bmn trio / bmc trio
in memory of wilber morris & denis charles
the time was too short to develop all ideas we had
It startet with a call from Wilber Morris in '95 asking me to do something together.
Beside an invitation to the Albert Ayler Memorial in New York 1996 (in 4-tet w/ Borah Bergman, Brötzmann & Thurston Moore) the first concerts in trio w/ Wilber Mooris & Denis Charles show up at the Context Studios on September 15th '96. First rehearsals were done at Borah Bergman's loft.
Parts of this concerts are captured on a documentary:
An interupted Conversation by Vèronique N. Doumbè (75 minutes) as well on two tracks on CD "Boom Swing" (Konnex-Records 1997)
✸ ~ wilber speaks about the trio
Until end of march '98 a lot of tourings & concerts followed.
After Denis Charles passing away on march 26th 1998, just three days after the last five weeks Europe-tour, the trio continued as the BMN-trio with Reggie Nicholson on drums until mid 2002, ending with the death of Wilber Morris at August 8th 2002.
A great loss & cut at all.
Beside the trio I also worked a lot with Wilber Morris in duo as well as in trio w/ Heinz Sauer - reeds or Achim Krämer - drums.
The BMC & the BMN Trio released 5 CD's , one LP and two Double LP. Another CD will be released at mid 2013 at NotTwo-Records.
bmc-trio first concert: context studios 1996
...last weekend the BMN trio played at INDIGO (Krakow, PL). Since the memorable concert of Art Ensemble of Chicago in Krakow there was no music which on one hand could reach magic rudiments and on the other hand could be sensible avantgarde.
Maybe it's a paradox but these two elements - magic rudiments and a sensible avantgarde - are coming towards a synthesis. Now more often we can notice a very important feature in live improvized music - that is creation in the presence of an audience...
They showed that they understand a musicians profession as a kind of magic, in which movement and behaviour has an essential meaning and that is why there was a lot of theatrical elements on their show.
Each of the three musicians played not only beautifully but instrumentally perfect, they also played original and sensible music without scream and hysteria.
A beautiful and cleaning concert inspite of the fact that I hadn't heard these musicians played before...
~ "Karnet Kulturalny", Krakow, Poland (translated by organizers!), March 2000
... this trio has roots that wind through two decades of big-city jazz. Led by bassist and founding member Wilber Morris, the BMN Trio paint the farthest corners of improvisational jazz with a kaleidoscopic brush...
~ THE STATE, Columbia, South Carolina, Oct. 2, 1998
...In addition to his (Morris) lovely deep, driving tone, this trio also showcases his composing. The tunes are centered around the rhythmic interplay of bass and drums, allowing Borgmann to fly free...Reggie Nicholson is among my favorites of the more "traditional" sounding avant-garde drummers.
He retains a solid Rhythmic base you can hold on to while both propelling the other musicians in interesting directions and impressing with his own improvisational comments on the music...Borgmann plays in an exciting, "freeish" style, but not overly skronky - in fact some of his strongest work are the ballads.
This guy knocks my socks off...The music is certainly more consciously "outside" than what Morris played with Noah Howard. The songs often played like duets between Nicholson and Borgmann, with Morris providing the rhythmic foundation...
~ Walt Davis, INSIDE the OUTSIDE, Carrboro, North Carolina, October 1998
Down-Beat Magazin, March 2000
for CD ....You See What We Sayin’? CIMP 188:
...written for this group’s late drummer Denis Charles, is an unspeakably sad and beautiful, half-hour requiem, throughout, the trio is warm, spiritual, far-reaching and organic. The impressive Borgmann has a furry, round sound and great energy; Morris’ sweet bass pulse recalls Native America and Africa...
