Manfred Schoof Quintet: Resonance (ECM)

 |   |  1 min read

Manfred Schoof Quintet: Flowers All Over
Manfred Schoof Quintet: Resonance (ECM)

Here is further proof that the past is a different country: this double disc pulls together tracks from Schoof albums of the mid to late Seventies when the contract of jazz was very different.

These days -- with only a few rare exceptions -- jazz has retreated from the barricades and most of it is conservative, backward looking or so grounded in its own sense of self-worth that it is hardly interesting let alone exciting.

Trumpeter/flugel player Schoof led a band which attempted to bring all kinds of disparate elements into a coherent context: they made reference to Fifties Miles Davis, free playing, the European classical traditions, evocative soundtracks, atonality alongside Weather Report-styled ambience on synthesizers (Rainer Bruninghaus), and much more.

It was, of course, very "European" in style which is why the original albums Scales ('76), Light Lines ('78) and Horizons ('80) appeared on the JAPO imprint on ECM.

Yet curiously -- and perhaps because so much current jazz isn't especially interesting -- this still sounds remarkably innovative and in places courageous as the mood shift from Bruninghaus' washes of synth to Michel Pitz' brooding bass clarinet or Schoof's squirreling trumpet work which skitters like Miles on meth before Jasper van't Hof's electric piano takes us into a kind of Euro-fusion.

This was ambitious music (Schoof and Pilz were both also in the Globe Unity Orchestra which had a similarly inclusive policy) but its historic, pioneering quality doesn't overshadow the sheer enjoyment.

Complied by Schoof, this double disc is a very welcome reissue and throws a spotlight on both the period and the players. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Jacques Loussier: Plays Bach, Encore! (Telarc) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Jacques Loussier: Plays Bach, Encore! (Telarc) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Those of us with long memories and greying temples will remember a time when New Zealand television had cultural programmes in prime time, albeit in black'n'white. One of the mainstays of those... > Read more

Hip Flask: Hip Flask2 (Rattle Jazz)

Hip Flask: Hip Flask2 (Rattle Jazz)

I suppose it was always thus: Every generation of jazz players would complain about the music of their successors, whether it be big band swing, bebop, Third Stream, free jazz, fusion . . .... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

SGT PEPPER'S MUSICAL REVOLUTION, a film presented by HOWARD GOODALL

SGT PEPPER'S MUSICAL REVOLUTION, a film presented by HOWARD GOODALL

Like millions of others, says classical musician Howard Goodall at the start of this hour-long doco, he was spellbound when hearing the Beatles' Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in June 1967.... > Read more

B.B. KING; KING OF BLUES: It's good to be King

B.B. KING; KING OF BLUES: It's good to be King

B.B. King (born Riley King on a plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi in 1925) has arguably been the blues' greatest populariser, so his track record includes performances with the Duke Ellington... > Read more