variations climatiques sont parfois dominées par les sonorités à la fois aigres et limpides de lčalto et du sopranino de Gebbia. Elles sont ciselées par dčimpérieuses textures de Nils Wogram au trombone et constamment animées par des mouvements ondulatoires de lčéchantillonneur de Xavier Garcia. Ce dernier, qui utilise aussi parfois son instrument comme un set de percussion aux sonorités riches et chaotiques, provoque alors de petits incidents rythmiques abruptes et incisifs, dignes du percussionniste anglais Roger Turner. Cette suite de treize paysages fait alterner figures incantatoires, pulsations volubiles et larges espaces teintés de légères envolées orchestrales.
Théo Jarrier, Jazzman, Paris 2003

 

Lčinnocence et la fraîcheur de jeux dčenfants, une inventivité dans un bonheur constant qučon ne prend jamais en défaut, à tel point que cette musique fait se demander si, délaissant les recherches, elle ne définit pas malgré son caractère souvent bruitiste une sorte de classicisme de notre époque, une musique savante directement en prise avec son temps, capable dčexprimer comme un Schubert toutes les nuances de nos émotions dans leur langue propre. Le titre , Pronto!, dirait alors que, hors tout sentiment tragique de lčhistoire, cčest là, maintenant, cčest prêt, et que lčéventuelle résistance au temps, le passage à la postérité, se situe dans une autre Histoire. Plongez!
Noël Tachet, Improjazz 98, Septembre 2003

 

 

Kazue Yokoi, Jazztokyo, August 2006

 

 

 

 

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