Grosse Abfahrt Everything That Disappears

Putting out your best place settings for company is essentially what the Grosse Abfahrt project is all about. Translating from the German as "great departure,” the group were assembled by woodwind player Tom Djll in the Bay Area of San Francisco to welcome top-flight European improvisers for some highhanded interplay. The results on this first recording (of the third invited ensemble) are stratospheric. Four long pieces feature anywhere from six to nine players, yet despite the large ensemble there is never overcrowding. SF players Matt Ingalls, John Shiurba and George Cremaschi combine with Djll to create a network of woodwind punctuation anchored by low-end acoustic bass and electric guitar tone. John Bischoff, Tim Perkins and Gino Robair shoot electricity through the works until they resemble a city grid viewed through iridescent fog. Added in guest capacity is Le Quan Ninh, whose methodology with only a bass drum sound source is impossibly complex. Finally, pianist Fréderic Blondy turns chameleon and disappears by impersonating all the instruments that surround him. For an hour and a quarter there is never a point where the progress stops, a rarity in improvised music of this type. (Emanem)