Heiner Goebbels / Alfred 23 Harth – Goebbels Heart (1992)

Heiner Goebbels / Alfred 23 Harth - Goebbels Heart (1992)
Artist: Heiner Goebbels / Alfred 23 Harth
Album: Goebbels Heart
Genre: Free Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz
Origin: Germany
Released: 1992
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Berlin, Q-Damm
Indianer Für Morgen
Dunkle Wolk
Kein Kriegsspielzeug Für Jonathan
Über Den Selbstmord
Ich, Berthold Brecht
Abbau Des Schiffes Oskawa Durch Die Mannschaft
Es Lebt Eine Gräfin In Schwedischem Land
Die Vögel Warten Im Winter Vor Dem Fenster
Apfelböck Oder Die Lilie Auf Dem Felde
Der Pflaumenbaum
Liedchen Aus Alter Zeit
Deutsches Lied
1940 (Ich Befinde Mich Auf Dem Inselchen Lidingö)
Die Reise Nach Aschenfeld
Paradies Und Hölle Können Eine Stadt Sein


Goebbels Heart is a kind of compilation disc, pulling together portions of early-’80s recordings by this duo originally released on the small German label Riskant. At this point in his career, Goebbels (who would later release more atmospheric and experimental albums on ECM) seems to be very much under the influence of composers such as Carla Bley, including the utilization of European workers’ songs (Hans Eisler here). Goebbels plays mostly keyboards, both acoustic and electric, while Harth (yes, the “23” is part of his taken name) wields various reeds. Though occasionally multi-tracked, there’s an enticing spareness to the album, with Harth’s soprano work sounding especially wistful. In the second section (tracks six through 16), vocals are performed with alternating angst and bombast by Dagmar Krause and Ernst Stotzner, using texts by Bertolt Brecht. Two of the final three pieces, recorded three years after the others, are more abstract affairs with stuttering melodic material and found tapes. But the last composition, “Peking-Oper,” is the highlight of the disc, based on samples of 20th century Chinese revolutionary opera, which are lovingly abused, twisted, and augmented into a new beast entirely. Interestingly, the Goebbels/Harth piece itself was sampled a decade later by Otomo Yoshihide for his album Revolutionary Pekinese Opera. Listeners who came to know Goebbels’ work from his subsequent ECM discs will enjoy hearing his early roots on this hard to find recording.
Review by Brian Olewnick