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Pakistani Pomade (1972)
Alexander Von, Trio Schlippenbach
Pakistani Pomade (1972)
Genres: Jazz, Pop


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CD Details

All Artists: Alexander Von, Trio Schlippenbach
Title: Pakistani Pomade (1972)
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Original Release Date: 1/1/1972
Re-Release Date: 3/31/2009
Album Type: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Avant Garde & Free Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 735286224023, 669910026267

CD Reviews

Free improv from the days when anything seemed possible
R. Hutchinson | a world ruled by fossil fuels and fossil minds | 07/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Thanks to John Corbett and the Unheard Music series on the Atavistic label, the first recording of the Schlippenbach Trio is finally released on CD. PAKISTANI POMADE is an FMP Archive Edition -- the original 1973 LP was on the German FMP label, one of its first few releases. The cover drawing of "The Filthy Trio" is by Alex Schlippenbach's then very young son.

This is dynamic and beautiful music, definitely flowing from the energy music of the late Coltrane and Cecil Taylor -- imagine a trio of Coltrane, Taylor and Rashied Ali and you'll be in the right ballpark, despite the fact that both the English and German free improv schools had been developing for several years by 1972 when this recording was made. Evan Parker mainly plays tenor, and his unique voice on the soprano sax was still several years away. It's not just high-volume, high-intensity blowing, though, there are loads of creative twists, including Parker vocalizing through his mouthpiece and what sounds like Schlippenbach playing the inside of his piano.

The CD reissue includes four alternative takes of the title track, in addition to the 8 original pieces. The original LP jacket is reproduced, which includes an array of 12 photos, and several more larger photos are included as well, retrieved from the archives. Given the negligible distribution that FMP must have had in the U.S. in 1973, I doubt more than a tiny handful of U.S. listeners would be replacing their vinyl with this disc. For virtually all of us it is our first chance to hear this incredible music!

For me, this music carries the spirit of those days when anything seemed possible. In the context of the Vietnam War, the nuclear superpower face-off, and a divided Germany, the uprisings of 1968 continued in the form of powerful, diverse movements of the Left, a planetary youth movement. This free music was part of that larger Movement for freedom, and it is energizing to hear it 30 years later."
Vintage Free Improv
hj | London | 01/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The European free improv scene has generally revolved around temporary collaborations. Longstanding groups are rare and the Schlippenbach Trio must be the longest running group of all, still going strong today. Their 1972 debut album for the FMP label has therefore had a reputation way beyond those who actually heard the hard to get vinyl release. So this CD reissue has a lot to live up to. Thankfully it doesn't disappoint.

There are a few tracks employing squeaks and scraping and even some Mongolian-style growling/throat singing. But aside from these interludes and by the standards of early 70s free improv, PAKISTANI POMADE is located unashamedly within a "jazz" lineage. Schlippenbach attacks the piano with pointillist flourishes and dramatic atonal clusters, a very European romantic/expressionist take on the Cecil Taylor approach. At a time when other drummers were dispensing with standard kits and bashing found objects, Paul Lovens sticks to a relatively conventional kit and plays relatively recognizable rhythms within an approach presumably derived from Sunny Murray and Ed Blackwell. And Evan Parker's sax solos show links to Coltrane, Pharoah and particularly, in the gruff tone, Archie Shepp.

Perhaps the most striking feature is that this is free improv which really does sound like "instant composing". There is a sense of logic and architecture. Each piece has its own identity. Such "compositional" structure is immanent and organic in the playing of each musician - there are no melodic/thematic frame devices of the type you get on the two CBS Oxley Group albums (or with Ornette, Trane etc). Instead it is as if each musician has a set of sustained compositional ideas that can be put into play or into juxtaposition at any moment.

Well done Atavistic for their brilliant programme of reissuing vintage free improv. PAKISTANI POMADE is a real gem with bonus tracks and nicely packaged with new photos and facsimile sleeve / disc. I wholeheartedly agree with the other reviewers - essential!"
A dark, abstract and aggressive piece of music.
Chris 'raging bill' Burton | either Kent or Manchester, United Kingdom | 03/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"When I first heard this I was very intrigued to say the least. Its an intense piece of work and one that would take me a long time to appreciate. To be honest, I thought it was noisy to the point of being irritating at first, but my curiousity never died so I carried on listening to see if I would 'get it' (or at least to see if my curiousity would die off so I could shelve it). Fortunately, what happened was the former.

The music is devoid of melody and obvious rhythm, meaning that the tag of being 'free' music is well deserved. Frighteningly fast, abrasive piano work, screeaming saxophone solos and random, aggressive percussion (albeit on a fairly standard kit) all seemlessly blended together to create a cacaphonous wall of noise. Pakistani Pomade is certainly not for the faint of heart or the narrow minded and someone buying this expecting traditional jazz or avant-garde prog rock will be very disappointed.

It does require some patience to fully appreciate this album, especially if, like me, you are fairly unfamiliar with jazz and avant-garde. Hopefully though, again like me, your curiousity will prove stronger than your gut reaction so that you can really soak this album up and appreciate it for the chaotic, spontaneous madness it is."