Tag Archives: Grund

Tomasjazz review by Jesús Gonzalo

CF 265Christian Lilinger´s Gründ: Second Reason (CF 265)
Christian Lillinger’s GRUND – Second Reason_SoundsGreenDebo entender que la aparición de este disco en mi buzón ha sido un regalo navideño que llega un año tarde. Grata sorpresa que crece en valor por su contenido y la poca o nula repercusión que ha tenido. Como indica el título -grund es razón en alemán- esta segunda parte conlleva una primera. Aquélla también fue publicada por la compañía portuguesa en 2009. En la actualidad Lillinger, nacido y residente en Berlín, de quien se dice que es un tipo hiperactivo, como si esto condicionara su obra, tiene 29 años… Calculen, acababa de salir del conservatorio (Escuela de Música Carl Maria von Weber de Dresde) cuando entrega como titular un disco haciéndose acompañar por Joachim Kühn. Pero ese primer trabajo no sirve para calibrar esta continuación. Allí había pulso rítmico, no diré swing, pero si consonancia, melodías trenzadas, figuras visibles y una ordenación del material bajo cánones modernos pero reconocidamente jazzísticos.

El cambio que sucede aquí tiene que ver con la organización instrumental pero mucho más con el concepto. De sexteto se pasa a septeto, ahora hay dos bajos y un vibráfono, una fórmula acompañada de piano y de una batería con extensión percusiva que trasforma la sección rítmica en un arsenal descriptivo. Adelante siguen los dos saxos. Eso en cuanto al significante. El significado, ya lo adelantamos, es “contemporáneo”, y sólo bajo parámetros de apreciación de esta música se puede entender. Asociarlo al free jazz conlleva un error de simplificación, puesto que aquí hay mucho material elaborado para obtener este empaste y color, y el free es ante todo energía en expansión y colisión.

A modo de aproximación, no se trata tanto de una expresión contemporánea jazzística, digamos, deudora de los holandeses de la ICP o de un Henry Threadgill, que también pudiera tener algo que ver en cuanto al puntillismo del tratamiento y nada en cuanto a lo melódico-rítmico, o, mirando más atrás como referente histórico, el Eric Dolphy de Out to lunch. El mensaje, pues, está muy evolucionado y podría verse reflejado más en la obra de autores contemporáneos como Sciarrino o más actuales como Bedrossian. Se persigue así la disolución de la forma y también de las señales de escritura, despojando al discurso de un centro temático e incluso de un núcleo instrumental que empuje, quedando todo en manos de ese efecto de precipitación o de “accidente” colectivo de sonidos, sin caer en el juego de texturas ni en el apoyo espacial o de silencios.

Lo que Lillinger construye es un mosaico hecho de acentos y de pequeñas figuras salpicadas convenientemente como en un cuadro de Pollock. Es el poder de una plasticidad orgánica, que evocan unas notas que se diseminan y rozan creando un efecto de temblor e inestabilidad constante pero al mismo tiempo de acción, lo que maravilla de este trabajo donde fluyen las ideas. Cómo los metales se mimetizan en sonidos desfigurados y desvaídos, hechos de líneas distorsionadas, de acentos encendidos (imitando al sakuhachi) en registros de tonalidad extrema, en los bordes o dentro de multifónicos. Y la percusión, más que batería, con la vibrante ornamentación de campanas, frotadores y agitadores. El piano de Kaufmann es un tratado en planos que une a Monk con Mengelberg. Los bajos y el vibráfono crean trabazón y elementos aéreos.

