Web Web: Web Max II

Germany-based combo featuring Tony Lakatos sets about exploring a range of styles, almost all overlaid with sterling hard-bop solos


This is the sixth album by German jazz group Web Web. Their press release claims that their first albums were often modal and loaded with the spirit of late 1960s musical pioneers. They say they wanted to get away from traditional genre boundaries. It is not too clear that they have succeeded completely on this release – but that’s no problem for hard-bop fans. Solos are very much in that tradition and that’s no bad thing.

The well-known Hungarian player Tony Lakatos makes strong contributions on tenor sax and, especially, on the flute. Equally impressively, there is a free-flowing soloing from Marja Burchard on vibes. Her solo feature on The Source Of All Things is a real swinger. Johannes Enders has some fine bass clarinet solos, and his improvised lines are very much in the jazz tradition with occasional nods towards the free-jazz style.

The album kicks off with Perennial Journey, a light, fluid exercise with some striking flute work from Marcio Turbino. Some tracks feature a background vocal choir which does nothing to enhance the jazz context of the music. There are snatches of free jazz in small doses, some fusion and a mix of all sorts combined into one.

While the standard of individual solos is very high, the overall style of the band is in flux, as if they are experimenting with different directions. If this album is an indication of the start of a new, exploratory journey, it will be interesting to see where they go next time out.

Perennial Journey; Testimony; The Source Of All Things; La Planète Fantastique; Fellow Travellers; The Sixth Dimension; Ólobo; Artist Unknown; Zutuma; Look Beyond The Sun (33.32)
Roberto Di Gioia (d, pc, p, g, org, h, t, v); Max Herre (syn, pc, v); Christian Von Kaphengst (b); Tony Lakatos (ts, f); Peter Gall (pc); Johannas Enders (bcl, cl); Marcio Turbino (f); Marja Burchard (vib); Biboul Darouiche (pc)); Michael Bastion Weiss (tb); Crlos Nino (tb); choir. Germany, date unknown.
Compost Records CPT 623-2