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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Manfred Schoof Quintet

The Munich Recordings 1966

Review by Gary Hill

This jazz album is pretty cool. There is quite a bit of musical style range. It does move a little too far into freeform territory for my tastes. Still, there is plenty of music that works well. If you like your jazz creative and diverse, this is definitely a set for you.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Virtue

A cool jazz flourish opens this. Then they take it into a different section before dropping it way down to just a bass scale mode. This works out to more powered up jazz as it continues. The percussion really drives a lot of this beast.

Blues for T
Furious and frantic, this is fast and fierce. It’s a smoking hot jazz jam with some driving drums and soaring saxophone. Piano shows off later in the piece, too. This gets pretty darned freeform and a bit weird later.
Second Roof
This comes in even more freeform. It’s noisy and yet sparse in some ways. Drums and piano run around in odd patterns as the other instruments somehow add to the chaos in intriguing ways. It gets quite noisy later.
Inri
Although there are clearly freeform and noisy elements to this one, it’s got more of a straight line and real melody built into it. There is a cool section later where the piano leads the group in some great explorations. There is a bass solo later, too. I love the screaming melody when it blasts back out into full group arrangement.
Ingedience No.2
This is a lot more freeform and even kind of strange. Still, there are some cool melodic sections built into it. The piece moves through several different movements as it continues. It definitely works out to some freeform weirdness later. I love some of the more melodic sounds that emerge to take the piece to its close.
Axiom
There are freeform and rather sparse moments on this, including a drum solo. There are frantic and more melodic sections. Some parts land more in noisy freeform. In all, I’d consider this a nice representation of the type of thing that makes up the whole album. It’s sort of a mini version of the whole. That makes it work exceptionally well to wrap things up and take us out.

 

 
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