ReleasesLiberté Égalité Fraternité


Vibrate in Sympathy
Arabian Oil
Irr und Sinn
Die Zeit steht still
Friendly Corpse
Eens Oneens
Gap-toothed Smile
Blue Tip Match


Tobias Klein
alto saxophone, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet (left channel)
Lothar Ohlmeier
tenor saxophone, bass clarinet (right channel)
Meinrad Kneer
double bass
Christian Marien

Album info

tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, 11, 12, 13 by Tobias Klein,

tracks 3, 6 and 9 by Meinrad Kneer,

tracks 4, 7 and 10 by Klein/ Ohlmeier/ Kneer/ Marien



Recorded by Alexis Baskind in Leussow, January 8th and 9th, 2020

Mixed and mastered by Alexis Baskind


Special thanks to Dagmar, Ralf, Alexis Baskind and Andreas Willers



Als Meinrad Kneer vor gut 8 Jahren mit seinem Kontrabass nach Berlin wechselte (wo er sich im Julie Sassoon Quartet, bei Andreas Willers 7 of 8 und mit dem eigenen Phosphoros Ensemble hervorragend eingegroovt hat), war eines seiner Mitbringsel Evil Rabbit Records. Dalgoo, schon vor über 20 Jahren in Amsterdam mit dem durch Spinifex wohlvertrauten Reedmeister Tobias Klein ins Leben gerufen, ist ein weiteres. Lothar Ohlmeier, ein verschmitzter Typ mit Nickelbrille im Franz-Schubert-Look, bildet mit Tenorsax & Bassklarinette wie eh und je den zweiten Reedzacken, mit dem 7 of 8-, ach was, dem The Astronomical Unit-, Derek plays Erik-, I Am Three-, Superimpose-, Z-Country Paradise- und Hannes Zerbe Jazz Orchester-Drummer Christian Marien fand sich in Berlin zudem einer der Versiertesten in Sachen Liberté, Égalité und Fraternité. Wer hätte gedacht, dass sich über diese fundamentale Dreifaltigkeit, der Dalgoo freispielerisch und sommernachtsträumerisch verzettelt huldigt, die Welt nochmal derart in 'Irr und Sinn' spalten würde? Klein bringt mit 'Vibrate in Sympathy' und 'Lakeish' mitreißende Huldigungen an Ornette Coleman und Oliver Lake ins Spiel. Zu poltrig-flickrigem Groove reißen einen die melodieselig sprudelnden Saxofone in die ornettesten Gefilde und auch 'Friendly Corpse' geht mit ornetteskem Gesang ins Rennen, wogegen Kneer mit schiefem Bogenstrich bei 'Arabian Oil' ein düsteres Zwielicht malt. Zu knarrigen Bassklarinetten hebt ein Tanz wie ums Goldene Kalb an, verbohrt, versenkt in einen Orientalismus mit zweifelhaften Aussichten. Sind Harmonie und Melodie nicht Sinn genug, ist er in sonorem Pizzicato nicht mit zehn Fingern greifbar? Wie kann man, mit Sinn und Sinnlichkeit dalgooisiert, an einem so abartig verstrunzten TV-Abend wie jeden Silvester nicht irre werden an Art. 1 GG? Kneers Eindruck ist: 'Die Zeit steht still', diskant verschliffen, verrauscht, melancholisch. 'Eens Oneens' zerpflückt das Für und Wider mit nem Klacks, nem Fingerschnippen. Heißt 'Listopad' nun Oktober oder November? Egal, Dalgoo tanzt halb kroatisch, halb polnisch durchs dürre Laub, bevor 'Gap-Toothed Smile' mit Kontrabassklarinette das Jahr in scharrendes, tropfendes Dunkel taucht. Doch 'Blue Tip Match' schwenkt gegen den Geist der Schwere und der Dunkelheit mit wieder ornettesker Feuerzunge die Fackel der Liberté und Béatitude, als wäre Berlin die perfekte Endstation für den Westwind ebenso wie für die Balkanroute.

"...fascinating music!"

Dalgoo is a contemporary jazz quartet that just released its third album ‘Liberté Egalité Fraternité’. The quartet was founded by sax and clarinet player Tobias Klein and double bass player Meinrad Kneer when they were students at the Amsterdam Conservatory. They started Dalgoo with the intention of playing their own music. Lothar Ohlmeier was added as second sax and clarinet player. They recorded ‘Dalgoo’ (2000) and New Anatomy (2003) with different drummers. The band was resurrected in 2016 with drummer Christian Marien, who should provide a stable line-up for the future. I had a nice chat with bass player
Meinrad Kneer about the new album and the band.

