FIFTY-FIFTY – Fragments

Fifty-Fifty - fragments
Release #: 
12,00 €

Fifty-Fifty's Fragments is an unexpected delight.“
Tenor and soprano saxes, some little drums, whistle and toy piano; that’s the line-up of two-man band Fifty-Fifty, and pretty unpromising it seems. In fact the album is a delight. The combination of sax player Ekkehard Rössle’s guileless ditties and percussionist Manfred Kniel’s ingenious patterns is fascinating.
Daily Telegraph, 15 Oct 2010

"Eine sorgfältige Arbeit und eine luftig schöne Duomusik mit viel hintergründiger Tiefe!"
Lucas Niggli, Schlagzeuger, Uster / Schweiz

"Sehr schönes Album!"
Harry Lachner , SWR2

"... very intriquing!"
Robert Wyatt

"Big Respect!"
John Zorn

"Often the music remains earthbound, for all of the duo's obvious empathy. The repetitive nature of Manfried Kniel's drum figures recall the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, but there's little in the approach of the duo that's indelibly theirs.Even at its loudest, the playing has a considered air, like something akin to the free jazz equivalent of the West Coast sound. This does, of course, make for a nice alternative to the sometimes vacuous primal screaming that some sub-Coltrane tenor sax players and their cohorts have gone in for."
Nic Jones, AllAboutJazz


FIFTY-FIFTY steht für Reduktion: nur zwei Instrumentalisten. Die Musik auf Melodie und Rhythmus kondensiert. Das schafft Tranzparenz und Raum. Das Instrumentarium: ein Piccolo-Drumkit (kleine Trommel, Basstrommel, Metallbecken und eine Afuché als Hi-Hat) plus Toy-Piano und Pfeife. Dazu Tenor- oder Sopransaxofon. Kniel ist die Präzisionsmaschine, die polymetrische Trommelfiguren als akustische Loops inszeniert. Sein zirkular-repetitives Spiel entspringt einer tiefen Ruhe: Zen-Drumming in hochkomplexer Einfachheit. Rössle spielt darüber mit halluzinativer Fantasie. Sein Ton besitzt eine vokale Qualität. Vielleicht hat er Bob Dylan beim Improvisieren im Ohr. Jenseits der Technik liegt das Reich der Poesie. Alles ist in Echtzeit gespielt - no over-dubs! “Big respect!” bescheinigte John Zorn den beiden. caw

FIFTY-FIFTY’s music is based on the idea of reduction: just two musicians. The music itself is boiled down to melody and rhythm. Thus they create space and transparency. The instruments are a piccolo drum kit consisting of a small drum, bass drum, cymbals and an afuché-shaker as hi-hat, plus toy piano and whistle. On top, soprano or tenor saxophone. Kniel drums with machine-like precision, weaving polymetric rhythms into acoustic loops. His circular-repetitive patterns arise from a deep calm: Zen-drumming in a highly complex simplicity. Rössle stretches out across this rhythmic base in a hallucinatory manner, letting his fantasy run free. His saxophone sound has a vocal quality. Maybe he can hear Bob Dylan singing in his ear while he improvises. Beyond instrumental technique lies the land of poetry. Everything is played live in real time - no overdubs! “Big respect!” came the reaction from John Zorn. caw

Ekkehard Rössle: tenor & soprano saxophone
Manfred Kniel: drums, toy piano, whistle

1  Klagelied
2  The Very Last Blues
3  Honest
4  7 Steps To Hell
5  Raga für Vampire
6  Something Else
7  Wrong-Headed
8  Lullaby
9  SOS

All music recorded in real time with no overdubbing
All music by Rössle & Kniel
Produced by Hans Joachim Irmler
Photo: Manuel Wagner
Cover Design: Jan Mehring
Thanks to Manuel Wagner, caw, Benny Straub, Andreas Schmid, Hans Joachim Irmler, John Zorn, Jan Mehring

Fifty-Fifty - Lullaby by Klangbad