Volker Kriegel: Schöne Aussichten


I found another recent Kriegel reissue, Biton Grooves, tended to blandness in parts, but the later Schöne Aussichten (Fine View) is another prospect indeed. From the heavy-duty bass figures and juicy tenor of the snapping funk that is the opening Freibad Süd to the spaced out, atmospheric yet groove-pumped Wellenmusik, here is Kriegel cutting deep both into and over a range of engagingly contoured fusion landscapes. 

If there are some inevitable touches of Klaus Doldinger’s Passport here, it would seem evident that Kriegel also had a good ear for both Don Cherry and Weather Report (check Übermalung, Bamoko and Wellennusik).

Ranging from the tender, multi-tracked solo rubato meditation that is the Philip Catherine-like Belle Vue to the stonking grooves of Pronto Subito, Schöne Aussichten is a consistently attractive issue. It features some especially arresting passages from that fine, poetically aware vibraphonist Schlüter: sample his work on the cooking, soprano-fired Balance and the moodily cast Blues In Bewegung, where Kriegel soars over Weber’s and DiPasqua’s potent, firmly rooted yet off-centred interplay.

The concluding Wellenmusik was written for a short experimental film but stands up on its own account, even as its mix of floating dynamics and expansively grooved passages clearly evinces the influence of the various Pastorius-driven Weather Report ensembles of the late-1970s and early 1980s.

All in all, a tasty slice of both Kriegel himself and some of the best of the jazz-rock, so-called fusion factor(s) of the day.

(1) Freibad Süd; (2) Buschtaxi; (3) Belle Vue; (1) Pronto Subito; (4) Übermalung; (5) Bamako; (6) Balance; (7) Blues In Bewegung; (8) Wellenmusik 1; Wellenmusik 2; Wellenmusik 3 (61.27)
Kriegel (g, elg, elsitar, gsyn) with (1) Frank Loef (ts, ss, as, f); Thomas Bettermann (p); Hans Peter Ströer (b, elb, g, syn); Ernst Ströer (pc); Junior Weerasinghe (d). (2) as (1) but Weerasinghe out; Wolfgang Schlüter (vib). (3) Kriegel solo. (4) Loef (ts, as); Hans Peter Ströer (kyb); Schlüter (vib); Evert Fraterman (d); Ernst Ströer (pc). (5) as (1) but Betterman, Weerasinghe out. (6) as (5) but Ernst Ströer out; Hans Peter Ströer (kyb, p); Schlüter (vib); Michael DiPasqua (d). (7) as (6) plus Eberhard Weber (elb). (8) Hand Peter Ströer (kyb, elb); Evert Fraterman (d); Ernst Ströer (pc). Stutttgart 1982, track (8). Stuttgart 1983, tracks (1-7).
Made In Germany MIG M1308-2