bmc-trio live at poland 1998
double LP SAGITTARIUS A-STAR #5
w/ wilber morris & denis charles
JUNGLE & CHURCH
Borgmann / Morris / Nicholson at the Karlstorbahnhof
ko. There was Great Black Music at the entrance of the jazz trio Thomas Borgmann, Wilber Morris and Reggie Nicholson in the Heidelberg Karlstorbahnhof. The great black tradition sounded with captivating intensity and great authenticity, even though Borgmann is a Berliner. In the last year the saxophonist was still with his free-jazz formation RUF DER HEIMAT in the Karlstorbahnhof, now he came in the trio with both of his black colleagues. Denis Charles should have drummed on this tour - with him and Morris, Borgmann bonded a friendship of many years. However, a few days before, the drummer passed away. To the special style and spirit of Charles, Reggie Nicholson came very close - like him (Charles), he (Nicholson) united African roots and an uncommon dance swing in his drum playing
The beginnings of jazz lay in Africa, and centered around there began the sound voyage of the trio. Pulsating nature lute like out of the jungle, quiet flagelations, rubbed sounds and amorphousness, filled the musical range more and more, let it storm in great waves. The playing increased hymnically, found its way out of the jungle into the church - intensified in a gospel theme. It climbed powerfully to a playing of a great spiritual strength, inspiration and density. Shimmering color expanses activated Thomas Borgmann on the tenor saxophone with dark gliding, repeating patterns and scale progressions, that he let win as if out of a mythical heritage out of its energy of the colors. He repeated and varied the material, drove motives in front of itself, parcelled them out in single parts just so much sounding pleasure like intelligence.
Again the African steppes pulsated, as Nicholson brought with hammering the tones, they let sound like the congas, farther in the trembling flagellations of the bass violin, tones, which swore to the sound world of the Kalimba, of the African fist piano. Borgmann chose with it the sopranino, that he violently (over) blew and scraped like an oriental shawn intoned with Arabian mode and gliding, shimmering scales.
Here there was a type of playing similar to Coltrane over wide streches, underlying an uncommonly strong, elastic groove. Bluesy passion steered by the sonorous and voluminously sounding bass violin play of Wilber Morris, and though it, downright hypnotic effect of the music was reached, that it widened itself, of a holy silence and a gentle ectasy became understood. A downright magical sworn power reached the playing with the quiet magnificent changing between causing to swell and long ebbing tones, between wonderful relaxed moments and exciting pushes.
~ RHEIN-NECKAR-ZEITUNG July 9, 1998
A Wild Melancholic
... They make outspoken sensual sound statements, that plumb the tension relationship between different musical interpretations. Borgmann gives impulse on the tenor and soprano, which increasingly condense with sensitively intoned rhythmical variations of the drummer. They develop themselves to a homogeneous whole and are yet free from passable harmonious patterns.
Most of all, the blues has entranced the resourceful drummer, he fired the saxofonist with regular cheers. The fingers of the bassist glide like wings flapping over his instrument, sketching harmonious chordlines and offers them completly irregular rhythms, which becomes beat from out of the body. So the hymnical tones develop themselves.
~ NEU-ULMER ZEITUNG, April’98
Concentrated Blue Notes:
The public goodwill was still higher for the playing of the ‘Borgmann/Morris/Nicholson Trio’ which was overshadowed by the death of drum veteran Denis Charles. However, the replacement Reggie Nicholson, lets Borgmann and Wilber Morris emit sparks of exessive powerplays at many phases.
~ SAARBRÜCKER ZEITUNG about Festival St. Ingbert ‘98
Inspired Interaction with Borgmann/Morris/Nicholson Trio at the Werkhof:
A set full of magical moments of intensity was offered on Wednesday evening by the trio...Borgmann blew tenor and soprano over all evelutions’ circumstances of musical power of feeling. Whereby the palette, from the hymnical Coltrane-esque Gestus to the figurative spirituality of the ‘native tribes’, was reached. To experience a trio playing (that) was on the highest level, the most different influences like archaic charming blues/hobo reminiscence, rhythmical manipulations and naturally presented in the best tradition, eruptive Free-Jazz State statements united.
~ LÜBECKER NACHRICHTEN ‘98
Energies Are Getting Free: Enthusiasm about BMN Trio at the Jazz Club
...The art of improvisation was overwshelming presented by the BMN Trio...They were celebrating a multifaceted Soundworld, at the same time impressive & harmonised just simple fascinating. Then Wilber Morris is just lovely striking the bass, Nicholson charlming his drums, and Borgmann is blowing his soprano-sax, energized like a snake charmer ...
