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Alucard View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Michael Mantler
    Posted: August 04 2006 at 10:28
Michael Mantler is an Austrian musician/composer who took part in the US Free Jazz scene in the 60's with  the 'Jazz Composer's Orcchestra'. He moved then to Europe where he worked among others with his future wife Carla Bley. In the 70's he started to work on text-settings especially for his favourite authors Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter.
The double CD 'The School Of Understanding' (1996) is his most ambitious vocal  work up to today with the ironic subtitle 'Sort-Of-An-Opera'. 'The School Of Understanding' deals with communication in a wider sense, in form of  dialogues between society archetypes as : the student, the teacher, the doctor, the businessman, the journalist etc. Mantler wrote all the libretto himself, but the last song where he used a Beckett text.
The vocalists come mainly from the progressive rock and Jazz field : Jack Bruce, Don Preston, Robert Wyatt, John Greaves and his daughter Karen Mantler. The music itself orchestrated for string orchestra, woodwinds, E-guitar and synth drums is influenced by minimal music, the vocal part reminds Schönberg's 'Sprechgesang' (spoken chant). A record, that takes time and concentration to be appreciated.


Edited by Alucard - August 04 2006 at 10:28
Tadpoles keep screaming in my ear
"Hey there! Rotter's Club!
Explain the meaning of this song and share it"

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2006 at 12:45
Excellent call - don't forget Marianne Faithful and Kevin Coyne have provided the vocals - Don Preston I thought provided keys????

I can recommend an excellent jazz rock fusion album Movies under Mantler's name with Tony Williams, Larry Coryell, Carla Bley and Steve Swallow.

Karen Mantler
does her own thing too, with at least 2 albums under her own name - a chipoff her parents' blocks, Carla Bley and Michael Mantler. In an ironic way a big happy family found recording for the WATT label.
BTW Carla Bley played keys for the Jack Bruce Band in the late 70's  - a live recording of a Liverpool gig was released within the last batch of Jack Bruce remasters.

And another name associated with both Bley and Mantler: Nick Mason has played with both Mantler (e.g. Live with Preston Bruce and Mantler) and Carla Bley (I always thought of Mason's Fictious Sports record was a Carla Bley record with Mason and Robert Wyatt guesting -  indeed perhaps using Mason's name to get a one-off record contract with Harvest Records.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2006 at 04:00
look www.ecmrecords.com
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2006 at 20:58
Mantler's great. I have a few albums, and Movies is my favorite. More Movies is a bit disappointing, but not bad.
"Art is not imitation, nor is it something manufactured according to the wishes of instinct or good taste. It is a process of expression."

-Merleau-Ponty
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 18 2006 at 21:57
The Hapless Child... is an excellent quasi-progressive rock album.  I don't know who did guitars on the record and wish I had a better sounding copy (I have a cassette taped from an LP), but, man, the guitarists cook under a brooding jazz band, which includes DeJohnette, Swallow and Bley, and Wyatt adds his usual playfully heartbreaking vocals to often morbid "stories".
 
I don't like all Mantler's stuff, which is often a bit too melancholy or just plain boring.  I do, however, really enjoy his stabs at jazzy rock melded with chamber or fully blown orchestrated music.
I like to feel the suspense when you're certain you know I am there.....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2006 at 02:46
It's Terje Rypdal on guitars on The hapless child... An excellent album indeed.
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