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Mangelsdorff, Albert: Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends

MPS Records was a German label founded by Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer in 1968. This was the first German label to be exclusively dedicated to the release of jazz. The label has recently been acquired by the Edel label group who has seen fit to dust off some nuggets from the era including Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends originally released in 1969.

The album was recorded over a year and a half with each track featuring Mangelsdorff's trombone and one other musician. The music is of a purely improvisational nature so be aware if you haven't listened to much free form jazz. The disc starts with the avant jazz of "I Dig It You Dig It" a musical duet with Don Cherry who adds trombone and cornet. Both musicians attack the soundscape creating a crazy sounding piece with searing barbs of notes and not much melody to latch on to. Of course, one wouldn't listen to this for melody but rather for unexpected surprises of where the music will turn next. On "My Kind Of Time" Mangelsdorff jams with drummer Elvin Jones creating all sorts of chaos. Jones certainly has the chops to match Mangelsdorff's off kilter trombone excursions. Again, if improvisation isn't your thing stay clear. Karl Berger's vibraphone is featured on "Way Beyond Cave" another instance where the instrumentalists playing is wild to say the least. On "Outox" guitarist Attila Zoller joins in on the fun perhaps creating the most 'listenable' track here. I mean listenable in the sense that both musicians seem to be more in sync with one another although the free form approach is still utilized. Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz blends in nicely on "Al-Lee" while pianist Wolfgang Dauner proves to be an excellent player on "My Kind Of Beauty" ending the disc with some nice melodies if you are willing dig them out.

The original liner notes and cover are included as well as new introductory notes which makes for some interesting reading.

It's always nice listening to past greats of the genre. If you are looking to expand your jazz palette and appreciate the free form style there should be nothing stopping you from seeking this one out.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing:
1. I Dig It You Dig It (5:16)
2. My Kind Of Time (7:37)
3. Way Beyond Cave (5:47)
4. Outox (7:00)
5. Al-Lee (2:45)
6. My Kind Of Beauty (7:12)

Added: December 10th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 1239
Language: english

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Mangelsdorff, Albert: Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-12-10 07:18:50
My Score:

These late '60s recordings from jazz trombone player Albert Mangelsdorff sees the musician performing free-form, improvised duets with a
host of friends. "I Dig It-You Dig It" sees him paired off with trumpet player Don Cherry, the two blasting off each other for just over five minutes of free-jazz...wacky at times, yes, but you get the sense that the two were having a blast doing it. Albert next joins up with drummer Elvin Jones for "My Kind of Time", which was recorded in Berlin in 1968. As Jones rumbles underneath, Albert fires off cascades of notes for one of the albums more intense tracks. The vibes of Karl Berger make an appearance alongside the leader on "Way Beyond Cave", a quirky, playful slice of avant-garde jazz, and guitarist Attila Zoller makes an appearance for "Outox", which was captured in Frankfurt in May of 1969. Here, the silky electric guitar chords & speedy notes of Zoller play off the busy blasts from Mangelsdorff's trombone quite nicely. Lee Konitz and his sultry saxophone show up for a soaring "Al-Lee", and pianist Wolfgang Duaner" drops in his magical touch for the majestic closer "My Kind of Beauty".

What's really fun about Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends is the amount of variety it offers. Each track has a completely different flavor, and each guest brings his own style to pair off with Mangelsdorff. Despite the fact that this is a mostly improvised album, there are many highlights and it's quite enjoyable. Another welcome reissue from the folks at MPS.

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