Excelente trabajo de un grupo a tener muy en cuenta en Europa. Lillinger combina un enfoque eminentemente abstracto bajo un planteamiento dinámico (no rítmico), dando la impresión de estar abierto cuando, en realidad, se dirige sin aparente consecución lógica a un final. Nueva música, nuevos oídos.
http://www.tomajazz.com/web/?p=9998

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Jazzthing review

CF 265Christian Lillinger’s Grund – Second Reason (CF 265)
Der Berliner Christian Lillinger gehört zurzeit der Generation junger Jazzschlagzeuger an, die gehörig für Aufsehen und Wirbel auf dem Jazz-Circuit sorgen – nicht nur hier in Deutschland, sondern mittlerweile auch in ganz Europa. Gerade ist das zweite Album seiner Working-Band Grund erschienen: „Second Reason“. Aufgenommen mit zwei Kontrabässen (Robert Landfermann und Jonas Westergaard), zwei Saxofonen (Pierre Borel und Tobias Delius), Piano (Achim Kaufmann), Vibrafon (Christopher Dell) und ihm selbst am Schlagzeug klingt Lillingers Modern Jazz aufregend und spektakulär – obwohl oder gerade weil er auf expressive Momente verzichtet. Dem 28-jährigen Drummer geht es um anderes: um einen kompakten Klang, aus dem nur für kurze Zeit jeweils einzelne Stimmen solistisch hervorstechen, und um ein fixes Ensemblespiel, das gleichsam wie ein Instrument klingt – um als Band das musikalische Material zu bearbeiten und in die eigene Sprache zu transformieren. Und überhaupt, Lillinger ist einfach ein erstklassiger Schlagzeuger: In seinem Spiel wirkt nichts aufgesetzt oder einstudiert, es ist auf eine kraftvolle Weise filigran, bleibt dabei stets authentisch und eindeutig als Christian Lillinger identifizierbar.
http://www.jazzthing.de/review/christian-lillinger-s-grund-second-reason

Feuilletonscout review by Dieser Beitrag

CF 265Christian Lillinger’s Grund – Second Reason (CF 265)
Als die Debüt-CD „First Reason“ von Christian Lillingers Grund im Jahr 2009 herauskam, hatte der heute 28-jährige Schlagzeuger schon einige Highlights in seinem Berufsmusikerleben hinter sich: Studium an der Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber  Dresden bei Günter Sommer, dazwischen Umzug nach Berlin-Neukölln und Gründung der Band Hyperactive Kid mit Philipp Gropper (Saxophon) und Ronny Graupe (Gitarre). Er gab Unterricht und spielte mit vielen bekannten  Musikern in der Jazzszene.   2008 schließlich gründete er Christian Lillingers Grund: Zwei Bassisten (Robert Landfermann, Jonas Westergaard), zwei Saxophonisten (Tobias Delius, Pierre Borel), ein Klavier (Achim Kaufmann) und Lillinger am Schlagzeug.   Nun ist die zweite CD „Second Reason“ herausgekommen, bei der sich die Gruppe Verstärkung durch Christoph Dell am Vibrafon geholt hat.   Zeit online: „Entstanden ist eine traumverlorene, sich langsam und fast zärtlich entfaltende Musik, ein Klanggewölbe, aus dem sich einzelne Instrumente herausschälen und eine neue Struktur vorgeben, bevor sie wieder im rhythmischen Geflecht verschwinden[…] Was man da hört, ist schon Jazz. Aber dieser Jazz hat nichts Traditionelles. Er klingt frei, ohne hart wie der Free Jazz zu sein.“
http://blog.feuilletonscout.com/2013/01/07/freejazz-mit-christian-lillinger-grund-%E2%80%9Esecond-reason%E2%80%9C/

Soundsgreen review by Marek Lubner

CF 265Christian 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.
http://soundsgreen.blogspot.de/2013/05/christian-lillingers-grund-second-reason.html

Jazztime best of 2012 list by Werner Barth

CF 265
Steve Lehman Trio: Dialect Fluorescent (PI-Recordings)
Ravi Coltrane: Spirit Fiction (Blue Note)
Dell-Westgaard-Lillinger feat. John Tchicai: Idem (JW)
Christian Lillinger’s Grund: Second Reason (Clean Feed)
Fly: Year of the Snake (ECM)
Tom Rainey Trio: Camino Cielo Echo (Intakt)
Nabatov-Wogram-Rainey: NAWORA (Leo Records)
Marco von Orelli: Close Ties On Hidden Lanes (HAT)
Rolf & Joachim Kühn Quartett: Lifeline (Impulse)
Gilbert Isbin & Scott Walton: Re Call (pfMentum)
http://brf.be/kultur/musik/525813/

