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Sun, October 14, 2012
This exceptional group uniting intellectual musicians and long-time partners was formed in 2008. Its leader has collaborated with Tim Berne for two decades – the musicians have partaken in each other’s projects, toured and recorded together. Michael Formanek acknowledges Tim Berne’s influence. For more than a decade the bassist has teamed up with Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver, who also work with Tim Berne; even more, the pianist is a member of his Hard Cell. It is not surprising, that the Quartet members have instantly found common territory. The Rub and Spare Change (ECM), their first album released in 2010, has earned accolades: Down Beat Magazine gave it five stars, while other periodicals placed it in top charts. With this album Formanek has claimed his name as the leader and composer.
Last September the Quartet released its second album Small Places (ECM), and in October embarked on the second European tour itinerary of which lists eight concerts in six countries. Composition is a very important side of Michael Formanek’s activities. The first album Wide Open Spaces, featuring bassist’s compositions, was released in 1990. It was followed by three more albums (on Enja label) recorded with Greg Osby, Tim Berne, Mark Feldman, Dave Douglas, Marvin „Smitty“ Smith, Ku-umba Frank Lacy, Marty Ehrlich, Wayne Kranz and Jim Black. With his solo album Am I Bothering You? Formanek contributed greatly to the development of the genre.
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