~ HOFHEIMER ZEITUNG, November ‘98
Celebrating The Moment:
...The saxophonist unfolds his far-reaching tunes out of a caressing, almost absent-minded singing...His co-musicians are thoroughly prepared in styles and moods. The balcan connects to blues, the music waits attentively in lyric sensitivity to grow into energetic ecstasy...Smoothly moved and intuitively brushed until the music fades slowly into silence. You take a long breath. Applause. The journey is over.
~ SCHWÄBISCHES TAGBLATT, Tübingen, November ‘98
THOMAS BORGMANN TRIO & PETER BRÖTZMANN: STALKER SONGS CIMP 160
w/ Brötzmann, Borgmann, Denis Charles, Wilber Morris
September 23.1997, Rossie, N.Y.
An offering by the Thomas Borgmann trio with guest Peter Brötzmann, is another hell-raiser. I’ve become increasingly impressed with Borgmann’s reed prowess over the past year. He has power, passion, technique, and range. His playing is exciting and multi-faceted. There is a variety to be found in his solos that often escapes other talented sax players. As in his other recent releases, he is particularly well served by Denis Charles, who seems highly attuned to each web Borgmann spins. Few drummers can focus so firmly on a reed player’s every gesture, and to such excellent effect. Charles’ solos are sometimes a little reserved, but his ensemble work is consistently wonderful. I’ve often been heard to sing Wilber Morris’ praises in these pages. He is not only powerful and fast, but there is a touching melancholy to much of his playing, in fact, for all of his fury and technical flair, there’s more lyricism generated by Morris’ two brief solos on Stalker Songs The weakest parts of the disk are the openings of each set, and these bits are quite short ( and not really that bad, either). While Brötzmann’s opening tenor solo on "Part I" is somewhat strident and uneventful, his ensuing contribution on tarogato (which sounds a lot like a soprano sax to me) is quite wonderful, as is his tenor closing (where Morris’ commentary is terrific). Brötzmann’s thick, visceral sound and vibrato, as always, contrasts perfectly with his cubistic pitch and rhythmic choices. There is also a density to his timbre that provides a nice differentiation from Borgmann’s more open and inviting tone. Other than the faltering first couple of minutes to the opening to "Part II", Borgmann delivers no false notes here. Most of what emerges from his lips on this recording has the aura of the timeless classic about it. His work, both on tenor and on sopranino, is, at times, jamngly beautiful. He demonstrates a wider range of expression than does Brötzmann, who concentrates on the furious and exclamatory. It is also worth repeating that Borgmann has the advantage of a perfect rapport with Charles that isn’t quite there for Brötzmann. The recording has the customary CIMP sonic excellence and wide dynamic range. In my view, this disk’s only sin is one of omisson: there are only very short snippels where these two sax phenoms play together. I like complexity and counterpoint, and while there is plenty of both on Stalker Songs, there could have been so much more if there were the occasional reed duet or full quartet. It seems to me a bit wasteful to have had both these talented artists present and not have given the audience a fuller taste of what they can do with - or to - each other. This isn’t really a criticism, however: it’s just a plea for more (and soon!), Stalker Songs is a fine release which I recommend highly.
~ Walter Horn at CADENCE - Jazz Magazin (USA), August 1998
*In der Tradition ganz Großer*
...Äußerst gefühlvoll steckt das (BMN) Trio mit kleinsten Gewichten den Raum ab, gewinnt über organisch entwickelte Groove volles Volumen. Dabei reicht die Spannkraft seiner mit großer Freiheit ausgestatteten, zeitgenössischen Jazzauffassung vom weltmeisterlich abgeklärten Understatement bis zur gewinnenden Interaktion. Letzteres mit großer Seele. Borgmanns Imagination und intimer Sound stehen in der Tradition der ganz Großen.
