AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson [-]
Recorded live at the 1994 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and released by Challenge in 2000, this excellent performance unites trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff with drummer Reto Weber’s Percussion Orchestra. Live At Montreux is an example of multiculturalism at its finest — you have jazz musicians from Germany (Mangelsdorff), and Switzerland (Weber), joining forces with a percussionist from Ghana (Nana Twum Nketia), and a zarb player from Iran (Keyvan Chemirani), at a Swiss jazz festival — and the label that released this CD is based in Holland. Mangelsdorff was 65 when Live At Montreux was recorded, and it’s clear that the German improviser wasn’t shying away from challenges in his old age. The music that Mangelsdorff, Weber and their allies provide is an intriguing, abstract blend of world music and avant-garde jazz. Mangelsdorff’s trombone is the only wind instrument, and when he isn’t blowing, all you hear are drums and percussion. Some will find the music too esoteric, but if you’re a truly adventurous listener, the rewards are abundant. Sadly, Nana Twum Nketia died several months after Live At Montreux was recorded.