European Tuba Quartet
Limited Edition of 500 signed copies with 60 min. of music.
Amsterdam resident, but American-born, Larry Fishkind is one quarter of the ETQ. As someone who has worked with the
ICP, theatre, and philharmonic orchestras plus a Klezmer band with pianist Burton Greene, Fishkind’s skills in
jazz and improv are unparalleled. Another ETQ member, German tubaist Pinguin Moschner, is part of a duo with guitarist
Joe Sachse that plays the music of Jimi Hendrix, and has also been in ensembles put together by American composer-instrumentalists
Butch Morris, Anthony Braxton, and Roscoe Mitchell. The most formally trained of the ETQ is Melvyn Poore from the United
Kingdom. A University of Birmingham graduate, Poore spent two years as a research assistant at Salford College of Technology
and since then has explored the tuba’s electro-acoustic possibilities while playing in ensembles that range from
the improv King Übü Örchestrü to the formal Fine Arts Brass quintets.
Hübsch’s collection of burps, pedal tones, wide vibrations, and buzzes is multiplied on Echo-Nomia 4.4,
but while each of the tubaists gets to express himself, frequently with pieces whose themes are outlined in the CD booklet,
the general adagio and slower tempos makes CD seem like a protracted program of brass funeral music.
A case in point is the Moschner-composed, 17-minute title tune, a rather somber, but programmatic demand for a just
economic situation. Interpreted in broken octaves, loaded with undulating pedal tones, rubato unison lines, and stop-time
smears, at times it seems to be the musical equivalent of a thick World Bank report, filled with mathematical formulas
and nearly endless. When one part of its molasses-slow development is interrupted by tubing-amplified yells and mouthpiece
whistles, this deviation soon subsides into another languid interlude of pulsed and vibrated low-pitched grace notes.
A legato and well-harmonized melodic coda uplifts the mood somewhat, but by that time, it’s like the Bank’s
frequent tough-love response to developing countries’ economies in default—a little late and somewhat inappropriate.
Ken Waxman at UnAmerican Activities #92
My Way 59