FOURinONE - #40 Vienna & # 41 Bernbeuren, 2003
[X-OR / Field Recordings,
www.xs4all.nl/~xorluc]

Sometimes the best things come in small packages, or limited runs for that matter. This, the second recording by the German-Dutch quartet FourInOne comes in a limited run of only 500 copies, which in itself should be a crime punishable by law. [Luckily, their first recording "Stelen" on Random Acoustics is still widely available, and comes very highly recommended.] The quartet is made up of trombonist Johannes Bauer, tenor player Luc Houtkamp, bassist Dieter Manderscheid and percussionist Martin Blume. The title of the record refers to the 40th and the 41st concert the quartet has played live since its inception in late 1997. Right from the first notes played on this CD, you know FourInOne is a group that has an affinity for working with each other. Dieter's arco swings on his bass melt in with Johannes' gentle trombone attacks. These attacks however escalate to new levels, such as on "#40a", where Johannes Bauer gets entangled in a call-and-response battle with Luc Houtkamp on tenor. The sounds resemble those of duck-hunting calls. I love the intense, climax building crescendos created by bassist Dieter Manderscheid, which are then augmented ever so lightly by percussionist Martin Blume. Throughout an entire hour, the quartet never looses its fizzle. The results are more often than not, dazzling, which is what ultimately always contributes to a great listening experience. The only drawback to FourInOne's second CD is its limited run. Maybe next time around, someone will release an album everyone can get to hear.

Tom Sekowski


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