Book

by RÜDIGER CARL

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    Wondrous, wildly diverse, and purely enjoyable collection, Book showcases Rüdiger Carl's work with various ensembles over two decades. These compact tunes are full of beauty, humor, and inventive twists. Lovely versions of Henry Mancini, gonzo revisions of Monk, oddball takes on My Favorite Things and Pharaoh Sanders, compelling sound collages, swinging free jazz, tuneful electronic whatsits, and much, much more. Miniature masterpieces throughout. Highly recommended!
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credits

released November 4, 1998

REVIEWS

Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD: 4 Stars
All Music Guide: 4 ½ Stars

"One of the most wily and most inventive figures on the German free music scene has to be Rüdiger Carl. His principal instruments are accordion and clarinet; he is, to say the least, a curious bandleader. This retrospective of Carl's projects reveals an almost unbelievable range of musical adventure, and perhaps even genius. None of the pieces is over six-and-a-half minutes in length, and the recording is thus easy to digest in small bites or large ones. This set is arguably the finest introduction to group improvisation or "free" music. If you are a Cowws fan, then this is essential; if you are looking for an emotional way in to a musical place you can't wrap your head around, this is definitely it. A truly inspiring collection."
- All Music Guide

"Book offers a sort of retrospective of the music Carl has been involved in over the last two decades. The cuts range from a 1977 trio with Schweizer and Louis Moholo to pieces recorded in 1996 with the amateur artist/musician group Jailhouse. With 46 short pieces spread over 2 CDs, this serves as a sketchbook, scrapbook of Carl’s widely divergent musical interest. Culled from previously released albums, private recordings, concert tapes, and practice sessions, there is everything from abstract, collective free improvisation to crooning standards to waltzes to folkish melodies to Ellington covers to skewed rock tunes to searing free Jazz. Roughly one third of the pieces are with the collective Cowws Quintet which proves to be one of Carl’s most fertile associations. This is a group that can gently sweep along with a lilting waltz, deliver a convincingly heartfelt tribute to Jimmy Guiffre, crash along with a stuttering, rockish abandon, or freely improvise with a startlingly abstract counterpoint. The addition of the skewed vocals of Mayo Thomson on many of the Cowws cuts adds a sense of dada theatre in stark juxtaposition to the more intricate musical underpinnings. An early incarnation of the September Band is represented by a half-dozen selections. Here, Carl’s wheezing accordion and snaking clarinet is paired with Reichel’s sighing and grunting daxophone over the propulsive rhythms of two basses. This is contrasted with goofy splayed readings of “My Favorite Things” or “Ituri Forest” with cheap samples and stuttering electric keyboards looped and stretched. Duets with Reichel, odd one-off bands, and even a sonorous reading of “Moonlight Becomes You”, with Lol Coxhill crooning over the smoky backing of Carl, von Schlippenbach, Oliver and Johansson are scattered over the two discs along with solo accordion, clarinet, and piano pieces that offer a glimpse at Carl’s instrumental mastery. With most pieces flying by at the 2-4 minute range, these CDs are like a dizzying musical kaleidoscope."
- Cadence

"Book is so diverse as to resist any simple listing or description of its contents, so varied that it might be perfect to recommend to someone who doesn’t have any other CDs or for inclusion in a time capsule as ersatz representation of “twentieth century music”. It might be one man’s dream (collectively realized) of a radio show, jump-cutting from perfectly executed antique waltzes suitable for a hotel ballroom to solo piano reharmonizations of the Saints to the wall of free jazz tenor: Those 46 tracks range in length with few over 3 minutes, and many are minor masterpieces. The shortest is a conventional quintet reading of Monk’s Misterioso with voice and lyrics by Mayo Thompson about a chess tournament involving human masters and computers that manages to end with the phrase, “who is also the chess columnist for the New York Times”. The longest, as Monkish in manner (thanks to the piano of Alexander von Schlippenbach), is Moonlight Becomes You, featuring a vocal by Lol Coxhill before a noisy and distracted audience. There are direct invocations of assorted “world” musics and the jazz tradition from Ellington to Pharoah Sanders."
- Coda

"Carl is a folk musician in the best sense of the word. Seldom in the spotlight himself, he is content to play a supporting role in whatever music is required for a given situation, whether that means supplying a seductive tenor sax obbligato behind Lol Coxhill warbling the old Bing Crosby hit “Moonlight Becomes You”, or creating a sandpaper-like texture from his accordion on an abstract textural exploration. Behind those suspenders beats the heart of a rogue sound manipulator. Book is like a snapshot album of the years 1977-96, showing us Carl in his element – a strange world of casual humor and serious sound experiments spiked with a healthy dose of dada, where a lush chanson version of Ellington’s “Prelude To A Kiss” coexists with noisy lo-fi analogue overdubbing, cheesy drum machines, and wickedly enthusiastic free soloing. For Carl, there seems to be no difference between a gentle clarinet blues dedicated to Jimmy Giuffre, a cubist collision of electronic and acoustic timbres, or an environmental study of room echoes – it’s all just music. These two CDs are crammed with brief historical vignettes, documenting unrecorded groups like Irène’s Hot Four (Schweizer, Carl, the late South African bassist Johnny Dyani, and Dutch drum hooligan Han Bennink) and a provocative 1979 trio with Hans Reichel on violin and Maarten Altena on cello, as well as several collaborations with The Red Crayola’s Mayo Thompson, a single piece with Einstürzende Neubauten’s Andrew Unruh, and the rotating membership of Carl’s own September Band and Cowws."
- The Wire

