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Conference Call
Copper Press review
Christian Carey
Jazz quartet Conference Call, comprised of saxophonist Gebhard Ullmann, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, seems to change record labels every album. Thankfully, one thing that they don't change on their third full length, Spirals: the Berlin Concert, is their prodigious level of playing.

Tracks like Schuller's "Comeuppance" brim with melodic interplay, with everyone imitating and trading motivic material. Ullmann’s composition, "Dreierlei," is a showcase for the saxophonist's soprano-playing, which encompasses everything from fierce squalls to panache-imbued flourishes. Stevens' "Little Pete's Diner" starts out conventionally enough as a sultry tango, but Ullmann has a bit of fun playing spoiler, bringing the dance over to the avant side of the equation with throaty rasps and wild runs. "No Hazmats" is a forceful extended piece, which gives each member a chance to solo, as well as supplying several stentorian tutti.  

Back to Spirals: The Berlin Concert album page.
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