Free Jazz review by Martin Schray

CF 265Christian Lillinger’s Grund: Second Reason (CF 265)
*** ½
In my real life I am a high school teacher. I like my job and I like teaching kids. However, especially some of the boys cannot sit still, they rock with their chairs, they drum on their desks with their fingers, they fumble through their hair. I guess Christian Lillinger was just like them, he even called his first group Hyperactive Kid. With his rock’n’roll quiff Lillinger, who is only 28 years old, looks like a mixture of Minutemen’s George Hurley and Paul Lovens on speed, and he also plays like that when he is mauling his drums, jumping up and down behind his kit, using all kinds of materials like steel springs, megaphones, or plastic bottles. He is constantly in motion, his drumming is a highly explosive mixture of sound explorations and power play.

Grund is the German word for “reason” but also for “ground”, “cause” or “base”. In an interview with a German newspaper Lillinger said that for him Grund means the ground where he came from, the two basses (Robert Landfermann and Jonas Westergaard) were his platform. They build the base on which Christopher Dell (vibes), Achim Kaufmann (piano), Tobias Delius and Pierre Borel (saxes) can soar. Grund (the band) is like a meta-instrument, an organism from which each instrument can crystallize slowly and individually before it is absorbed in a tight rhythmic network again. Lillinger calls this “interconnection”.

You can see what he means in a shorter piece like “acht!” which starts with a piano/bass/vibes unison part before Lillinger joins in. Far in the distance you can hear a saxophone squealing before the track tilts and drums and sax entwine in an interesting dialogue until the sax vanishes in the group context again. “Schnecke” (which is the German word for “snail” or “slug”) is a similar track, rumbling and rocking, you can find weird circus elements, breakbeats and strange saxophone shrieks. Kaufmann and Lillinger drive the band in front of them. Very often this music transgresses the borders of “jazz”. It is close to new music, the band creates sonic arches which seem to come from a soundtrack for an expressionist film of the 1930s (as in “Grund VII”). On the other hand there are free jazz elements, although not in a traditional way because a lot of the music is composed.

Lillinger says he has ideas he wants to file out. He likes rehearsing, he likes working with his band on these ideas, he wants to be completely free. This is what improvisation means to him in the end – it has to flow.
http://freejazz-stef.blogspot.pt/

Temporary Fault review by Massimo Ricci

CHRISTIAN LILLINGERS GRUND – First Reason (CF 142)
Apparently, master pianist Joachim Kühn fell in love with drummer and composer Christian Lillinger’s work at a first listen, having had the chance of appreciating his playing at a festival in Ibiza in 2008. He is also the producer of this record, besides lending hands as a performer in three of its eleven pieces. Basically, Grund (=ground in German) is a quintet made of two reedists (Tobias Delius and Wanja Slavin) and two bassists (Jonas Westergaard and Robert Landfermann) in conjunction with the leader. The adjective that immediately springs to mind when listening to this recording is “cerebral”, not necessarily (and not always) in a negative sense. The well-oiled correlations between the parts and the right amount of emancipation thrown in every once in a while contribute to depict a music that sounds sharp but not acrimonious, elements of tradition and scientific analysis of the instrumental relations weighing exactly the same. If the intelligibility of the arrangements is absolute and the procedural democracy shown in all the tunes substantial – contrapuntal friction and thorny melodic linearity both critical ingredients of the recipe – nevertheless there’s a noticeable level of frigidity getting in the way of a thorough enjoyment of the CD, which in essence appears as a fine-sounding rational exercise with a couple of noteworthy moments (such as the superb “Feldarbeit”). Definitely one for the intellect, not for the heart.
http://temporaryfault.blogspot.com/2010/03/pretty-obscure-releases-deserving.html