Loft Exil V – Frank Gratkowski Project “Live at the 32nd New Jazz Festival Moers 2003”

Frank Gratkowski (alto saxophone, clarinet, bass and contrabass clarinet)
Tobias Delius (tenor saxophone, clarinet)
Herb Robertson (trumpet)
Wolter Wierbos (trombone)
Dieter Manderscheid (bass)
Wilbert DeJoode (bass)
Gerry Hemingway (drums)
Michael Vatcher (drums)

Leo Records (LR 410/411)

CD 1 (63’52)
1. The Morning Beckon 63’52

CD 2 (74’24)
1. There Could I Marvel 40’28
2. And the Mystery Sang Alive 22’33
3. Out of the Loom 9’45

all compositions by the musicians except “Out of the Loom” by Gratkowski
recorded live at the 32nd New Jazz Festival Moers (Germany) on June 7th (CD 1) and June 8th (CD 2) 2003 by Stefan Deistler. Mixed and mastered by Wolfgang Stach. Fron Cover design by Judith Wolf.

Loft Exil V

On the occasion of the 40th birthday of Frank Gratkowski in 2003, the Moers Jazz Festival and The LOFT cologne put together the Loft Exile V project in which Frank Gratkowski could realise his ideas Hans-Martin Müller wrote the following text in the programme.

Dear Frank, It’s hard to believe that you’re already 40. It only seems like yesterday I heard you for the first time in the large group put together by Mattias Bauer – I was the young founder of LOFT and you were a student at the Cologne Music Academy (I even had the honour of being in the Jury as you passed your exams with honours). For good 14 years we have been friends and like almost no other you have been the «LOFT-musician», not only because you released your first solo CD “Artikulationen” in my 2nd Floor label, but also through your position and advice which in a strong way influenced the music in this small factory hall of ours. Countless concerts and recordings give us a clear record of your enormous contribution to the LOFT. The LOFT was and still is your home and in a way needs you too because you have set new standards again and again with your own projects and with others.

This project now of yours is in a way a dream formation. With the exception of Tobias Delius who has not yet appeared in LOFT , all the musicians were involved in milestones in our concert history: Dieter Manderscheid – bass player in many LOFT projects and a dear and wise friend; Wilbert DeJoode – the man with the amazing handshake and even more amazing bass sound , he is mainly through you one of the most irreplaceable bass voices in LOFT. Gerry Hemmingway – first here 13 years ago with the Georg Graewe Trio and since then almost every year; Wolter Wierbos , the counterpoint in your Quartet ; Michael Vatcher, a fabulous drummer who appeared this year with «all ears» and Herb Robertson in LOFT. Herb was also on the Simon Nabatov recording made here in LOFT which received such high praise in all of the DOWNBEAT categories. And finally we can welcome Tobias Delius, perhaps after the Exile project it will also finally work in Cologne.

Dear Frank, some time ago the pianist John Taylor asked me «why do you do this, can you explain? It is not a matter of how, but why?» One answer is simply projects like this – they inspire me and give me the give me courage, confidence, and strength to continue. And they have given me a friend like Frank Gratkowski. I look forward to the three mornings in Moers.

H.M. Müller

1989 the flutist H.M. Müller founded the concert space LOFT in Cologne; since then more than 900 concerts have taken place. The LOFT has become as a well known and respected forum for improvised music. web: