the unknown artist 002 – 2008
Carl Ludwig HÜBSCH / tuba, composition
Wolter WIERBOS / trombone
Matthias SCHUBERT / saxophone
“Tuba, tenor saxophone, and trombone might appear to be an unusual combination for a full-length recording- and they are – but in the hands of Carl Ludwig Hubsch and his mighty Longrun Development of the Universe (the name of the group is as long as the names of players), the mix of instruments seems natural.
The trio entertains strategies on three pieces (the first is divided into four parts) during which abstract written parts contributed by Huebsch weave a concentrated pull against freely improvised forays by the horns. There are fascinating blends of the two lower brass plus sax, leading to utterly delightful, sophisticated, yet fully listenable music.
All three of the participants are comfortable with the language of free improvisation. There are no melodies, but that is a given for this genre of music.
Wolter Wierbos has, of course, distinguished himself as one of the leading modern trombonists with a technical mastery of his horn that is virtually unequalled. Hubsch is lesser known, though he has excelled both in solo and group recordings, including his work with the European Tuba Quartet, of which he is a principal member. Matthias Schubert is also a touch obscure, but he fits here like a jigsaw puzzle, never stealing the spotlight. There is a chamber-like quality to some of the music, but that characterization is perhaps unfair, as there is a real attempt at originality that transcends pigeonholing.
There is a focus on highly complex written and improvisational lines that are hard to distinguish. Individual soloing comes and goes, with masterful work by Wierbos in particular. An outstanding and unusual release (not the least because of the instrumentation, but also due to the sophisticated orchestrations), Carl Ludwig Huebsch’s Longrun Development of the Universe may not live up to the implicit ontological impIications of the group’s name, but it produces a musical product for serious listening pleasure.”
Steven Loewy, Cadence 1101