Music good 88.
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Lo-lee-ta - Music on Nabokov
Franz Koglmann has been mixing the charms and mysteries of classical music with jazzy flights of fancy - the so called "third stream" genre - for many a moon now. As a composer and trumpeter-flugelhorn player, the 61-year-old Austrian has mixed it with the likes of pianist Paul Bley, bassist Gary Peacock and British avant garde guitarist Derek Bailey, to mention but a few.
However, while to the less enlightened ear third stream works may sometimes sound a mite oblique, there is very little Koglmann does without his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. This was certainly in evidence at with the world premiere of his latest work, Lo-lee-ta - Music on Nabokov, at Vienna's sumptuously appointed ORF RadioKulturhaus. The work was performed by Koglmann and his long-standing Monoblue Quartet, featuring Austrian bass player Peter Herbert, British guitarist Ed Renshaw and iconic British reedman Tony Coe.
It was principally Coe who provided tasty tidbits for the more jazz-oriented members of the packed audience, reeling off bebop hooks and cool and bluesy riffs with his customary elegant ease. In between, there were darker moments which conjured up monochrome 1940s urban jungle images, interspersed with sporadic velvety free-for-alls.
As is his wont, Koglmann has woven a multitude of layered textures and colors into Lo-lee-ta, with the added and highly entertaining value of playful and mutually nutritious tÃªte-Ã -tÃªtes between varying instrumental pairings. At times, Renshaw and Coe tossed little airs to and fro between them, while at others Herbert produced dark gravelly bowed statements, which Koglmann hungrily snapped up and blew up to the outer reaches of the stratosphere on his trumpet.
More than anything, Koglmann is a storyteller with a smile.