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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Die Enttäuschung (Intakt, 2007) ****

No name could be more misplaced than "Die Enttäuschung" (The Disappointment"), a Berlin free jazz band. A few years ago, this quartet with Alexander Von Schlippenbach on piano, made the excellent Monk's Casino for the same label. Here they bring their own compositions, and very much in the same vein. The pieces are short, anchored in bop, but open enough to be catalogued as free jazz. With Rudi Mahall on bass clarinet, Axel Dörner on trumpet, Jan Roder on bass and Uli Jennessen on drums, the four musicians each contribute pieces. Some are outright free, especially those by Dörner, and the most accessible tracks are written by Jennessen. The two horns dance around each other troughout the album, reacting, playing with the themes, chasing each other, playing counterpoint, with Mahall's bass clarinet not even shy of using swing band phrasing, and Dörner again the free-est in his improvizations. Sure, there are references to Monk, but at times they sound more like a modern day version of Old & New Dreams. A more correct name for the band could be "Die Lebensfreude" (The Joy Of Life), because that's how they sound.