Pata Music

Pata Music or the Concept of Composed Spheres

If you want to know the meaning of “pata” you will have to learn that your dictionary stubbornly refuses to reveal any information in this respect. To illuminate the origin of the little word we need a short literary excursion into the fascinating world of Doctor Faustroll. Because it was he who in 1898 under the overall control of the French Alfred Jarry created the expression of ” pata physics “. In the epilogue of the German edition (Alfred Jarry, Heldentaten und Ansichten des Doctor Faustroll, Pataphysiker; Publisher: Zweitausendeins) the translater Klaus Völker gives the following definition: ” Pata physics is the science which is based on unreal logic and a new reality beyond the borders of the world of external appearences removed from the usual principles of causality. Everything is able to be mixed up, to be changed, to be turned around and exchanged: things, times and spaces. But nothing is arbitrary, only that every simplicity consists of an interrelated and self-penetrating complexity.”

Following Jarry ´s word creation, the saxophone player Norbert Stein, who lives near Cologne, derived some years ago the name Pata Musik establishing the collective term ” pata ” as a constant which should offer the listener a basis of identification of the composer-musician ´s different projects. …

The changes of casts in every single Pata group may be compared to the rich variety of the resulting programs. To transpose his diverse musical ideas into acts worth listening to Norbert Stein chooses always top-class co-musicians from the colourful and creative Cologne scene … none of them a musical leight weight, who may – within the given frame of Pata Musik – keep their creative licence. Norbert Stein is not interested in an egocentric self-portrayal, instead he turns his attention to the component of composing. In this respect he likes to talk about ” composed spheres ” which he creates, i.e. he creates a certain atmosphere for the players wherein they are allowed to be soloists. Very few passages of his pieces are arranged in detail, thus leaving much room for spontaneity and authentic interactions. Not least thanks to this Pata Musik presents refreshingly sparkling, thrilling and charming moments. The music is permanently developing, the committment of the individual becomes comprehensible and, thanks to the arising contrasts the listener ´s ear will really be sensitized.

The Pata Musik is full of surprises and phrases, it is open to all sorts of influences, it tears down fences of seemingly contradictory idioms and, coming from jazz improvisation it builds up something new and exiting. Joerg Eipasch, Jazzpodium


Code Carnival

Norbert Stein / tenorsaxophone, composition, Michael Heupel / flutes, Thomas Heberer / trumpet, Frank Gratkowski / clarinet, Matthias Muche / trombone, Christopher Dell / vibraphone, Achim Tang / double bass, Klaus Mages / drums.

Tracklist: 1. Code carnival – 2. Raga vom einfachen Leben (Raga of an ordinary life) – 3. Bersten in rot (Bursting in red) – 4. Liquid bird – 5. Monks – 6. Frozen Kakadu – 7. Sing a pure song – 8. Sterntagebuecher (Star diaries) – 9. Ballade von Zounds! und Pox! (Ballad of Zounds! and Pox!) – 10. Just brave in a brain.

German tenor saxophonist

and bandleader Norbert Stein has been fronting his Pata Generators for many years. With a divergent discography and solid European following, he may loom as one of the best kept secrets in American jazz circles.

There’s nothing that intimates a hint of sheepishness about this octet’s in-your-face mode of operations. Estimable jazz musicians/improvisers, clarinetist Frank Gratkowski and bassist Achim Tang contribute mightily to this dense fabric of sound, where blaring horns and subliminal traces of Ornette Coleman come to fruition.

The soloists often partake in drawling unison lines, touched with linearly executed choruses and spiraling movement, where climbing a ladder in methodical fashion comes to mind. The band’s rough and tumble disposition is framed with layered flutes, colorific vibes, pathos and excitement. Stein’s fluid yet brawny tenor work commandeers the ensemble’s burgeoning rhythmic flow, spotted with catchy thematic opuses and sojourns, amid jaunts to the free-zone. Nonetheless, this octet boasts a massive yet expertly-arranged sound, counterbalanced with fluid and free-spirited improvisational structures. With these notions in mind, Stein also incorporates shades of Ellington into a frisky group-based methodology where anything is liable to occur. But the main component resides within the band’s singular musical identity. Again, it seems like an indignity of sorts, that his music is not widely-known here in North America. — Glenn Astarita

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Pata Java

The Pata Masters are: Norbert Stein / tenor saxophone, Michael Heupel / flutes, sub-contra-bassflute, Klaus Mages / drums, Matthias von Welck / bass-slitdrums, deep mallets, Christoph Hillmann / electronics. The Kua Etnika are: Djaduk Ferianto / Srompet, Kendang, vocal, Beduk, Klunthung, Kemanak, Ketipung, Krincing, Triangle, Shaker, Purwanto / Bonang, Klunthung, Calung, Rebana, Rebab, Kemanak, vocal, Suwarjiyo / Demung, Klunthung, Rebana, Demung, vocal, Suharjono / Saron, Klunthung, Calung, Rebana, Siter, vocal, Fredy Pardiman / Saron, Klunthung, Rebana, Rebab, vocal, Wardoyo / Peking, Krincing, Kendang, Rebana, Klunthung, vocal, Sukoco / Gender, Kendang, Calung, Ketipung, Beduk, Sony Suprapto / Kempul, Gong, Beduk, Rebana, vocal.

