Bunky Green: The Salzau Quartet live at JazzBaltica: Release Information
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Release Date: 20.06.2008
TT Catalogue No: 4516
In autumn 2006, I read a CD review in “DownBeat” which gripped my attention. Not simply because it was full of praise, more so because I had heard of all the sidemen, but not the leader of the “Another Place” album: saxophonist Bunky Green.
I started looking for the tape and the artist himself and told fellow musicians of my discovery. The CD was fantastic: it gripped me with its fervor, the drama of the saxophone, the likes of which I had never heard before and reminded of Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy all at once. And so, one day, I told Eva Kruse about my find with the remark that she – as others before her – probably would not know the name of this genius on the saxophone I had recognized so late. Her reply was different - Eva greeting my story by saying that this must be Bunky Green, whom she loved and cherished, and who was the composer of her favourite piece: “Little Girl I’ll Miss You”.
This brought me to follow his tracks and to invite him to Salzau. We met in January 2007 in New York and I was presented with a charming, sharp and curious person. It was in keeping with his human and artistic openness that he took me up on my suggestion to invite Eva Kruse and Carsten Daerr to his JazzBaltica performance in Salzau next to Nasheet Waits (who had featured on his CD already and was a popular JazzBaltica guest). It was a lucky coincidence. I have rarely seen a JazzBaltica rehearsal filled with such friendliness, openness and almost “blinding” understanding as this first meeting of these three artists on the early Sunday morning of the 1st of July 2007 in the Salzauer Schloss. It was in this first meeting that every separation by generations, cultural background and life experiences was forgotten. The concert the same day, captured on this recording, became a triumph (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung FAZ) of an artist, who, even at the age of 74, is one of the most exciting saxophonists of our time and is increasingly recognized as a force in modern jazz.
His legacy as a teacher has already won recognition. Critics of “Down Beat” voted him into the “Jazz Education Hall of Fame”, and his role as a ground-breaking musician has been underlined with the release of “Another Place” (his first CD in 14 years) and the JazzBaltica concert. When I heard the Salzauer recording together with Ornette Coleman in autumn 2007 in New York, his reaction was the final step in bringing out this CD: “This great concert should be published!”
Bunky Green, having already played as Charles Mingus’ sideman in the 60’s and earning an almost legendary reputation among his musician colleagues, celebrated more than a musical triumph in Salzau – unbelievable as it may seem, the concert was also his first in Germany. It was a chance he seized, the critics praising the man and his musical concept. Uli Olshausen described his sax playing in the FAZ: “He created glowingly vital de- and reconstructions of well-known themes like ‘It Could Happen to You’, a fire cracker of edgy ideas and brilliant technique. One could imagine a storm blasting all the leaves from a tree, then watching a film of it in reverse, until order was restored.”