Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Cecil Taylor-Gunter Sommer
Joe Pierre | Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's hard not to rate any of the six drum duets recorded during Cecil's extended gig in Berlin for the Total Music Meeting in 1988 with the full five stars. Each one offers something a little different and the playing and recording quality are consistently fantastic. On this disc, you certainly get the sense that CT and Gunter Sommer, on their first meeting here on Riobec (a few days before jumping over the wall to East Berlin for the PUUC concert on the In East Berlin 2CD set) were having some fun. And it's really Sommer who seems to be the humorist, bringing out some playfulness in CT.
Though Sommer's a more straight-ahead drummer than say Tony Oxley or Paul Lovens, he's got a pretty broad palette and range of textures. Within the first minute, it's Sommer that let's loose with a "Weeeee!!" as if to say "here we go!", and at other points, he makes full use of his drum-kit miscellani for a wide range of effects with CT responding in kind... On the first track (Riobec 1) at the 10-minute mark, Sommer's beating out a 4-note chime on the dangling organ pipes; at 16, CT's melodic playing and a yell herald forth Sommer's car horn blasting; then at 19 the organ pipes return with CT striking cluster chords to match. By the end, both of the guys are vocalizing on top of their playing to conclude the first half-hour of music. Aside from these percussive excursions, much of Sommer's drumming seems to entail actually keeping time (not exactly typical in the CT discography), whether he's riding a cymball, rolling on the snare, or beating the toms with an almost tribal urgency (though he frequently changes from one device to another). And CT seems to be more of the follower here -- echoing Sommer's rhythmic beats with punctuated staccato cluster attacks or 10-finger chord trills that have a shimmering effect. At the 7-minute mark on track 3 (Riobec 3), the audience intrudes with some applause and CT goes into some full-bore vocalisms and some actual phrases (poorly miked unfortunately) with Sommer gently working his cymbals and tubular bells -- something about Sommer seems to bring out the poet in CT (he does much the same on their East Berlin meeting). Again, the overall sense is a kind of joy and camaraderie -- on the final track, the most quiet and spacious number (Riobec 4), Sommer actually laughs aloud a few times and at the very end of the 74 minute concert CT's vocalese has a kind of mischief to it. Another great one from the Berlin series and certainly worth hearing."