~ 23. März 2000, KLEINE ZEITUNG - über *BMN* - Konzert im WIST in Graz (A)
*Liebe auf dem dritten Blick*
...BMN stehen seit Jahren für rundum erneuerten Freejazz afroamerikanischer Prägung - in der weiterentwickelten Tradition eines John Coltrane und eines Albert Ayler. Ziemlich dunkel in der Substanz, höchst emotionell in der Aussage, bisweilen hymnisch im Gestus. Aus ihrem Grazer Auftritt nimmt nun dieses Trio, das sich durch enormen Interaktionsgrad ebenso auszeichnet wie durch mitreißenden Spielfluss, das Tempo fast zur Gänze heraus. Macht so durch gesteigerte Dichte den Fluss extrem zäh. Sodass alles bis ins Detail hörbar wird, ohne dass man wegen des darin verborgenen Geheimnisses Verlust anzeigen müsste. Reduktion als Prinzip. Aber wie verführerisch. Wie ohne Anstrengung ...
~ 23. März 2000, NEUE ZEIT - über *BMN* - Konzert im WIST in Graz (A)
...Quite simply this is music of both purity and grace. An end result of three souls who share in a deep loss, but also in an inspiring rejuvenation through the catharsis of music. The old trio (with Denis Charles) may be a remnant of the past, but this new triumverate has a very promising future.
~ derek tylor, allaboutjazz.com
...Borgmann läßt eine Spiritualität zutage treten, die man von ihm schwerlich erwarten würde. Die weiten frei assozierten Bögen des Trios kommen aus dem Nichts und schmiegen sich eng an die imaginären Räume, die sich aus vollkommener Stille zu entfalten scheinen. In Morris & Nicholson findet Borgmann zwei Partner, die sich zu keinem Zeitpunkt als Rhythmusgruppe verstehen, sondern als Architekten eines Koordinatensystems agieren, in dem nur wenige Akzente gesetzt werden müssen, um doch alle Energie der Welt pulsieren zu lassen. Die Wahrnehmung der Kraftströme dieser Gruppe findet außeralb der Musik statt. Wenn das Trio plötzlich bei 100 Prozent angelangt ist, kann man sich schwerlich erinnern, wie es dorthin gelangt sein mag.
~Wolf Kampmann, JAZZTHETIK, March 2000
BY TRADITION OF THE GREATEST ONE
...The BMN trio sensitivly mark out their space with the least signs and gain full scope with organically developed grooves. Their vigor reaches from contemporary jazz featuring a lot of freedom and masterly balanced understatements to convincing interaction. The latter stands out with high spirits. Borgmann's imagination and intimate sounds follow the tradition of the greatest ones...
~ March 23. 2000, KLEINE ZEITUNG - about BMN-Concert at WIST / GRAZ (A)
LOVE AT THIRD SIGHT
...BMN has been a synonym for completely renewed freejazz of the afroamerican type in the spirits of John Coltrane and Albert Ayler. It is dark in its substance and highly emotional in its expression, from time to time hymn-like in its gestures. In their Graz concert, the trio completely reduces their tempo, but their music is still distinct by its high grade of interaction and carries away like a stream. In this way, the musical floating becomes very dense. Everything is perceivable in great detail, without losing ground because of hidden secrets. Reduction serves as a principle, but very tempting, and apparently without any efforts...
~ March 23. 2000, NEUE ZEIT - about BMN-Concert at WIST / GRAZ (A)
... Bassist Wilber Morris acts more like a gatekeeper than a leader. The veteran bassist lets Borgmann out of the pen to run free, blowing as urgently as a hurricane. Morris doesn’t fade into the background, though. He secures the low end with a tone both buttery-smooth and molasses-thick as Nicholson beats an appropriately mighty "boom swing".
~ Washington Post, October 9, 1998
The BMN Trio - can sound like it’s inventing not just music, but a new idiom...So, there you have it: Three highly individualistic players engaging in a three-way musical version of "My Dinner with Andre". Like that film, their conversation is droll, witty, infuriating, humorous, and cliché-free.
~ ERIE PAPER, Pennsylvania, September 17, 1998
Words cannot express the appreciation I had for the wonderful performance the Borgmann/Morris/Nicholson Trio presented at the Wherehouse in Winston-Salem. As I closed my eyes while the trio played I felt transported into the realm of mysterious dreams. What a poetically beutiful gift. After experiencing your set I felt spiritually renewed. Thank You...
