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In the mid-60s, trumpet and cornet player Manfred Schoof was leader one of the most important ensembles German jazz, a quintet with Alexander von Schlippenbach- pianist and composer of many of the group's pieces- saxophonist Gerd Dudek, bassist Buschi Niebergall, and drummer Jacky Liebezeit (later augmented by second drummer Sven-Ake Johansson). In '66, Schlippenbach conceived of the Globe Unity Orchestra as a meeting point for this quintet and the Peter Brötzmann Trio. Three years later, after the quintet had split up, Schoof himself convened a large ensemble for a radio project in Bremen. This orchestra drew its lineup from the increasingly interconnected web of the European free scene, with members of the quintet (Dudek, Niebergall, Schlippenbach), Brötzmann and his new trio with drummer Han Bennink and pianist Fred Van Hove, the constituent members of drummer Pierre Favre's ensembles (including bassists Peter Kowald and Arjen Gorter and pianist Irene Schweizer), their sometime associate Evan Parker and his countrymen Paul Rutherford and Derek Bailey, and fellow trumpeters Enrico Rava and Hugh Steinmetz from Italy and Denmark respectively.
The resulting piece revels in doubled and tripled instruments - how unusual, especially, to have three pianists in a group like this, not to mention three trumpets, three tenors and three bassists. Echoes across Europe (Germany, Holland, England, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Scandanavia), the resounding impact of new jazz and improvised music as it travels from country to country, region to region, scene to scene. A tape of the performance soon became the material for the debut of a new label based in Berlin: Free Music Production. The earliest issue of FMP 0010 sported a psychedelic logo and graphics that would eventually revamped in favor of the tough, bold design aesthetic of Brötzmann. But the seeds for the FMP initiative were sewn here, in this music, very much of-its-era but also strangely appropriate again now, more than 30-years later. European Echoes ringing afresh. - John Corbett, Chicago, May 2002