Bill Dixon / Franz Koglmann / Steve Lacy

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Opium Review

by Steve Loewy

Originally released in the 1970s as two separate LPs (Flaps and Opium/For Franz) on the tiny Pipe Records label, the sound on this single CD reissue is generally decent (with only selected rough spots), especially considering that the original tapes were lost and these recordings had to be remastered from the records. Actually, there are three separate groups represented on the seven tracks, with trumpeter Franz Koglmann performing on all and soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy on all but one. Curiously, trumpeter Bill Dixon, whose name appears first on the CD, appears only on one cut, "For Franz," the longest and perhaps most impressive one on the recording. Each track is filled with treasures. The rare opportunity to hear Lacy and Koglmann together is an absolute treat, fulfilling expectations, while the unusual pairing of Dixon and Koglmann on trumpet, along with string bass giant Alan Silva on the very Dixon-esque "For Franz" is also a treasure. Koglmann's stamp is heard throughout, with the compatible horns playing to his cue. Gerd Geier's effective and tasteful use of electronics on several of the numbers adds a timeless touch.

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