WNUR Jazz review by Mike Szajewski


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Raymond MacDonald/Gunter Baby Sommer “Delphinius & Lyra” (CF 086)

It is rare that free jazz drummer develops such a distinct style as German master Gunter “Baby” Sommer, one of the most noted free jazz players of the European scene during the 70’s and 80’s. Although he didn’t play on as many seminal albums as Han Bennink, who established himself amongst jazz aficionados as the pioneering percussionist in Central Europe during the 60’s and 70’s, Sommer is known for his ability to create an infectious, quirky sense of rhythm through use of a lighter approach to the percussion, as opposed to the sonic aggression approach. For more proof, see 1988’s “Reserve” and 1982’s cult classic “Pica Pica,” both featuring Peter Brotzmann. It is exactly this style that Sommer brings to the table in this duo with Scottish reed master Raymond MacDonald. MacDonald first began producing material in the mid-90’s, but has blossomed in the new millennium, most notably as the co-leader of an ensemble with George Burt. On this album, MacDonald thrives thanks to a master a furiously squeaky style which perfectly compliments Sommer’s earthy, and subtly catchy percussion work.

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