Yamabiko Quintet: Yamabiko Quintet

Cologne-based quintet including bass clarinettist Michel Pilz play tense 60s-style free and time-no-changes jazz


This European quintet performs busy, uncompromising jazz which owes much to the cutting-edge performers who have preceded it. Even some of the themes conjure up passages of past heard compositions. But that is not to say this music does not strive to say something a little different.

The aforesaid themes drift in and out the action which is solo driven but not devoid of interaction between the horns. Pilz’s bass clarinet balances nicely against the vibrant alto sounds from Schubert and Winterschladen’s trumpet playing has more than a nod to the past.

For instance, the latter throws in some brief, authentic “growls” on Sandrinella and some surprising, muted trumpet in amongst the bubbling cauldron that is Cloudscape.

Given the purposeful, contemporary stance the collective take, the final track Beautiful Flowers is a bit of a surprise. It takes a slightly different path, its anthemic theme pitted against the alto, giving way to a melodic passage carrying Caribbean overtones.

Bow; Bandrinella; Layered History; A Glimpse Of Its Destination; Curled Up; Yamabiko; Cloudscape; Beautiful Flowers (47.03)
Michel Pilz (bcl); Reiner Winterschladen (t); Frank Paul Schubert (as, ss); Christian Ramond (b); Klaus Kugel (d). Cologne, 22 & 23 February 2022.
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