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Friday, December 4, 2015

Franz Koglmann, Arcari & Pasztor - G(ood)luck (Cracked Anegg, 2015) ****

By Stef

This album is not free improvisation, yet it's so special that I wanted to bring it to our readers' attention : it's a mixture of classical music with 50s jazz, soundtracks and more modern avant-garde innovative approaches. The band are Franz Koglmann on trumpet and flugelhorn, Mario Arcari on English horn and oboe, and Attila Pasztor on cello. The format itself is quite unusual, yet it works to perfection.

Koglmann has never shied away from musical adventures, bringing new ideas to music, having played with musicians with very different backgrounds and styles, such as Bill Dixon, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Misha Mengelberg, Paul Bley, Loll Coxhill and Andrea Centazzo, yet on the other hand he's also released albums that bring classical music in an avant-garde form, such as his orchestral and iconoclastic "Nocturnal Walks" with music by Joseph Haydn.

The inspiration for the music on this album comes from the German opera composer Christoph Willibald Gluck, which also explains the album's title, and equally inspired by the movies of Michelangelo Antonioni. Why is it so special? Because it merges the different musical influences into something fresh and appealing, warm and austere at the same time, playful and solemn.  Is it new per se? No, it is not. But the arrangements of this classical music in a new, more eclectic format, the purity of the performance and the wonderful interaction among the three musicians make this a rea treat.