Globe Unity Orchestra Hamburg '74

What do you get when you throw together the leading lights of the European improv circus circa 1974 with a large German choir? Sheer undiluted sound wars is what! There are two pieces on this CD running at 26 and 19 minutes respectively. Pianist Von Schlippenbach constructs the first as a suite of interactions featuring ensembles of varying sizes featuring the choir sounding like an audience clapping, a crowd talking, throat singers and full-on operatic wails. Add to this some blazing skronk improvs by people like Evan Parker, Kenny Wheeler, Peter Kowald, Han Bennink and Derek Baily (out of 14 equally heavy names) and you have a well constructed piece of audio mayhem. The piece that follows, by Manfred Schoof, has more quiet sections and references to jazz in it but retains the ornery, pushing character of this amazing ensemble. The references to contemporary opera music (Berio, Berg and Lygeti spring to mind) are clear and present. This gives the music an almost formal flavour which manages to complement and structure the improv amazingly well. Well thought out, well executed and challenging music. (Atavistic)