~ Mark Linga, Coordiator of Outreach/Special Projects, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC, October 8, 1998
Remember the last time you had a three-way call with two good friends at one time? Phrases overlapped, there were few quiet moments, but it all made sense in the context of your conversation. Such was the case when the BMN-Trio performed at The Estate....What started as instrument tuning transformed into a beautiful hourlong set, with each musician telling his personal story with his instrument....
~ MILWAUKEE JOURNAL, Sept. 26, 1998, G.Kevin Jordan
...a stellar free-jazz trio...
~ City Paper, Baltimore, Maryland Oct. 7, 1998
Dschungel und Kirche
Borgmann/Morris/Nicholson im Karlstorbahnhof
ko. Great Black Music gab es beim Auftritt des Jazztrios Thomas Borgmann, Wilber Morris und Reggie Nicholson im Heidelberger Karlstorbahnhof. Die große schwarze Tradition tönte mit fesselnder Intensität und großer Authentizität, auch wenn Borgmann ein Berliner ist. Im letzten Jahr war der Saxophonist noch mit seiner Freejazz-Formation "Ruf der Heimat" im Karlstorbahnhof, nun kam er im Trio mit seinen beiden schwarzen Kollegen. Denis Charles sollte auf dieser Tour trommeln - mit ihm und Morris verbindet Borgmann eine langjährige Freundschaft. Doch wenige Tage vorher verstarb der Schlagzeuger. Dem besonderen Stil und Geist von Charles kommt Reggie Nicholson sehr nahe - wie dieser verbindet er afrikanische Wurzeln und einen ungemein tänzerischen Swing in seinem Schlagzeugspiel.
Die Anfänge des Jazz liegen in Afrika, drum begann die Klangreise des Trios ebendort. Pulsierende Naturlaute wie aus dem Dschungel, leise Flageoletts, geriebene Klanggeräusche und Amorphes füllte den Klangraum nach und nach, ließ ihn in großen Wellen aufbranden. Hymnisch steigerte sich das Spiel, fand heraus aus dem Dschungel in die Kirche - intensiviert in einem Gospelthema. Machtvoll stieg es auf zu einem Spiel von großer spiritueller Kraft, Inspiration und Dichte. Flirrende Farbenflächen aktivierte Thomas Borgmann auf dem Tenorsaxophon mit dunkel gleißenden, repetierten Patterns und Skalenläufen, die er wie aus einem mytischen Urgrund heraus ihre Farbenenergie gewinnen ließ. Er repetiert und variiert das Material, treibt Motive vor sich her, parzelliert sie in Einzelteile mit ebensoviel klanglicher Lust wie Intelligenz.
Wieder pulsierte die afrikanische Steppe, als Nicholson mit Filzschlegeln die Toms zum Sprechen brachte, sie wie Congas klingen ließ, ferner in den tremolierenden Flageoletts des Kontrabasses, Tönen, welche die Klangwelt der Kalimba, des afrikanischen Daumenklaviers, beschworen. Borgmann wählte dazu das Sopranino, das er heftig überblies und scharf wie eine orientalische Schalmei intonierte mit arabischen Modi und gleißenden, flirrenden Skalen.
Modales Spiel in der Nähe von Coltrane gab es hier über weite Strecken, unterlegt von einem ungemein starken, elastischen Groove. Bluesige Insbrunst steuerte das sonor und voluminös tönende Kontrabaßspiel von Wilber Morris bei, und geradezu hypnotische Wirkung erreichte die Musik dadurch, daß sie sich weitete, von einer heiligen Ruhe und einer sanften Ekstase erfaßt wurde. Eine geradezu magische Beschwörungskraft erreichte das Spiel mit den ruhigen, großartigen Wechseln zwischen anschwellenden und lange verebbenden Klängen, zwischen wundervoll entspannten Momenten und erregenden Schüben.