Tracklist: 1. Sing a pure song – 2. Jiwa – 3. Dialog – 4. Speak yomm – 5. Juzzla Juzzli – 6. Code Carnival – 7. Cublak Cublak Suweng – 8. Sound theatre of Tukang Pijad – 9. Wulang Sunu

Saxophonist Norbert Stein

delivers another installment in his multi-cultural explorations combining Jazz with the folk music of indigenous cultures. A previous trip to Indonesia exposed Stein to the region´s bountiful Gamelan tradition and plans were made to record a cross-cultural collaboration. PATA JAVA documents this recording session with Djaduk Ferianto and his KUA ETNIKA Gamelan ensemble. Combining Gamelan with Western Jazz concepts is not an entirely new idea as artists such as Henry Threadgill, James Newton, Roscoe Mitchell, George Lewis and others have have all made trips to the exotics East to collaborate with the masters of ancient musical traditions.

An adherent to the music theory of Pata Music, Stein and his collaborators make a strong case for the theory´s adaptability. Pata Music is “the science of imaginary solutions (which) defines the way to gain knowledge avoiding the rigorous rules of reason and tradition, without disrespecting them”. Thus, Stein is able to incorporate genres as alien to Jazz as Gamelan into the tradition without disrupting the core genre´s principal function: creative improvisation of harmonic and rhythmic invention.

Stein´s electro-acoustic quintet pairs up with the Gamelan ensemble for pieces both rhythmically dense and melodic spartan. There are a few moments of respite, featuring delicate flute and percussion work, primarily during the introductory phases of some longer tracks. For the most part however, this is an exploration of continuous and dense rhythm. One would expect the repetive rhythmic patterns of traditional Gamelan music to make for tedious listen over an hour´s duration, but Stein and company contribute a distinctly Western rhythmic element to the mix as well: Funk.

A plethora of percussive effects are utilized by the Gamelan orchestra and everything from chanting to Jews Harp makes an appearance. As leader, Stein plays with a muscular tenor tone that stays just ahead of the massive ensemble, and the pieces never seem to overstay their welcome. For an interesting merger of Eastern and Western traditions PATA JAVA may be just the sonic vacation intrepid listeners need. — Troy Collins

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Graffiti Suite

Thorsten Benkenstein / trumpet, Ingolf Burkhardt / trumpet, Claus Stoetter / trumpet, Michael Leuschner / trumpet, Philipp Kacza, trumpet, Fiete Felsch / alto saxophone, clarinet, recorder, Peter Bolte / alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, Christoph Lauer / tenor saxophone, flute, Lutz Buechner / tenor saxophon, clarinet, flute, Frank Delle / bariton saxophone, bassclarinet, flute, Markus Steinhauser / tenor saxophone, Gabriel Coburger / tenor saxophone, Dan Gottshall / trombone, Sebastian Hoffmann / trombone, Stefan Lottermann / trombone, Ingo Lahme / bass trombone, tuba, Christophe Schweizer / trombone, Stephan Diez / guitar, Lucas Lindholm / double bass, Vladyslav Sendecki / piano, Marcio Doctor / percussion, Mark Nauseef / drums, Norbert Stein / composition, conductor.

CD 1 Tracklist: 1. Franz Pataeng (Part I to IV) – 2. U.B.U. ( – 3. Music in 7 houses (First to Seventh house)

Franz Pataeng’s powerful sound sculptures

at the opening of the GRAFFITI SUITE are the first of many unconventional locations in this extraordinary musical excursion. A hailstorm of shattering chords crowns the end of the first movement and the dramatic culmination of the five-part suite is a torrent of pulsating jazz rhythms.

In U.B.U. the melody soars up out of the dark-tone morass like a human utterance, and the masterly harmonics of the experienced horn players demonstrate their natural instinct for the sound of contemporary horn sections. A bubbling stream of modern jazz rhythms flows into dense blocks of collective improvisation which offer occasional glimpses of the musical oases which can be created by spontaneously formed ensembles.

The sequence of sound pictures in Music in 7 houses invites us to meditate on time, individuality, and the natural simultaneity of European and non-European aesthetics.

CD 2 Tracklist: 1. Flocking birds (The mountain/Purgatory of vowels/Birds´flight) – 2.  Hot spots, Tai Chi & More (Global positions/Machine people/Zigzag Aethernitas)

The mountain in Flocking birds

is a slow, winding ascent between reverberating rock faces. In Birds´flight we experience the auditory transformation of a swarm of birds in flight. Machine People continues the musical box theme in a pleasantly relaxing groove.

In their performance of the GRAFFITI SUITE premiere, the NDR Bigband shows itself exceptionally open to the adventure of contemporary music. In Hot spots, Thai Chi and More, Norbert Stein guides the band away from instrumental music into the realm of music as the spoken word. In Purgatory of vowels, the choir is the vocal backdrop against which the instrumental solos can unfold.

grafische NotationGRAFFITI SUITE is the eighteenth Pata Music release and cleverly combines the proficiency and potency of a big band with Norbert Stein’s trans-boundary innovativeness.

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