Like the rest of the former eastern bloc, the East German creative music scene has had to adapt to the stark new circumstances of privatization and marketplace culture. Baritone saxophonist Gert Anklam was just getting his artistic career under way when the Berlin Wall came down, so he was perhaps better prepared for the shift than older musicians who had been raised on free-jazz and improvised-music officialdom’s bizarre system of censorship and support. But Anklam retains strong ties to East German free music history. He’s a member of Manfred Schulze Blaserquintett, the five-piece wind group started by pioneering baritone saxist Schulze back in 1969. A severely ailing Schulze chose Anklam to play his part–and, in fact, his own saxophone–in the ensemble several years ago, when he could no longer manage the task. The Blaserquintett’s 1994 record Konzertino (FMP) gives an excellent example of Anklam’s playing, which combines a raucous noisiness with a deft sense of form and contour. Last year the Berliner played a stunning set of solo baritone music in his first Chicago appearance, peppering a long-form narrative with fascinating musical minutiae not typically heard from the fattest sax. Inspired by the amount of creative music happening here, Anklam has returned to Chicago for a month to work in various contexts; however, his appearance at the In the Eye of the Ear II sound-art festival will be his only solo performance. Saturday, 8 PM, Blue Rider Theatre, 1822 S. Halsted; 733-4668. Anklam also plays with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and percussionist Michael Zerang Wednesday, October 23, at the Lunar Cabaret and Full Moon Cafe.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by MAUD.