Christian Lillinger’s GRUND – Second Reason (CF 265)
Second Reason gives many reasons to write about it. One of them and also for me the most important is the drummer and composer – Christian Lillinger.
Some time ago, referring to his presentation, I’ve pointed out that he uses avant-garde drumming developments in the tradition of Han Bennink, Paul Lovens, Tony Oxley, Raymond Strid, Dylan Van Der Schyff, Günter “Baby” Sommer, Gino Robair and many others. With his intellectual speculation, unique body mechanics, articulation, sensitivity to the tone used by the instruments, his drums/percussion/megaphone appears rather not like conventional drum kit but like an platform, which includes not only the rhythm, tempo and dynamics, but also considers intonation of the whole band. Musician in a coherent and highly creative way adapts unprecedented stylistic diversity . In his playing and compositions artists such as Mos Def and MF Doom & MF Grimm, sometimes breakbeat or metrically broken hardcore, jazz harmonies and syncopations, interfere with twentieth-century contemporary music. The effect of this is remarkable, like when hard bop sounding themes (Perspektiven, Für Pfranz) as in the Charles Mingus’ compositions, just a few bars later due to reharmonization and metric changes began to sound as if Pierre Schaeffer or contemporarily Christian Marclay might have started working on them in a real time.
Combining expression and freedom over the form , presented here by all of the musicians, seems to be the most symptomatic for Lillinger. This balance actually constitutes his art, such as in Schnecke, when about third minute of the piece’s duration he starts playing, constantly offering conceptual variation figures, while being symbiotically fused with a course. Compositions (improvisations) signed by all of the sextet’s members, appear accurately and complementary to the whole album as played ad libitum Grund VI, in which band can maintain consistency and build ad hoc musical projection.
Undoubtedly leader’s vision could not be so successfully realized, if not the phenomenal artists co-working with him on this recording. Achim Kaufmann not only comfortably feels in jazz improvisation but in contemporary music as well, in Schnecke lyrically builds an introduction as György Ligeti in piano etudes or Giacinto Scelsi in his sonatas. Saxophonist Tobias Delius can make the tenor began to sound like a clarinet. Both with an alto player Pierre Borel are experienced in the field of contemporary music, presenting broad range of extended techniques, growls, roars, hisses, whispers, creaking, squeaking. In those treatments there is some anarchic force of the musique concrète. This stream of responses, contrasts, unflagging activity is given in an ideal proportions Bassists Jonas Westergaard and Robert Landfermann, in addition to working in the expanded rhythm section, also building rhythmic and harmonic emancipation of this music, bringing glissandos, volcanic arco sound. Vibraphonist Christopher Dell with his instrument’s tinge delivers melody and brightens the Grund’s mood.
Listening to the Grund’s second album, ensures me that I should rather say that the contemporary improvised music might begin to use the achievements in the Lillinger’s tradition. The music of tomorrow for today it is.