~ RHEIN-NECKAR-ZEITUNG 9.7.98
Hard and fast details for the integrity of sounds
Borgmann, Morris and Nicholson at the ‘Jubez’ in Karlsruhe
Right now, several renowned jazz-musicians are drawn to the land of origin of jazz. Many give a try in Chicago. Saxophonist Thomas Borgmann, however, has worked on his reputation on demanding New York stages over the last years. And New York is where Wilber Morris comes from, whereas Reggie Nicholson’s hometown is Chicago. And right now, Thomas Borgmann is touring Europe with the two of them. We are really lucky that this extraordinary trio could also be booked for a gig at the Jubez.
Stormy freedom, ‘cool’ references and densely interlaced interaction, rooted in their common experience, are the special features of this band. The three musicians knowingly explore their instruments’ unlimited possibilities of sounds, employing a decent share of hard and fast details, and still keeping a close eye on the holistic integrity in this impenetrable shrubbery. The result is dense facination and asking too much of many a feet trying to keep time.
Ballad-like pieces, delicately whispered by the soprano or the sopranino and reminding of Steve Lacy are the other end of the Trio’s scale. A blurred, brushed solo. The bass’s bows lead to a sophisticated, bluesy interlude - but for one moment only - and the band once again reunites in an up-tempo free piece. A dashing, deep bass groove, wise drum fills. And then even the saxophonist starts dancing with his own twisted flageolets, driving the piece to Coltrane’s pitches. Compared to this, even hot bebop reminds only of the calm before the storm.
The rolls of the little sticks frankly swish along the drums’ surfaces; Nicholson prefers dry, snare-less sounds in his solos. Morris’s bow creates musical gems. There are people who feel nothing for music. Others are starved of concerts like this and as soon as time has come, they break out with joy and give the hand of a big hall.
~ Karlsruher Nachrichten, March 20. 1999 Peter Bastian (translation by Ingrid Müller)
The Freedoms Of Free Jazz: Rhythms, Melodies, Harmonies
Concert: full house at the ‘W 71’ club
...In the beginning: silence at the packed ‘W 71’ club, drums and bass take the elevator of musical evolution. Noises and sounds have a tender change to get together and create a gentle tune. Morris uses his dark strings to introduce harmonies, a rhythm develops out of blurred brushing and stirring, the saxophone flashes into dark of creation: three soloists become a trio, a composition.
What is free jazz? Or - to put it differently - is it free jazz that the trio is playing? "Without rhythm, without distinctive melodies" is an unlearned listener’s definition of free jazz. On the contrary - free jazz is much more about structures (or at least knowing them), even if they are not straight away recognizable and audible. So what are Morris, Nicholson and Borgmann doing? They take their freedom (!) as free jazz musicians and play music with structures, rhythms, and melodies.
The second piece of the night: a two-bar theme for bass, a little riff bopping off the stage. Badlabdee-Da-Doo, Da-Doo, Doo - just like this. If it’s a joke? You might think so at first. But the repetitions make it clear: it’s serious, it’s the dancefloor for the whole sound, it’s the basis for the tenor saxophone’s bebop, for Reggie Nicholson’s swinging, later thundering drums. The bass - extremely hard, uncentered, amplified, points the way. And then - never-ending listening until the echo fades out.
With the last piece at the latest, hard-core free jazz fans must have realized, that they won’t hear their tried and tested chunks of music. "If they don’t know an awful lot about Zen, then I’d be very surprised," a listener mumbled to herself. And in her own way, she is certainly right. The trio offered a range of ‘prayer wheels’. Good free jazz concerts often feature ailing passions - this one doesn’t: it is characterized by tenderness, profound silence, absorption.
After the interval: rhythmic reduction to a one-bar something. Is it funk? Yes, but still no. Is it going to be blues? Yes, but still no. Whenever you think you’ve got ‘it’, you can’t get hold of ‘it’ - it’s going on, up and down, breathing, systoles, diastoles....
~ Michael Schwarz at TZ, November, 2 1998
Suspected Trance In Meditative Intensity
Borgmann, Morris, Nicholson at the ‘W 71’ club
...The jazz played by these three musicians is a special kind of free jazz: you can perceive it as an elegy, a hymn or as poetry - the basic pattern remains the same, and in its repetitions, it achieves the rolling intensity of trance-like meditation. A reason for this might be the share of ethno sounds in the music of the trio. It is not hard to disclose the elements of blues and bop, to hear varied traces of musical styles coming up and disappearing again.
