Konrad Bauer

Toronto Töne

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When it was released in 1992, Toronto Töne was one of the first albums by trombonist Konrad Bauer to see the light of day outside Germany (West and/or East). This solo set was recorded live in Toronto in October 1991. Bauer's trombone is enhanced by electronic echo and loops. The CD itself makes a full circle, as the first track, "Japanisches Spielzeug (Hinton)" (Japanese Playthings [End]) is the end of the last track "Japanisches Spielzeug (Vorn)" (Beginning). Setting the CD player on repeat, the album comes back on itself. These are more than etudes for trombone and echo: Bauer is having fun, playing around, hinting at blues and jazz, but constantly pushing the envelope of his favorite instrument. In general the music remains soft-spoken, with lots of space to breathe and let the ripples of sound fade away before attacking another string of notes. One exception is "Flutz," which for the most part adopts a march mood. Here, the trombone is harmonically multiplied through electronics, plus echo and other effects, in order to saturate the sonic space. Although the most processed, this piece doesn't feel cold or artificial, and it ages very well, even if the technology evolved a lot since 1991 -- just listen to another experimental trombonist CD, J.A. Deane's Solo Dino, to hear the difference eight years after.

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