Franz Koglmann

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As with many great moments in jazz, the success of this debut album is a combination of contrasting elements making up a totally enjoyable, sonically wacky whole. Franz Koglmann and associates were almost unknown outside of their hometown of Vienna, but managed to lure Steve Lacy into town for one of his million recording dates, a combination of music by Lacy, the leader Koglmann, and his close collaborator at the time, the extraordinary Walter Malli. Here, Malli is using the Sufi name of Muhammed Malli and playing the drums; later he would take up soprano sax, drop the Sufi name, and develop a kind of extension of the Lacy style. The early electronic buzzings of Gerd Geier really work to great effect, giving the album a sound unlike almost anything else. Lacy and Koglmann work very well together. There is a sharp, edgy nature to the music, filled in by spaced-out drum splatter and horns hopping up into the highest registers. Listeners may be used to multiple takes on CD reissues, but in this case the concept was used on the original album, and it a great idea. One can hear the written themes and how the extremely free ensemble improvising evolves around it, and the versions wind up very different from each other. Superb quality original vinyl pressing, eventually re-released on CD when Koglmann became involved with the German Between the Lines label.

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