For the first time in its history, the Berliner improv music festival Total Music Meeting released in 2002 a compilation of the best moments from the 2001 edition. The event had seen its budget severely reduced by the State, and surely this CD was conceived as a benefit -- financial or media-attention wise. The real winner is the music fan. The album presents a strong lineup of (mostly) European improvisers. Book-ending the track list are two pieces featuring the legendary trombonist George Lewis and his "interactive computer pianist," Voyager. In "Voyage for Three," they are joined by pianist Aki Takase. The concluding "Voyage for Seven" (billed as a "surprise act") throws together Lewis, Carlos Zingaro, Axel Dörner, Wolfgang Fuchs, Uli Gumpert, and Paul Lovens. The disc covers a lot of sonic ground, from the lively free jazz of die Enttäuschung (a quartet with Dörner) to the silence-based improvisation of Simon H. Fell's IST, both excellent in their own way. Other highlights are found in Hans Reichel's project, Manuela, and the Contrabassclarinet Project's "Spilling Beans." The latter features Fuchs and Armand Angster on the bottom-end reeds, plus Lovens and soprano Françoise Kubler. It is a breathtaking track down the last bowed cymbal. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture
feat: Sven-Åke Johansson