About this Album — Awakening

ALBUM NOTES

                     It’s like lis­ten­ing to AWAKENING and thin­king that some­thing will hap­pen, and it does, but not like you thought it will. That is ano­t­her won­der­ful thing about the impro­vi­sed and spon­ta­neous music that Jazz is, not only its deep Afri­can roots, which this per­for­mance reflects and builds upon, but an ease to make it hap­pen. Gross­mann plays for the band, that is clear from the note one, not only in this com­po­si­ti­on but the ent­i­re record; a natu­ral order of melo­dies that you can hum, no pat­terns, just music, inde­pen­dent of style, mind hang-ups and must do’s. WIEN is like brin­ging you back to some­thing, like the place you are from, it marks you, same as the music or the artists that you always lis­tened and loved. TRUST has ano­t­her exci­ting solo on the gui­tar, clear­ly inspi­red by its sur­roun­dings. Rado­mir Milo­j­ko­vic is run­ning some style that is dif­fi­cult to catch upon, some­ti­mes reminds one of pia­no, trum­pet and some­ti­mes of saxo­pho­ne; some­thing that we are not expec­ting to hear on the gui­tar. We all I guess can rea­li­ze up until now that the gui­tar is still the bea­rer of chan­ge, some­thing new still can be added. Milojkovic’s play­ing is deeply roo­ted in tra­di­ti­on, not only Jazz but also Blues and so-cal­led World Music. Fur­t­her on in this par­ti­cu­lar tune Gross­mann con­structs a solo that ran­ges from sounds and tex­tures to a more rhythm-ori­en­ta­ted mood as the final ensem­ble shows. The­re is a trust bet­ween the­se peop­le: to deli­ver, wha­te­ver it takes. After all this ener­ge­tic dri­ve we are brought to the sta­te of calm­ness. PEACEFUL RIVER is like “clear water cas­ca­ding from some water­fall”. ORNETTE is this thing that hap­pens by its­elf, just inven­tiveness to make it hap­pen. Here we have Chris­ti­an Lil­lin­ger, one of the most adven­tur­ous and exci­ting drum­mers of his gene­ra­ti­on, a musician’s musi­ci­an, pro­vi­ding a wide ran­ge of con­cepts, ide­as and moods that ulti­mate­ly is giving a new voice for the drums. Robert Land­fer­mann is a supre­me­ly gifted per­for­mer with pris­ti­ne tech­ni­que and far reaching ima­gi­na­ti­on, both as accom­pa­nist and as soloist.

                    This album is ano­t­her won­der­ful effort by Gross­mann, worth repeated lis­ten­ing, whe­re the lis­tener can dis­co­ver many gre­at things, a pas­sio­na­te per­for­mance, full of sur­pri­ses and fine moments. Alex Free­man

REVIEWS 

                  Saxo­pho­nist and com­po­ser, Muri­el Gross­mann, born in Paris, of Aus­tri­an ori­gin and resi­dent on the island, clo­sed the second evening of the fes­ti­val orga­ni­zed by the city coun­cil of Ibi­za with a reci­tal which, by its sheer qua­li­ty will always be remem­be­red by the many fans who gathe­red in the heart of the city, the lovers of this music cal­led Jazz.

                   Muri­el Gross­mann, who recei­ved the prai­se of Jose Miguel Lopez, host of the event, offe­red five com­po­si­ti­ons — long, rich in nuan­ces, ran­ging from the rela­xing to authen­tic explo­si­on of vita­li­ty, ten­sing the mus­cles to the maxi­mum. This woman — fra­gi­le in phy­si­que — has an over­whel­ming force. She must take a lot “Zumo­sol”.

                     Muri­el avo­ids pige­on­ho­ling. She’s no fri­end of cate­go­ri­za­ti­ons. Let us use the term free to defi­ne their Wednesday’s offe­ring, at least a good part of it. Her per­for­mance was extra­or­di­na­ry, some­ti­mes soft, almost spi­ri­tu­al, and some­ti­mes unbrid­led, force­ful. Her gift was AWAKENING (inspi­red by John Col­tra­ne), WIEN, TRUST (inclu­ded on the “Birth of the myste­ry” album), PEACEFUL RIVER and final­ly ORNETTE, hono­ring Ornet­te Cole­man.

                     In addi­ti­on to her usu­al gui­ta­rist Rado­mir Milo­j­ko­vic, the artist resor­ted to two pres­ti­gious musi­ci­ans. The magni­ficent bas­sist Robert Land­fer­mann and the colos­sal drum­mer Chris­ti­an Lil­lin­ger offe­red a bril­li­ant per­for­mance extol­ling the lan­guage of Muri­el Gross­mann that alre­ady is in a sta­te of grace. The Ibi­za public has the pri­vi­le­ge of hea­ring this sur­pri­sing per­for­mer not only on fes­ti­vals.
Xicu Lluy (Excerpts from Dia­rio de Ibi­za, August 26, 2011, tit­le of arti­cle: The Power of Fra­gi­li­ty).


Awa­ke­n­ing
… kee­ping awa­ke is assu­red with the buli­mic sur­ging play in the tit­le track, which — led by a trepi­tant rhyth­mic osti­na­to — takes place at high speed. After this depar­tu­re on ten­ter­hooks, “Wien” chan­ges the cour­se by instal­ling a com­ple­te­ly mes­me­ri­zing slow groo­ve that takes us clo­se to the esthetic Ogun of small for­ma­ti­ons of Elton Dean and Tre­vor Watts. Superb. More shag­gy, “Trust” revi­ves with a rather fero­cious free jazz: with Lil­lin­ger, it is full, pulsa­tes and fric­tions, while the saxo­pho­ne gets hoar­se! The high­ly Col­tra­ne “Peace­ful River” announ­ces without warning the next install­ment; its sere­ne beau­ty seems to direct­ly respond to the J.C. ‘s “Wel­co­me”. Last pie­ce: “Ornet­te”: the refe­rence is assu­med for good, clear, but well pla­ced at the end of the disc, sounds like an end to the peri­od of liber­ta­ri­an Muri­el Grossmann’s last respects. For now, the saxo­pho­nist aes­thetics go without detour sli­des towards that of a cer­tain J.C.
Marc Sar­ra­zy, Impro­jazz   Fran­ce, Janu­ary 2016