Globe Unity Orchestra

Jahrmarkt/Local Fair

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AllMusic Review by

Here we find bassist Peter Kowald's large ensemble investigating matters of an Ivesian nature. The first of the two side-long compositions involves the deployment of 15 musicians throughout a recording studio in various configurations playing some loosely organized thematic material, freely improvising and interspersing various canonical material from Sousa to Monk. It's an all-star cast that includes Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, and Peter Brotzmann and they kick up quite a storm from the raging Machine Gun-like opening salvo through some fleet trombone multiphonics (presumably from Albert Mangelsdorff) to a subdued gasp of an ending. For the second piece, Kowald opted to literally take it to the streets and apparently invited every musician in Wuppertal (as well as a number of non-musicians) to participate. So in addition to the regular Globe Unity personnel, we have a 17-piece brass band, a Greek bouzouki quartet, and Wupperspatzen, a 30-piece accordion ensemble. Chaos ensues. Performed and recorded in the town square, one has the dizzying impression of wandering through a space where the local bureaucracy made a horrible error and no one wants to budge. So you have a schmaltzy brass band butting heads with free jazzers while sidestepping the advancing accordion army and trying to ignore that raucous Greek clarinet player. Loads of fun in the best tradition of free music wackiness.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 23:28
2 21:02
blue highlight denotes track pick