Thomas Borgmann | Wilber Morris | Denis “Jazz” Charles | Live in Poland | Not Two Records

nottwo records mw898-2

Thomas Borgmann – tenor, soprano sax, harmonica, ocarina | Wilber Morris – bass | Denis Charles – drums

Recorded March 9, 1998 @ Pinokio Club, Szczecin, Poland. Recorded by Stawomir Malej. Cover painting: “Three Free Birds” by Miriam Wuttke. Design by Andrzej Wojnowski. Mixed and mastered by Rafat Drewniany (dts studio). Liner notes by Pawet Baranowski. English translation by Philip Palmer

Tracklist:1. Bird Bath 33:14 (FMP-Publishing / Gema) 2. Nasty & Sweet 31:24 (FMP-Publishing / Gema) 3. One by One 9:15 Total time: 73:53

All compositions by Borgmann / Morris / Charles

I feel obliged out of journalistic duty to mention

that this material being released by Not Two Records will already be familiar to the few who possess “Live in Poland”, a double album vinyl release issued by Italian label Sagittarius A-Star in 2010 (cat. no. #5). These two records document a concert which took place on 9 March 1998 at the Pinokio club in Szczecin. The contents of the Italian and Polish releases are slightly different. All four sides of the Italian release were each comprised of one recording. The first record contained “Nasty & Sweet” in two parts while the second contained “Bird Bats” and “One by One”. On the newly issued silver disc, a slightly shortened version of the complete “Nasty & Sweet” separates the tracks which were previously to be found on the A and B sides of the second Italian LP.

The chance has passed for us to directly experience the BMC Trio live. It’s a real shame that Wilber Morris and Dennis Charles are no longer with us, but at least they have left us their music.

For me, the BMC Trio were one of those groups that were living proof that in music there simply are no borders. Two representatives of the last generation of American musicians born before the Second World War and a German representative of the first generation of musicians to be born afterwards. Different experiences, different backgrounds. Raised in different environments. Nonetheless, for the umpteenth time music is able to show us that, apart from mathematics, it is the only truly universal language.

When Borgmann, Morris and Charles came onstage, there were never any divisions. All that could be heard was how perfectly these three musicians communicated with each other in order to present listeners with their personal vision of jazz – their music. And although it would be quite possible to trace allusions in their music to artists of the past, I don’t think there’s any need to do this.

It’s difficult not to notice that practically all the recordings by the BMC Trio – not counting “Stalker Songs”, a quartet recording with Peter Brotzmann (CIMP #160) – were made at concerts. Even those few (including “Stalker Songs) that were made in the studio were recorded live. Like all great jazz, the BMC Trio’s compositions were created within a specific space and time. It doesn’t matter at all that these same compositions were played during concerts. Just how different these compositions can be when performed in different live situations can be clearly heard by comparing, for example, “Nasty & Sweet” performed in concert in Wels in 1997 (recorded for “Boom Swing”, Konnex KCD 5082) with the version from the concert in Pinokio or the trio’s final recorded concert (“The Last Concert – Dankeschb’n”, Silkheart SHCD 151).

In my humble opinion, the BMC Trio always stood out for the honesty of their musical statements. Three musicians united onstage in a musical embrace resulting in the birth of music in a definite space and time. The alteration of a single element would change everything. The butterfly effect in action. I think it would be wrong to forget another essential piece in the jigsaw, namely the audience. It’s sometimes said that within a jazz context they almost amount to an additional musician. In the case of Borgmann, Morris and Charles, I always got the impression that they were by no means indifferent to the way their music was received by audiences.

This type of interaction requires openness from both parties: musicians and listeners. Since we are unable to make any impact on a recording that has already been made, let’s try to influence the birth of this music within ourselves.

For they say that jazz is music of the soul. And they happen to be right, for soul and heart are needed to play it. But soul and heart are also needed to listen to it. So, when listening to these recordings, let’s try to open out both our souls and hearts to this music. But let’s also allow it to lift us and mark my words, every time you listen to it, it will be different. This should be much easier, because the BNC Trio play in a manner that is far from formulaic. Imagine a kind of musical kaleidoscope. Turning it in a certain direction would change the whole structure. Returning back is practically impossible. So, with every listening something different can be experienced, something different can be felt. Every time it can sound different.

But the most wonderful form of reception arises somewhere in the interaction between musician and listener. Or listener and musician. What I would like to encourage you to do is to transfer these experiences to the privacy of your own home. It may well work. Of course the recording will continue to be a recording. It is no longer possible to influence the nature of the actual sounds reaching our ears. Yet if music is also a question of reception, if it is also born within us as listeners, then anything is possible. Including active listening to music recorded on album. — Liner notes by Pawel Baranowski. English translation by Philip Palmer

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

$ 16.00
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MP3 version (104.78MB zip download)

$ 9.00

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