DuH: Gratkowski/Mezei/Markos/Blume – In Just

Frank Gratkowski (alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet)
Szilárd Mezei (viola)
Albert Márkos (cello)
Martin Blume (drums, percussion)

Red Toucan Records (RT 9341)

1 In Just (10:55)
2 Spring (6:56)
3 Balloonman (6:29)
4 Mud-Luscious (4:01)
5 Hop-Scotch (6:34)
6 Jump-Rope (5:50)
7 Far and Wee (2:26)
8 Goat-Footed (10:19)

Music by Frank Gratkowski, Szilárd Mezei, Albert Márkos & Martin Blume
Recorded May 3, 2010 at LOFT, Cologne

In spring 2010, I was asked to form a project for the Festival ÒScene Ungarn in NRWÓ (Nordrhein-Westfalen – NRW is my home country in Germany). This was a great opportunity to contact again the hungarian cellist Albert Márkos with whom I played together only once at a Music Symposium in Copenhagen 15 years ago. NRW (and Berlin) based reed player Frank Gratkowski, with whom IÕm working regularly since end of the 80s (recently also in our actual group SHIFT), was the first choice for the NRW part of the group. Albert proposed right away the violist Szilárd Mezei with whom he collaborates in many other projects. The Quartet played 5 concerts and immediately the chemistry and musical communication of the group worked perfect, which made us decide to continue working as a steady group which we call DuH: D for Germany and H for Hungary. This recording is a documentation of our first concert.
– Martin Blume

„This quartet was organized by German drummer Martin Blume and it is indeed an intriguing line-up. I am a big fan of viola player Szilard Mezei who has more than a dozen discs out different labels (Leo, Slam, Not Two) as well as Frank Gratkowski, another great player with dozens of discs also on many labels. I am unfamiliar with cellist Albert Markos, although he has worked with Mezei in different projects.
Recorded at the Loft in Cologne in May of 2010 during a five concert tour by the DuH quartet. This is a strong improv session with excellent, thoughtful interplay. Some of this sounds like lower case improv but with a bit more quirky interaction. All of the instruments are acoustic and closely mic’d. When I take the time to concentrate on this music, I hear so much elastic interplay with intricate sounds and ideas flowing back and forth quickly. There are moments when it is difficult to tell who is doing what – is that a bowed cymbal or a bowed string or slightly twisted reed sound? It takes some patience to hear the arc or the almost imperceptible connection between all of the members of the quartet. The thing is that you know it’s there sometimes hidden, sometimes not so much.“
– Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery