Robert M Kohler
Harmony and Bells - The Kohler Green Project
“Harmony and Bells” is bass and drums. But the synergetic creativity here makes one plus one equal far more than two. These improvisational duets were recorded over a few days in Billings, Montana, by Rob Kohler and Clay Green, in October of 2007, and then, over the next two years, they floated back and forth between Billings (near Clay’s place) and New Orleans (where Rob lives), as they were tweaked and transformed and edited and developed by the two musicians in a creative dialogue that was a natural flowering of the original conversation between their two instruments.
Clay, the drummer, is a former NCAA skier, who keeps more than two dozen percussion instruments in arm’s reach as he plays. Rob is an educator and player who has worked in every imaginable context. This music, says Clay, originates in an organic place, a place that requires genuine courage to visit. This music grows out of no rehearsals and rarely on second-takes.
The album calls to mind the classic duets of Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell, as well as figures as different as Jaco, Eno, and The Who. All of these and others haunt the ambient soundscapes, loops and layers that make up “Harmony and Bells.” On the title track, a personal favorite, you’ll hear tung drums, a guitar track, assorted wind chimes, an Udu drum, and a kalimba. Other tracks vary the degrees of distortion and saturation, fading in and out at different pitches and different phases of the piece, each of which has the range of subtlety one associates with jazz and, occasionally, the pounding force of Keith Moon. For example, on one track, The Kohler Green Project become the filthiest of garage bands, pressing the melody of The Who’s “Can’t Explain” as far as they can to capture the turgid vibe of Live at Leeds, but then return moments later to intervals of brooding introspection, subtlety, and the freest spontaneity. On other tracks, you can hear birds singing and, in the distance, the subtle roll of an incoming thunderstorm. The Kohler Green Project also engages Coltrane’s “Liberia,” bringing Rob’s considerable funk chops into the tune. The rest of the disc, however, is original in the purest sense – organic, as Clay puts it, and courageous.
John Kohler (1931-1996)
Kate Kohler Trio
Blues and Things
CD Ordering Information
Other Kohler Music Merchandise
Contact Rob rkohler <at> stanfordjazz.org
Robert M. Kohler's DISCOGRAPHY
SOLO: Rob Kohler "a thousand faces" (Mahlon's Music)
A Thousand Faces - Rob Kohler
a thousand faces
This trio has been playing together since the summer of 2000. Our tendency over the years of playing together has been to treat composed material in a very free and loose fashion, always changing harmonies, grooves, and forms to suit our fancies. It seemed sensible that for this CD we should simply dispense with pre-conceived compositions and just do what we do best: improvise. The music is exactly as we recorded it in one short session on a rainy July afternoon. Although track indexes have been added for convenience, there has been almost no editing, except where absolutely necessary to remove some bad jokes and some of Stan's singing... I'm saving his rendition of the "Anger Management Blues" for a future recording. Playing with Rob and Stan has been central to my development as a musician and I'm excited about this document of our playing. I hope you'll enjoy it.
|Stanford Jazz Workshop