"Carl’s been making improvised music since 1968, and while his primary instrument is the accordion, what really shines is his attitude: He’s incredibly experimental and open-minded. Miniature improvisations abound that take their cue from Darius Milhaud’s mini-symphonies and operettas – called the pocket improvisations – done with jangly fuzzed-out electric guitar, violin and accordions. This set is great fun, packed with great playing – a winning example of the idea that you don’t have to sacrifice anything. On the contrary, the more the merrier – as long as it’s done with humor and sensitivity, something many purists could learn from."
- New York Press


BOOK First part

1 Cowws Quintett with Mayo Thompson & Lars Rudolph:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Arjen Gorter: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano
Mayo Thompson: vocal, electric guitar
Lars Rudolph: electric guitar

2 Cowws Quintett:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano

3 September Band:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Hans Reichel: guitar, daxophone
Jay Oliver: double bass
Paul Lovens: percussion

4 Irène's Hot Four II:
Rüdiger Carl: tenor saxophone
Irène Schweizer: piano
Johnny Dyani: double bass
Han Bennink: drums

5 Cowws Quintett with Mayo Thompson:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano
Mayo Thompson: vocal

6 Cowws Quintett with Mayo Thompson:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano
Mayo Thompson: vocal

7 Cowws Quintett:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano

8 Rüdiger Carl: two accordions played simultaneously

9 Jailhouse:
Rüdiger Carl: keyboards
Albert Oehlen: synthesizer
Markus Oehlen: drum-machine

10 Rüdiger Carl Solo

11 Cowws Quintett with Mayo Thompson:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano
Mayo Thompson: drum-machine

12 Main Quartet:
Rüdiger Carl: clarinet
Burkhard Kunkel: clarinet
Annemarie Roelofs: trombone
Uta Schirmer: violin

13 Buben:
Rüdiger Carl: concertina
Hans Reichel: violin

14 Cowws Quintett:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano

15 Carl/Schweizer/Sommer:
Rüdiger Carl: tenor saxophone
Irène Schweizer: piano
Günter Sommer: drums

16 Jailhouse:
Rüdiger Carl: keyboards
Albert Oehlen: synthesizer
Markus Oehlen: drum-machine

17 Cowws Quintett:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano

18 Cowws Quintett with Mayo Thompson
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano
Mayo Thompson: drum-machine

19 Rüdiger Carl: piano solo

20 Buben:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion
Hans Reichel: daxophone

21 Carl/Schweizer/Moholo:
Rüdiger Carl: tenor saxophone
Irène Schweizer: piano
Louis Moholo: drums

22 Cowws Quintett:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano

23 Cowws Quintett with Mayo Thompson:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano
Mayo Thompson: vocal

24 September Band:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion clarinet
Hans Reichel: guitar, daxophone
Matthias Bauer: double bass
Paul Lovens: percussion

---

BOOK Second part

25 Wiener Buben:
Rüdiger Carl: tenor saxophone
Hans Reichel: violin
Maarten Altena: double bass

26 Carl/Sachse/Unruh:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion
Joe Sachse: guitar
Andrew Unruh: tubing

27 Cowws-Quintett:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano

28 Carl & Thompson:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion
Mayo Thompson: drum-machine, vocal, guitar

29 Jailhouse:
Rüdiger Carl: keyboards
Albert Oehlen: synthesizer
Markus Oehlen: drum-machine

30 Rüdiger Carl: clarinet solo

31 Irene's Hot Four II:
Rüdiger Carl: tenor saxophone
Irène Schweizer: piano
Johnny Dyani: double bass
Han Bennink: drums

32 Cowws-Quintett:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wottwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano

33 Cowws-Quintett with Mayo Thompson & Lars Rudolph:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano
Mayo Thompson: electric guitar, drum-machine
Lars Rudolph: electric guitar

34 Cowws-Quintett with Lupa Herz:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano
Lupa Herz: vocal

35 Cowws-Quintett:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Jay Oliver: double bass
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Stephan Wittwer: electric guitar
Irène Schweizer: piano

36 Main Quartet:
Rüdiger Carl: clarinet
Burkhard Kunkel: clarinet
Annemarie Roelofs: trombone
Uta Schirmer: violin

37 September Band:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Hans Reichel: guitar, daxophone
Matthias Bauer: double bass
Paul Lovens: percussion

38 Jailhouse:
Rüdiger Carl: keyboards
Albert Oehlen: synthesizer
Markus Oehlen: drum-machine

39 Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Hans Reichel: guitar, daxophone
Matthias Bauer: double bass
Paul Lovens: percussion

40 Gaga Rap with Quicca
Rüdiger Carl: voice & quicca/solo

41 Night and Day with Lol Coxhill:
Rüdiger Carl: tenor saxophone
Alexander von Schlippenbach: piano
Jay Oliver: double bass
Sven-Åke Johansson: drums
Lol Coxhill: vocal, soprano saxophone

42 September Band:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Hans Reichel: guitar, daxophone
Jay Oliver: double bass
Paul Lovens: percussion

43 Rüdiger Carl: piano solo

44 Bergisch-Brandenburgisches Quartett:
Rüdiger Carl: reeds
Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky: reeds
Hans Reichel: guitar
Sven-Åke Johansson: drums, accordion, voice

45 September Band:
Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet
Hans Reichel: guitar, daxophone
Matthias Bauer: double bass
Paul Lovens: percussion

46 Dedication piece for the Kassel water organ players at the cinema Kaskade. The water of the Black Forest Mühlebach flows into the Danube via the Brigach

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