In Cahoots feat. Ingrid Laubrock

Frank Gratkowski – woodwinds and composition
Ingrid Laubrock – tenor and soprano saxophone
Philip Zoubek – piano, synthesizer
Robert Landfermann – bass
Dominik Mahnig – drums

After playing complete improvised music with no constraints from 2016 on and releasing their first Album “Torbid Dayligtht” the quartet “Gratkowski / Zoubek / Landfermann / Mahnig” got renamed in 2023 to “In Cahoots” and now perform compositions by Frank Gratkowski, still with plenty space for creative improvisation. In Cahoots also extends to a Quintet featuring Ingrid Laubrock on Tenor and Soprano Saxophones. The new Quintet version had it’s debut in Darmstadt 2023.

“Beneath the subatomic particle level, there are fibers that vibrate at different intensities. Different frequencies. Like violin strings. The physicists say that the particles we are able to see are the notes of the strings vibrating beneath them. If string theory is correct, then music is not only the way our brains work, as the neuroscientists have shown, but also, it is what we are made of, what everything is made of. These are the stakes musicians are playing for.”
T-Bone Burnett

 

upcoming concerts

 

22.04.2024 In Cahoots feat. Ingrid Laubrock
20:00

Frank Gratkowski – woodwinds and composition
Ingrid Laubrock – tenor and soprano saxophone
Philip Zoubek – piano, synthesizer
Robert Landfermann – bass
Dominik Mahnig – drums

Loft Wissmannstr. 30, 50823 Köln, DE
23.04.2024 In Cahoots feat. Ingrid Laubrock
20:00

Frank Gratkowski – woodwinds and composition
Ingrid Laubrock – tenor and soprano saxophone
Philip Zoubek – piano, synthesizer
Robert Landfermann – bass
Dominik Mahnig – drums

Kreuzung an St. Helena Bornheimer Straße 130, Bonn, DE
24.04.2024 In Cahoots feat. Ingrid Laubrock
20:00

Frank Gratkowski – woodwinds and composition
Ingrid Laubrock – tenor and soprano saxophone
Philip Zoubek – piano, synthesizer
Robert Landfermann – bass
Dominik Mahnig – drums

Loch Plateniusstr. 35, 42105 Wuppertal, DE

 

Roughmix from the first concert with Ingrid in Darmstadt 2023

01 Rotation
 
02 Madeleines
 
03 Passeggiata

04 Epitasis
 

Torbid Daylight critic

Gratkowski / Zoubek / Landfermann / Mahnig – Torbid Daylight (IMPAKT Köln, 2020)

Zoubek plays the piano in a quartet with Berlin-based reed player Frank Gratkowski (who teaches in a conservatory in Cologne, Zoubek and Gratkowski also collaborate in the quintet Shift), and fellow, Cologne-based, double bass player Robert Landfermann and drummer Dominik Mahnig (who also plays in Zoubek’s Trio). The quartet has performed sporadically since 2016 and its debut album was recorded at the Loft club in Cologne in February 2020. This quartet borrows guitarist-producer T-Bone Burnett’s description of string theory to describe its art: “Beneath the subatomic particle level, there are fibers that vibrate at different intensities. Different frequencies. Like violin strings. The physicists say that the particles we are able to see are the notes of the strings vibrating beneath them. If string theory is correct, then music is not only the way our brains work, as the neuroscientists have shown, but also, it is what we are made of, what everything is made of. These are the stakes musicians are playing for”.

The interplay of this free-improv quartet is intense, even in its most sparse and contemplative pieces, and stresses the strong-minded personalities of Gratkowski, Zoubek, Landfermann and Mahnig. Gratkowski is the natural leader of the quartet, even though all the pieces are credited to the four musicians, and he often sets the uncompromising, energetic tone and uncompromising course of the pieces. But Zoubek, Landfermann and Mahnig are ready for this roller coaster challenge. Zoubek shines on “First Echo”,where he takes the quartet into a series of poetic and lyrical conversations. He balances Gratkowski’s furious and muscular energy with elegant and playful gestures, especially on the last piece, the explosive “Catalyst” and the hidden, untitled piece, both demonstrate the strong, vibrating fibers that connect this quartet.

freejazzblock.org
By Eyal Hareuveni July 2021


The best free improvisation springs from elevated listening, quicksilver reaction, and a touch of telepathy. First-time encounters can be exciting, but too often politeness gets in the way of unfettered interaction. That’s part of the reason why the improvising quartet of pianist Philip Zoubek, reedist Frank Gratkowski, double bassist Robert Landfermann, and drummer Dominik Mahning delivers such deep music. As heard on the group’s 2020 album Torbid Daylight the musicians possess boundless trust with one another, providing a platform where anything can happen. While Gratkowski lives in Berlin, the others are part of the thriving Cologne scene, where the borders between free jazz and contemporary music have become increasingly porous. Most of the musicians are experienced bandleaders, and while they routinely display fiery confidence in their chance-taking, each participant has even more palpable understanding of working as part of an ensemble. There are no hierarchies, glib licks, or moments of meandering. Instead, the quartet members are spontaneous sound sculptors, anticipating, responding, and building with independence and cooperation. The quartet first worked together in 2016, and over the last six years its performances—to say nothing of connections they’ve strengthened with one another through other contexts —it has found a sweet spot between familiarity and discovery.

Peter Margasek