NORBERT STEIN PATA MASTERS
An earthy euphonic rhythm is made by the big slitted wooden bass drums. And the ensemble plays the bass with one of the rarest sub-double-bass flute built world-wide.
The wooden drums, the expanded percussion and cyberworld-streams of electronically generated sound-events create a rhythm over which arcades of exciting wind melodies are laid and in which Pata Music shows its art of improvisation.
What is Patamusic?
Norbert Stein and his innovative Pata Masters quintet play in the vaulted cellar of the Darmstadt jazz institute.
Imaginary solutions? Respectfully circumventing rules and traditions? King Ubu? Norbert Stein, appearing at the "Jazztalk" concert in the basement of the Darmstadt jazz institute, offers a bizarre and baffling explanation for the meaning of the word "Pata", which actually goes back to Alfred Jary's poetic invention "Pataphysik", and which Stein himself has long sported as his trademark in a way reminiscent of Kurt Schwitter and the syllable "merz".
Less whimsical is the music itself. Three percussionists create a densely rich cushion of sound for the clear-cut solos and motifs of the two horn players - Norbert Stein on the tenor saxophone and Michael Heupel on the flute (he has three of them) - playing the themes in unison or parallel.
Sometimes the flute is used percussively too: for example, when Michael Heupel plays his bass flute with his own vocalization, producing a powerful duo. Or when he unlocks the overtone spectrum of his enormous sub-contra bass flute, letting tender chords flutter softly above the rumbling sub-tones.
Matthias von Welck's slit drums evoke both melody and rhythm, and the subdued power of his ostinato deep-tone patterns can be felt almost viscerally. Gamelans and gongs are sensitively integrated, giving gentle hints of exoticism without overstatement.
Moments of tumult characterize Christoph Hillmann's electronic percussion, but these are always grounded in the rhythm, their lines sometimes piercing, sometimes infusing, sometimes bursting out of the musical interplay. In this percussive constellation, drummer Klaus Mages is the one least departing from his rhythmical terrain, which he has no need to do, sitting as he does in the middle of the group, drawing the strands smoothly together into a sonorous ribbon of clarity and controlled restlessness.
Norbert Stein is not only the musical mastermind behind this astonishing combination of materials, idioms and beats, but a brilliant tenor saxophone player and gifted dramatist. His solos always build on a single melodic thought, which they pursue relentlessly, spinning and weaving around it. In so doing, the entire history of the tenor-saxophone in American and European jazz crosses Stein’s path: aloof, vibrato-less tone sequences, ecstatic outbursts, flights of rich, energy-laden overtones into the land of multiphonics - all this is carefully integrated into a living, organic whole whose centre of gravity is always the melodic idea.
Is this Patamusic?
Hans-Juergen Linke, Frankfurter Rundschau
11. Gostenhofener Jazztage
... this band makes colours with sounds ... exotic instruments ... five virtuoso performers"
Friedrich G. Stern
"Defying definition according to mainstream jazz categories, the exotic melodies float somewhere in the space between ethno-jazz and the post-Coltrane era"
"extraordinary instruments and sophisticated arrangements ... each musician performing his craft with consummate skill"
PATA MUSIC Phone +49-2205-86865 Fax +49-2205-913920
Eiserweg 14a 51503 Roesrath Germany