Fire!Orchestra – Actions for Free Jazz Orchestra by K.Penderecki ]

Our friend Greg Drygala from GPoint-Audio passionately explores the unique universe of Fire!Orchestra…  “Original score by Krzysztof Penderecki had only been recorded once and as far as I am aware and it was also the only performance of it, luckily for us who didn’t exist there back in time, but now have a chance to listen to this inspirational performance and learn from that as well as understand better how it affected the further evolution of improvised music which we are familiar with today. The new reading from Mats Gustafsson, who also conducts his Fire! Orchestra.”
“The first (and until now only?) recorded interpretation of Krzysztof Penderecki´s “Actions For Free Jazz Orchestra” took place in 1971 at Donaueschingen and featured the New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra, assembled by Don Cherry for the occasion and conducted by the great Polish composer. That orchestra also consisted of 14 musicians, including international jazz heavyweights such as Kenny Wheeler, Peter Brötzmann, Tomasz Stanko, Terje Rypdal, Han Bennink and others. Don Cherry himself did not perform.
Penderecki had heard the Globe Unity Orchestra a couple of years earlier and was fascinated by the possibilities of working with musicians from a different background and with other perspectives than he was used to from the classical world. The challenge for all involved was to find the right balance between composition and improvisation. The idea was initially met with some skepticism from the musicians, but this soon gave way to acceptance and even eagerness.
The new, extended reading by Mats Gustafsson and Fire! Orchestra was commissioned by the Sacrum Profanum festival in Kraków, Poland in 2018. The idea was to place this classic piece in a contemporary setting, with a new approach and a new body of sound. However, the original score was used as a platform for the new reading, connecting history with the present.

A score in this context is most often of a graphic nature to present reference points, visualized on the sleeve by Kim Hiorthøy´s cut-up adaption of Mats Gustafsson´s score. It´s also worth noticing that the instrumentation is more or less identical to that of 1971, the main difference being a tuba replacing one of the trombones. Finally, this new reading clocks in at 40 minutes, and is thus considerably longer than the 1971 version.
This line-up of the Fire! Orchestra is unique in that it´s the first time without founding members and singers Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg. It´s also the first time with guitarist Reine Fiske.”

ARTIST: Fire! Orchestra
TITLE: Actions
SCORE: Krzysztof Penderecki
LABEL: Rune Grammofon
FORMAT: CD limited edition / LP limited edition
CAT. NO: RCD 2212
RELEASE DATE: 6th March 2020


Actions For Free Jazz Orchestra

Line up:

  • Goran Kajfes – trumpet
  • Niklas Barnö – trumpet
  • Susana Santos Silva – trumpet
  • Reine Fiske – guitar
  • Per åke Holmlander – tuba
  • Maria Bertel – trombone
  • Anna Högberg – alto sax
  • Mats Gustafsson – baritone sax and conduction
  • Per “Texas” Johansson – tenor sax, clarinet and flute
  • Christer Bothén – bass clarinet
  • Alex Zethson – hammond organ
  • Elsa Bergman – double bass
  • Torbjörn Zetterberg – electric bass
  • Andreas Werliin – drums