Frank Gratkowski (alto saxophone, clarinet, bass and contrabass clarinet)
Georg Graewe (piano)
John Lindberg (bass)

Red Toucan Records (RT 9320)

1. Arrears I
2. Arrears II
3. Arrears III
4. Arrears IV
5. Arrears V

All compositions by Gratkowski/Graewe/Lindberg
recorded live at Loft, Köln, Germany on April 11th, 2001

about this trio

I first met John Lindberg during a tour I did in November/December 2000. Georg Graewe had run into him in New York a few weeks before and mentioned that John was back in Detroit, and since I came thru I invited him to play. Our paths had never crossed, but he immediately agreed, when I called him up. So on a cold winter’s night on December 9, 2000 we found ourselves on stage at ENTROPY, Detroit and it turned out that we love playing together and that we have to continue . . . When John came to Europe the following spring I set up a trio concert with him and Georg at the LOFT in Cologne, the same place where my first duo concert with Georg had been recorded nine years before ( released as “VicessEtudes” on Random Acoustics). In fact, my collaboration with him goes back to 1990 when he hired me for his GRUBENKLANG ORCHESTRA (Lindberg had been in that band in 1985/ 86), and since 1997 I’ve been a regular member of THE GEORG GRAEWE QUARTET. Listening back to the tapes some six months after the show, I liked them so much, that I immediately decided they had to be released, and I’m very glad that Michel Passaretti shares my opinion. For me this recording documents a magical evening. Georg and John had not played together in almost 15 years and, as you can hear on this CD , they match perfectly from the first moment on. It is definitely one of the best examples of what I call instantly composed chamber music and I hope that this Trio will have a chance to continue.

At this point, I would like to thank Georg and John for making this beautiful music possible and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Frank Gratkowski
Köln, Germany, February 2002


This second outstanding Frank Gratkowski release on Red Toucan in recent times (after the magnificent “Kollaps”, RT 9317), featuring the clarinettist/saxophonist in a trio with pianist Graewe and bassist Lindberg, presents a different kind of energy from that usually associated with free jazz (centrifugal – musical ideas sent spinning out into space/time with near abandon); every flutter from Lindberg’s bass, splayed arpeggio and ornament from Graewe and arching phrase from Gratkowski seems to focus the attention inwards, while at the same time never losing sight of the larger architectural scheme of things. Instrumental virtuosity (not in short supply with these three musicians) is no longer a question of projecting outward, but rather spirals into the moment itself – the commitment is intense and the result thrilling. Genre definitions mean little – “Arrears” inhabits a space situated somewhere between free jazz and improv (not to mention contemporary classical: Graewe’s pianism owes as much to Aloys Kontarsky as it does to Cecil Taylor) – let’s just call this music. And very fine music it is too.

by Dan Warburton
“Paris Transatlantic Magazine”, July 2002

Review in “Jazz Weekly” by Ken Waxman

Review in “JAll About Jazz Italy” by Ermes Rosina (in italian)