Somnambule - Writing About Music

Dieter Scherf Trio ~ Inside-Outside Reflections

Atavistic’s Unheard Music series has dug up another gem in this 1974 recording by the Dieter Scherf trio. Clearly mastered from vinyl, the occasional crackles actually contribute to the experience of the music. The hiss and sizzle meld with the busy percussion to create an accidental sense of time unenvisaged by the original players. This is busy, small-scale music chock-full of intense interplay and interspersed with occasional, reflective interludes. Scherf bleats and roars on Daijededa like a defiant beast doing battle with Bednarek’s bowed bass and Lovens’ percussive spears, but more often it’s the local activity of Lovens that focuses attention. Atemzirkulation (Breathcirculation) features three minutes of circular breathing that increases in intensity while shooting out sparks as if from a gathering vortex, then gradually loses motive force and reduces to the simplest of repetitive patterns. The effect is not dissimilar to that of an early Evan Parker solo piece. A fascinating release for those interested in the early years of European free improvisation.

Colin Buttimer
October 2005
Published by Jazzwise magazine