Gebhard Ullmann Basement Research - Hat & Shoes

Gebhard Ullmann Basement Research - Hat & Shoes


Between The Lines

The creatively fertile German composer-improviser Gebhard Ullmann celebrates twenty years of his band Basement Research with a striking new CD Hat and Shoes to be released February 10, 2015 on Between the Lines. Also featuring trombonist Steve Swell, saxophonist Julian Argüelles, bassist Pascal Niggenkemper, and drummer Gerald Cleaver, the band's 7th CD showcases improvisors at the top of their game and Ullmann's rich, dynamic compositions. This is Ullmann's 50th CD as a leader/co-leader.

Basement Research's first album - featuring Ullmann with Ellery Eskelin, Drew Gress and Phil Haynes - was released in 1995 on the Italian label Soul Note. Many albums later and following careful changes in the line-up, the consistency of the research project is still clearly detectable: discovering the basis of improvised music, the mechanism of musical dialog, the search for previously unheard sounds and the secret of nonverbal, intuitive communication between individuals. This only works live and in real time. It is not a matter of chance that all previous six albums by Basement Research were released in connection with or as the result of a tour.
This tradition is being continued with Hat And Shoes. With the current line-up, you can also hear how five musicians nimbly and apparently effortlessly tread their twisting paths through a soundscape created in free improvisation. Chance does not reign here, but instead each individual participant is equipped with a precisely aligned compass that masters all orientation laws, but also recognizes in split seconds where the right tone has to be using big ears. Suddenly, a delicately arranged, groovy and driving theme shines through again: but was that at all written? These questions do not count with Basement Research, because all pieces are actually both: focused and according to plan, but open for surprising twists and turns at the same time that none of the protagonists may have anticipated. Gebhard Ullmann has scored a great success with the choice of the current band members; Basement Research is just as lively and fresh as two decades ago.

Oli Potratz

Gebhard Ullmann, born in 1957, is one of Germany's leading musical personalities and one of the most prolific and creatively fertile composer-improvisers working on either side of the Atlantic. He has released 50 CDs as a leader and co-leader and several have been chosen as among the best CDs of the year in DownBeat Magazine. He heads numerous bands (among others, Tá Lam, Conference Call and the Clarinet Trio) and is a sideman for Scott DuBois and Guenter Lenz, among others. The always-busy musician has played with innumerable co-musicians from William Parker to Keith Tippett, from Willem Breuker to Michael Riessler and from Bobby Previte to Alexander von Schlippenbach. Ullmann has also received numerous prizes and awards. Blessed with this rich treasure of experience in almost all jazz styles, he is the engine of and source of ideas for Basement Research.

Steve Swell (born in 1954) has played alongside Lionel Hampton and Anthony Braxton, among others. His virtuosity is remarkable as well as is his range of structuring options for sound, tones and lines of music. He is a leading figure of the New York Downtown scene and is considered one of the leading trombone players in today's jazz.

The Englishman Julian Argüelles (born in 1966) became known to a larger audience thanks to his participation in "Loose Tubes" and the "Carla Bley Big Band" in the '90s. Subsequently, he has played alongside numerous, known musicians from John Scofield to Dave Holland. He is also in demand as a composer; he has been contracted to compose for numerous international ensembles, many of which received awards.

Pascal Niggenkemper, born in 1978, is one of the most renowned German and European bassists performing today. He released two CDS with his New Yorker Trio (with Robin Verheyen and Tyshawn Sorey), upon which critics lavished high praise. His playing in the bands from Joachim Badenhorst to Gerald Cleaver also attests to his skills.

Gerald Cleaver (born in Detroit in 1963), 2013 "Rising Star" in the drum category of the DownBeat Critics Poll, is considered one of the most important drummers in contemporary music, a fact that he has clearly proven through his collaboration with musicians such as Craig Taborn, Charles Gayle, Roscoe Mitchell and Wadada Leo Smith.

In case you LIKE us, please click here:

Foto © Leentje Arnouts
cycle d’interviews réalisées
par Georges Tonla Briquet

our partners:

Clemens Communications

Markt 2 -


Silvère Mansis
(10.9.1944 - 22.4.2018)
foto © Dirck Brysse

Rik Bevernage
(19.4.1954 - 6.3.2018)
foto © Stefe Jiroflée

Philippe Schoonbrood
foto © Dominique Houcmant

Claude Loxhay
(18/02/1947 – 02/11/2023)
foto © Marie Gilon

Special thanks to our photographers:

Petra Beckers
Ron Beenen
Annie Boedt
Klaas Boelen
Henning Bolte

Serge Braem
Cedric Craps
Christian Deblanc
Philippe De Cleen
Paul De Cloedt
Cindy De Kuyper

Koen Deleu
Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther
Anne Fishburn
Federico Garcia
Robert Hansenne
Serge Heimlich
Dominique Houcmant
Stefe Jiroflée
Herman Klaassen
Philippe Klein

Jos L. Knaepen
Tom Leentjes
Hugo Lefèvre

Jacky Lepage
Olivier Lestoquoit
Eric Malfait
Simas Martinonis
Nina Contini Melis
Anne Panther
Jean-Jacques Pussiau
Arnold Reyngoudt
Jean Schoubs
Willy Schuyten

Frank Tafuri
Jean-Pierre Tillaert
Tom Vanbesien
Jef Vandebroek
Geert Vandepoele
Guy Van de Poel
Cees van de Ven
Donata van de Ven
Harry van Kesteren
Geert Vanoverschelde
Roger Vantilt
Patrick Van Vlerken
Marie-Anne Ver Eecke
Karine Vergauwen
Frank Verlinden

Jan Vernieuwe
Anders Vranken
Didier Wagner

and to our writers:

Mischa Andriessen
Robin Arends
Marleen Arnouts
Werner Barth
José Bedeur
Henning Bolte
Erik Carrette
Danny De Bock
Denis Desassis
Pierre Dulieu
Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther
Federico Garcia
Paul Godderis
Stephen Godsall
Jean-Pierre Goffin
Claudy Jalet
Bernard Lefèvre
Mathilde Löffler
Claude Loxhay
Ieva Pakalniškytė
Anne Panther
Etienne Payen
Jacques Prouvost
Yves « JB » Tassin
Herman te Loo
Eric Therer
Georges Tonla Briquet
Henri Vandenberghe
Iwein Van Malderen
Jan Van Stichel
Olivier Verhelst