Africa jazz takes a major part in the trio’s wide range of sounds. The three free jazz musicians followed the organic development of their pieces on Saturday night, they watched them grow and made them shatter if they pleased. The audience at the club in Weikersheim has hardly ever been more fascinated. They were stuck to their seats, almost motionless, in pure fascination and you had to take a close look to identify a wiggling foot or a tenderly rocking head.
The absolute silence during the concert resulted in an overwhelmingly euphoric applause at the end.
~ Ralf Menikheim November, 2 1998
Drei Individualisten harmonisch vereint
Gelungene Jazzpremiere mit BMN-Trio auf kleiner Bühne im Theater
...Zwei Anteile New York-Wilber Morris am Bass und Reggie Nicholson am Schlagzeug- und ein Anteil Berlin-Thomas Borgmann am Saxophon-ergaben ein geradezu atemberaubendes Feuerwerk, was von einem begeisterungsfähigem Publikum, darunter erfreulicherweise viele junge Leute, gut angenommen wurde...Das diese drei Individualisten so großartig miteinander kommunizieren können, hat einerseits viel mit der "Weltsprache" Musik zu tun, liegt andererseits auch im zwischenmenschlichen Bereich begründet. Es entseht der Eindruck, die Musiker haben sich gesucht und gefunden...
~ ‘Freie Presse’, Chemnitz, 29.3.99
trost & rat 1
und wenn sogar die nickelsdorfer in ihrer programmzeitung schreiben, dass wir in unserer Zeitung geschrieben haben ‘wir erinnern uns zurück an eines der schönsten jazzkonzerte der letzten jahre, music unlimited ‘97, thomas borgmann spielte mit denis charles und wilber morris...’
was sollen wir da noch schreiben!
~ aus "jazzodernie" heft 48a, März’99
Lamento & Kraftakt
Beharrlich sind BMN auf stimmige Redensarten bedacht, auch auf richtige Raumordnung ohne Mumpitz. Lange Stücke mit gezielt gefügten Fällen. Vom Reinkriechen ins ausgetüftelte Lamento zum hitzigen Rauspumpen beschwörender Expressivität. Vom prüden Psalmodieren zum passionierten Kraftakt ohne Kaputtspiel. Ein überzeugender Auftritt.
~ Oberösterreicher Nachrichten 22. März ‘99
Nur die Zeit setzt der Kunst des Trios Grenzen
...Die Musik ist ständig im Fluss, schwillt an und ebbt ab, entwickelt sich im Zusammenspiel dreier ausgeprägter Individualisten und Improvisationskünstler. Es ist ein ständiges Aufnehmen und Abschauen, ein Austausch musikalischer Stichwörter (...) Immer wieder kehren die drei Musiker, vor allem vor der Pause, zu ganz einfachen musikalischen Strukturen zurück, als versuchten sie , ihre Musiktradition abzustreifen und die Ursprünge zu entdecken. Wilber Morris, am Boden hinter seinem Bass sitzend, stimmt einen archaischen Singsang an, der aus einer längst vergangenen Epoche zu kommen scheint, das Spiel reduziert sich zu einem einfachen Streichen des Bogens über die Saiten, zum stimmlosen Blasen des Saxofons, zu einem kaum wahrnehmbaren Rhythmus. Daraus entwickeln sich, wie eine Pflanze aus ein‘em zarten Trieb, wieder komplexe musikalische Strukturen. Irgendwann einmal, der Zuschauer ahnt es mehr, als er es weiß, ist das Konzert zu Ende. "Das war eines der besseren Konzerte", urteilt am Ende ein Dauerbesucher der Konzertreihe. Das nennt man auf Neudeutsch wohl ein Understatement.
