Franz Koglmann

Opium for Franz

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Brass player and composer Franz Koglmann would eventually be courted by a top-notch jazz company funded by a Swiss bank, then become A&R director for Between the Lines, a German label also funded by a bank. But back when he put out this album by himself, there were no banks to back him up and everything was done by hand, literally. Lucky fans who can scramble up a copy of the original vinyl pressing will be the proud owners of a totally handmade piece of work, the paper collage design glued and stamped on the front cover and the liner notes literally written individually on each copy in magic marker. And there were lots of notes to write as well, because the album collects pieces from three different sessions, with three different ensembles. The centerpiece of the album is the lengthy collaboration with Bill Dixon. It was Koglmann's second recorded collaboration with a major jazz figure, but Dixon is a totally different kind of animal than Koglmann's previous guest star, Steve Lacy. Dixon's legendary uptightness when doing projects such as this creates an inhibited feeling that no one is able to shake, and the solo passages of Koglmann's were apparently written out by Dixon, who didn't want another trumpet player improvising on the session with him. For an earlier session, recorded in Paris, Lacy is back on board and for the final track the fantastic electronics player Gerd Geier is on board, although with slightly less anarchistic effect than on his previous album with Koglmann, Flaps.

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