on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2023 24 Jan

Münsterlich #2

von: Henning Bolte Filed under: Blog | TB | Tags: , , 1 Comment

Transylvanian Folksongs by Lucian Ban, John Surman and Mat Maneri was an important part of the folk tradition strand of our Jazzfest Berlin last edition in November. As I was not able to attend the concert then at Kaiser Wilhelm Memory Church, I was glad of getting a second chance in Münster. It was a projective re-creation of the ‘retrojective’ field recordings and transcriptions of composer Bela Bartók. It couldn’t be expected a balkanised form of jazz. It revealed as the unfolding of song lines from a remote past inscribed in an airy layer stretching above the soil of a virtual ground.



The interplay between John Surman on bass clarinet and soprano sax and Mat Maneri was one of deep mutual understanding and careful meshing and confluence – confluence not in the temperate way, though, but more rubato, in mindful slowness gliding along microtonal fringes and edges. Thus both musicians created an intriguing collaborative working interim between the deep sources and the breath of the stage moment, all provided and sustained by Ban’s bedding of sparse melodic hints and falling rhythmic impulses.


The act of bringing in the distant sources manifested itself prismatically in the musicians‘ progressively unfolding flow of playing,  sharpening and deepening the listening experience as well as the bond with the listeners and their absorption in the music. In that process the music covered a considerable distance of transmission from its oral origins via Bartok’s recording and documentation to today’s realities of experience, to ‘reading’ and re-creation in the presence.

This procedure created an imaginative space to be acted out, getting enriched and projected into further momentum full of soulfulness and empathy. It transcended simple sentimentality and bathing in nostalgia. Mat Maneri and John Surman were in top form and Lucian Ban made them shine, especially in the touching “Violin Song”.  


Seen at International Jazzfestival Münster 2023

This entry was posted on Dienstag, 24. Januar 2023 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment

  1. Henning Bolte:

    Das Album “Transylvanian Folksongs” ist bei Sunnyside erschienen. ECM wollte es nicht machen, aber dafür hat Steve Lake, Mitproduzent bei ECM, die Liner Notes zu dem Sunnyside Release verfasst.

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