~ Ostfriesen-Zeitung 14.12.1999
Wie Laute einer Ursprache
‘Vermutlich ist die Entstehung der menschlichen Sprache und der Musik parallel verlaufen. Beim Hören von Borgmann und Morris kann diese Vorstellung schnell in einem auftauchen. Beide sind Erzähler auf ihren Instrumenten - schaffen beim Improvisieren eine Art Meta-Sprache. Die zahlreichen Zuhörer konnten dies im Bunker Ulmenwall eindrucksvoll erleben...
~ NEUE WESTFÄLISCHE 11.12.1999
Celebrating The Moment
Borgmann-Morris-Nicholson Trio at the D.A.I. Tübingen
It’s like riding a bus: you look out of the window, watch the scenery pass by. You observe one image diffusing and forming the next. Motifs float into each other. Once in a while, the connection breaks up. Gentle steps, sudden leaps - a journey. As it doesn’t go round in circles, there are no repeated choruses to which you could cling.
Free Jazz preaches the moment. It demands devotion to the present - something which cannot be achieved without conditions. Last Thursday, the music at the ‘d.a.i.’ in Tübingen started very cautiously. Tenderly indicated sounds grow out of the silence and find each other. Saxophonist Thomas Borgmann unfolds his far-reaching tunes out of a caressing, almost absent-minded singing. Reggie Nicholson provides careful support. At times a saxophone motif which seemed to be lost is tuned in again by Wilber Morris on bass before it eventually rolls away. It’s time to follow a new track, a new inspiration in the musical evolution.
The musicians take their time. They propose themes like statements in a discussion. No haggling, no compromises - a homogenous, well-balanced ensemble. Thomas Borgmann is from Berlin, he also plays a lot with Peter Brötzmann. Wilber Morris and Reggie Nicholson, both from New York, play with sonny Rollins, David Murray and many others. As a trio, they form a composed German-American partnership and combine the different traditions of free jazz with its European and American characteristics. In this way, Borgmann also appreciates passionate powerplay, but his emotions are not frothy, not furious.
His co-musicians are thoroughly prepared in styles and moods. The balcan connects to blues, the music waits attentively in lyric sensitivity to grow into energetic ectasy. The wide variety of free jazz. It is full of power, yet soft. Enticing and harsh, stern and hymnlike. Tender humming. Gasping hunting
At the end of the concert, however, the three musicians interprete free jazz again as a subtle melancholic beauty. Smoothly moved and intuitively brushed until the music fades slowly into silence. You take a long breath. Applause. The journey is over.
~ Thomas Mauch ‘Schwäbisches Tagblatt’, Nov 2, 1998
THOMAS BORGMANN TRIO
It's hard to ignore the torrent of saxophonists heading the revival in postfreedom jazz--but it's also
getting hard to tell them apart.
Something similar happened in bebop, then again in the 50s, in 70s fusion, and especially in the neoclassical 80s: a popular genre inspires more innovators, but also supports more imitators, and you end up with a lot of people pulling their tricks from the same bag.
But Berlin-based reedist Thomas Borgmann has carved his own niche in the current postfreedom wave.
On tenor he sounds nothing like Evan Parker, or like his countryman Peter Brštzmann (with whom he has recorded), or even like such contemporaries as Mats Gustafsson or Ken Vandermark.
Instead his playing references the early days of the AACM and echoes Fred Anderson's broad country lyricism, bluff attack, and dark, wide tone.
When Borgmann switches to soprano, you can hear traces of Joseph Jarman in the sparkly high notes and furiously focused passages, and the blues-harmonica sighs in a lengthy piece called "Nastysweet"--from Borgmann's latest album, BOOM Swing (Konnex)--recall "The Little Suite" from Roscoe Mitchell's Sound (the very first AACM recording).
BOOM Swing was recorded in the spring of '97, only a few months before the death of Denis Charles, the ebullient drummer in Borgmann's trio, and because of the tight interplay that drives its music, the band will surely sound different in this Chicago performance, despite the continued presence of bassist Wilber Morris.
But Reggie Nicholson now fills the drum chair, and his well-documented versatility--he's performed with artists as disparate as Myra Melford and Sonny Rollins--ensures that he can carry on in Charles's place.
Wednesday, 8 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo; 312-362-9707.
~ Neil Tesser at Chicago Reader