Wolfgang Dauner piano, effects (ring modulator), keyboards (Hohner Electra-clavinet C)
Eberhard Weber bass, cello, guitar
Fred Braceful percussion, voice
Recorded September 15 and October 1, 1970 at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg
Engineer: Kurt Rapp
Produced by Manfred Eicher
An early outlier in the ECM catalog, Output convulses with as much lively originality as it did when it was first released. Wolfgang Dauner, perhaps better known as founder of the United Jazz + Rock Ensemble (which saw ECM greats Eberhard Weber, Kenny Wheeler, and Charlie Mariano pass through its hallowed halls), assembles a modest trio of talent for this classic 1970 studio free-for-all. The end result is humor, provocation, brilliance, and chaos all rolled into one. Most of the album flirts with any number of possible paths, the sole exception being “Nothing To Declare,” a relatively straight-laced tangent into jazzy territory in which Dauner has a field day with his modulator. “Mudations” and “Brazing The High Sky Full” serve as cryptic bookends, while tracks like “Abraxas” whet our appetite with more provocative flavors. Superb, if jumbled, musicianship and a strong attention to detail make for a unique experience all around. Dauner does wonders with limited means, Braceful sheds his skin at every turn, and this is a far cry from the Weber of the languid orchestral suites. Not an easy listen for the faint of heart, but one that will give back what’s put into it.
Viable candidate for quirkiest album cover of all time?