THE ROOM. Improvising musicians always make use of the room they are playing in as a source of inspiration -- its atmosphere or ambiance as well as its acoustic properties. As a result, the room becomes an invisible, but audible «fellow player». If it has a special quality, for example if the reverberation lasts long or there is an echo, it makes it even more fascinating to play with the room. Conrad and Johannes Bauer already learned how to make use of the musical aspects of rooms while they were playing in churches. In 1984, Conrad Bauer took part in some recordings that were made in the drained water storage tank Severin in Cologne. In addition to a project entitled «Vor der Flut» [Before the Flood], in which numerous musicians coming from different styles collaborated, Conrad Bauer's solo album «Flüchtiges Glück» [Fleeting Fortune] was also recorded in this room, where there is an exceptionally long reverberation period. The trombonist had already experienced the resonance of the room inside the Monument to the Battle of the Nations when he was a child taking a trip with his parents to Leipzig. According to Conrad Bauer, a trumpet player had at that time demonstrated the special acoustics of the room. On the initiative of «jazzclub leipzig», which was always trying to discover new places to play music and new forms of presentation, a solo concert with Conrad Bauer was held in April 1988 (recorded on the Amiga lable entitled Conrad Bauer, Live im Völkerschlachtdenkmal [Live in the Monument to the Battle of the Nations]) and in September 1993 there was a duo concert with Conrad and Johannes Bauer in the room inside the monument, which has an echo that can be heard for up to twenty seconds. The extremely well-attended duo concert was one in a series of concerts that «jazzclub leipzig» organized on the occasion of its twentieth anniversary. Although architecturally speaking, the structure radiates a rather somber monumental atmosphere (it was erected 100 years after the Battle of October 1813, when the united forces conquered Napoleon I's troops), the improvised music is free of any ideology, it does away with associations concerning anything warlike or pompous, the musicians are able to reinterpret the historical connotations of the atmosphere into something pleasurable and creative.
THE MUSICIANS. BAUER BAUER sounds like a multiplication of what already is more when a solist plays in this room. Potentiation: Bauer raised to the power of Bauer. Already tested and proven with «Doppelmoppel», a quartett in which the Bauer brothers play together with two guitarists, Uwe Kropinski and Helmut «Joe» Sachse, they placed their trombone languages in relation to one another dialogically and furthermore in such a resonant room. In the duo form this has an even more pure effect than in the group form, agreement and contradiction become even clearer. The spectrum ranges from the drive of jazz to sounds that remind one of New Music, from romantic passages to demonstrations of power. But the most amazing part of it is how closely and how sensitively the two of them move along together musically. The theme of going it alone is lifted to the rank of a dialogue that is often carried on simultaneously: Playing and listening, acting and reacting, the fleeting fortune of sounds in the coordinates of space and time. Resonance and reverberation in ambiance and in the listeners.
Bert Noglik, Leizpig
released January 1, 1995
Conrad Bauer: Trombone
Johannes Bauer: Trombone
Compositions by Conrad Bauer and Johannes Bauer. Recorded live September 9, 1993 at the Völkerschlachtdenkmal Leipzig, Germany. Engineer: Hans Kölling. Conrad Bauer (left channel), Johnnnes Bauer (right channel). Design: Eugen Bisig. Liner Notes: Bert Noglik. Photos: Matthias Creutziger. Executive production: Patrik Landolt. Produced, published and copyright by Intakt Record.
looks like we've got ourselves a bass-off! a dueling duet of double bass, a sweet improvised offering displaying the obsession with limitless possibilities espoused by these miraculous musicians! Steven Smith