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In The North

BTL 026 BTL 026

"One of the most convincing talents on the contemporary German jazz scene is the versatile Andreas Willers with his strong chamber-music orientation. An homage to Jimmy Giuffre. In actual fact, however, In the North goes beyond Giuffre's dissolution of traditional patterns, penetrating far into the desolate realm of the second-hand existences of our age. Just listen to the spacious expanses and desert-like isolation of the title piece or the tonelessly breathed interludes of trombonist Yves Robert in the subtly de-constructed Giuffre classic 'The Train & the River' -- like a meeting of people whose worst expectations of the future have come true. Art, it is true, is a reaction to its time, and this is very clear from the cleverly fragmented 'Motif' or the eerily beautiful 'Glaswerk' as well from a ghostly and very brief version of Giuffre's 'Gotta Dance', which breaks off abruptly. Like Giuffre's legendary groups without drums, this line-up dispenses with drums of any sort, and pianist Paul Bley provides an original link to the -- meanwhile historical -- trio Giuffre/Bley/Swallow, while the virtuoso Willers and Yves Robert follow -- in the widest sense of the word -- Giuffre's irresistible co-operation with Jim Hall and Bob Brookmeyer. Just listen to the flashes of genius by Bley in 'Face Two' or the dark, air-filled sound of Yves Robert in Bley's tremendous ballad 'Carla', or the inspired nimbleness of all the players in 'Motion'. We are presented here mostly with intimate, low-key stories. But they certainly tell us more about where and how we are than much of the blaring, sycophantic stamping produced by the entertainment industry."