Guenter Christmann

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Krentz Ratings:
King Alchohol (1972), 5/10
We Play (1973), 6/10
Topic (1975), 6/10
Solomusiken Fuer Posaune und Kontrabasse (1976), 7/10
Earmeals (1978), 6/10
Weavers (1979), 7/10
Off (1979), 6.5/10
Vario II (1980), 6/10
White Earth Streak (1981), 6/10

German (Polish-born) trombonist Guenter Christmann (1942) invented a new, almost clownish but at times expressionist, language at the instrument by finding the common elements between the grotesque excesses of the old Dixieland style and the furious excesses of the new free-jazz style. His technique blossomed in the duets of We Play (february 1973) and Topic (november 1975) with percussionist Detlef Schonenberg, in the albums with the Globe Unity Orchestra, that he joined in 1973. on the solo album Solomusiken Fuer Posaune und Kontrabasse (september 1976), in the duets of Earmeals (may 1978) with cellist Tristan Honsinger, on Weavers (december 1979), by a trio with bassist Maarten Altena and drummer Paul Lovens.

The surreal and Cage-inspired element of his music surfaced on Off (1979), that contained sound collages, compositions for breath, Mandolympia for mandolin and typewriter, etc. This interest for event/chance art led Christmann to organize multimedia events titled "Vario", that included acrobats and dancers as well as musicians, an idea that eventually evolved into the "Deja-vu" events that also incorporated theater and cinema. The former were documented on Vario II (june 1980), with music performed by the trio (Altena and Loves) plus vocalist Maggie Nicols and guitarist John Russell,

These radical experiments translated into music that was abstract and apparently absurd in the dadaistic tradition, notably White Earth Streak (february 1981), basically trombone jams with three stringed instruments (viola and violin player LaDonna Smith, guitarist Davey Williams and Torsten Mueller).

A trio with Rudiger Carl (tenor sax) and Detlef Schonenberg (drums) recorded the live double-disc King Alcohol (january 1972).

Vario 34, featuring Mats Gustafsson (sax), Alexander Frangenheim (double bass), Thomas Lehn (electronics), Christian Munthe (guitar) and Paul Lovens (percussion), is documented on Vario 34 (october 1993), Water Writes Always In Plural (july 1998) and Vario 34-3 (august 2018).

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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