/John Tchicai/Famoudou Don Moye.
Recorded live at the Praxis '85 Festival, Athens, Greece.
Contains 9 tracks.
Hartmut Geerken is far from being a household name even among the most knowledgeable new music aficionados, but this important reissue should do something to elevate his status. The very talented pianist is joined here by tenor saxophonist John Tchicai and percussionist Famoudou Don Moye for an explosive and totally engaging recording. Adding three important tracks to the original LP, this recording is alternatively (and simultaneously) raw, humorous, ethnic, and virtuosic. Geerken performs on nearly 30 "instruments" in addition to the piano, including Peking opera gongs, Afghan monkey drums, shortwave radios, and mokattam pot rattles. Tchicai lives up to his potential as a free player, with some absolutely riveting blowing, while Moye fulfills his reputation as a maven of percussion, with magnificent contributions on congas, bongos, and voice. The versions of Bird's "Mohawk" and Ayler's "Mothers" are classic. The somewhat less than perfect sound quality is hardly noticed. ~ Steven A. Loewy