Thieke, Griener & Weber - Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse

Stuart Kremsky, Cadence Magazine

The group (Thieke, as, alto cl, cl; Weber, b; Griener, d; Berlin, Germany, 2/24/05) convened at the drummer’s rehearsal space for THE AMAZING DR. CLITTERHOUSE (Ayler 58), a short set of improvisations named for Hollywood films, mostly gangster movies of the Thirties and Forties. (A Dispatch From Reuters/ East is West/ A Bullet for Joey/ Two Weeks in Another Town/ Unholy Partners/ Two Seconds/ Key Largo; 38:17).

Their normal mode is a skittish Freebop trio-logue, trading phrases and rephrases of the instant compositions, but they’ve got a lot of different areas to explore. The three keep most of the tracks hovering around the five minute mark.
“Two Seconds” is the exception, a seven and a half minute excursion into nuanced realms of interaction. “East is West” opens very quietly, with held notes on alto, bowed bass, and careful cymbalwork, before growing more involved and mysterious as a kind of slithering tempo asserts itself.
One of my favorite tracks, “A Bullet for Joey” starts out with a rollicking drum solo. Griener is then joined by the thick sounding bass of Weber and an excitable Thieke on alto for a romping 5 minutes.
I’m not always fond of Thieke’s clarinet work, which, when he really gets going, tends toward the unpleasantly strident. But that’s about the only complaint here, except maybe the short playing time.

Good stuff.