Live in Wuppertal
01. Wolverine Blues 1:21
02. Payan 1:16
03. Bollocks 3:39
04. Yarrak 5:51
05. Bavarian Calypso 3:53
06. Out Of Burton Songbook 4:24
07. Solidaritätslied 1:17
08. Maniacs 22:30
Alto Saxophone, Bagpipes – Peter Bennink
Bass – J. B. Niebergall
Bass Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone – Peter Brötzmann
Drums – Paul Lovens
Flute, Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone – Michel Pilz
Flute, Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone – Gerd Dudek
Piano – Alex Schlippenbach
Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Evan Parker
Trombone – Günter Christmann, Paul Rutherford
Trumpet – Kenny Wheeler, Manfred Schoof
Tuba, Alphorn – Peter Kowald
Recorded March 25, 1973.
One of the earliest large-group endeavors attempted in the European free jazz movement, the Globe Unity Orchestra was founded by German pianist Alexander Von Schlippenbach in 1966, at first for the specific purpose of performing his composition "Globe Unity," which was commissioned for the Berliner Jazztage. Initially, the 19-piece orchestra combined saxophonist Peter Brotzmann's trio and trumpeter Manfred Schoof's quintet with a phalanx of other early giants of European free jazz (mostly from Germany); they included, among many others, trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, woodwind players Gunter Hampel and Willem Breuker, vibist Karl Berger, bassists Buschi Niebergall and Peter Kowald, and drummers Jaki Liebezeit (of the rock group Can) and Sven-Åke Johansson. The initial performance was a historic and rousingly cacophonous success, and Von Schlippenbach kept the group going, serving as its musical director for most of the next two decades. Naturally, the membership fluctuated quite a bit; by the early '70s, the group had more of a British presence, with players like guitarist Derek Bailey, saxophonist Evan Parker, and trombonists Malcolm Griffiths and Paul Rutherford, plus trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and drummer Han Bennink. Von Schlippenbach left for a bit in 1971, but returned the following year, and the group began playing outside of Germany more often beginning in 1974, which also marked the point at which more of their music was preserved on record (much of it on FMP). As the orchestra evolved, it relied less and less on structured arrangements, eventually becoming completely free. However, since a 20th-anniversary celebration and recording session, the group has mostly been silent.
A beautiful performance by the Globe Unity Orchestra captured at the height of their powers. From the rousing Jelly Roll Morton opener, to the monumental "Maniacs" that brings the roof down, Live in Wuppertal showcases the variety, versatility, and sheer joie de vivre that are the hallmarks of Globe Unity at their finest. John Litweiler called them "the most remarkable assembly of outside jazz talent since the AACM big bands that Muhal Richard Abrams used to lead in Chicago.