I think the band has developed towards a more free and avant-garde direction since the last album in 2003. Am I right about that?
‘Yes, you can see it that way. All three founding members have developed themselves in their own way and we all went in a more progressive direction. With Christian Marien we have found an exceptional drummer whose influence on the music is important.’
What is the idea behind a line-up with two sax/clarinet players?
‘There are a lot of inspiring examples of that in jazz history like the Ornette Coleman Quartet, Tim Berne Blood Count, John Carter/Bobby Bradford Quartet, Old and New Dreams, etc. The most motivating thing about this line-up is the harmonic freedom that we experience and create without a piano or a guitar.’

The new album has a remarkable title. Why did you choose the slogan of the French Revolution?
‘There are a lot of reasons for that. Those three elements, freedom, equality and brotherhood are very important to us. There’s a lot of trust between us which creates a lot of freedom. That means that the music can go in any direction without losing each other. There’s complete equality of the four members, there’s no difference between the so called soloists and the rhythm section. Then there’s brotherhood because we are a real collective and everybody takes equal responsibility. Not just for the music but also for the logistics and finances. This is rare in the music scene. Another reason for using this title is that the world is in urgent need of freedom, equality and brotherhood!’

How did you connect the titles of the pieces to the music?
‘That’s a hard one to answer! The titles for my compositions and for those of Tobias were found by ourselves. These come often naturally after the writing. The free improvisations with the titles ‘Egalité’, ‘Liberté’ and ‘Fraternité’ were choosen after the pieces were recorded, but if you listen carefully, you may discover why they we used these words for each track.’

Let’s talk about your compositions on the album: ‘Irr und Sinn’, ‘Die Zeit Steht Still’ and ‘Eens Oneens’.
The titles of my compositions are always very associative. I listen back and see what kind of images I get. ‘Irr und Sinn’ plays with German words like ‘Irrsinn’ (nonsense), but also with ‘verirren’ (getting lost) and ‘Sinn’ (giving sense). ‘Die Zeit Steht Still’ was what I felt after listening back to the music. I think this music captures the idea of time standing still. ‘Eens Oneens’ is a Dutch title. There are two bass clarinet lines that sometimes agree and sometimes disagree. That’s the idea behind the title.’

In ‘Lakeish’ there’s some old fashioned swing in there. I suppose it’s nice to have a moment of going fully straight?
‘Sure, we like that. We all love jazz and do not avoid so called old fashioned ideas. Still, we do it our way! We also feel a direct line towards traditional jazz because improvisation is important in both styles.’
Do you really ‘compose’ the music with written scores?
‘Yes, me and Tobias present our more or less finished compositions, although the whole band does the further arranging and there’s room for improvisation.’

Listening to the playing and interaction of Lothar and Tobias, it sounds like they produce a musical knitwork with crossing lines, with alternating creation of distance and finding each other.
‘Yes, that’s a perfect description of what they do. It’s all about pure musical understanding between the two of them. They understand each other completely and it’s hard to distinguish who plays what. They have so much experience that they managed to develop this uncredible tightness.’

Meinrad, you have a very busy career with your own record label (Evil Rabbit – GR) and lots of bands and combinations you play in. Where does Dalgoo stand in your priority list?
‘Oh, Dalgoo is very important to me and I’m so glad that we came together again after so many years. It was my first own band when I lived and studied double bass in the Netherlands. The same goes for Tobias and Lothar I think. They are both very happy about playing together again.’

How would you describe the music of Dalgoo yourself? Is it cross-over jazz, chamber jazz, contemporary music, avant-jazz, …?
I don’t know if there’s a name for it. I leave it to others to put a tag on it. We get inspiration from many different kinds of music and forms of art like theater, film or literature …

One thing is for sure, every album Dalgoo has recorded is worth listening to and with ‘Liberté Egalité Fraternité’ they have managed to set a new standard to what the band is standing for: four strong individual musicians who take the challenge to go in dialogue with each other without any ranking of the individual members. That’s the spirit in which they work and play. It's a generous idea that produces fascinating music! Unfortunately Covid-19 prevents Dalgoo to play live concerts at this time, but that will change as soon as possible.