As told to Corbett by Peter Brötzmann, 'Out of the first trio (with Kowald and Sven-Åke Johnasson) and the Schoof/Schlippenbach Qunitet - Gerd Dudek was in it, Buschi, Jaki Liebezeit was the drummer - out of that combination was formed the first Globe Unity'. Not contradicting this, Jeske (1980), reported that Globe Unity was formed in autumn 1966 with a commission received by Alex von Schlippenbach from the Berlin Jazz Festival. 'We did three days of rehearsal in Koln and performed my composition entitled Globe Unity at the Philharmonie in Berlin on 3rd November. The piece was released on Saba the same year.' In the early days, the musical influences were various and the contributions and organization to some extent egalitarian, with Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald being particularly important. However, as the different 'periods' (Schlippenbach, 1993; below) were worked through Schlippenbach became the cornerstone and the provider of musical starting points for the group. The main exception to this is Compositions where an invitation was given to other members of the time to submit compositions. Schlippenbach (1993) says that the last concert was given before 92,000 people at the Chicago jazz festival in 1987, though a version of the orchestra was re-convened in 2002 - with a CD released on Intakt in 2003 - and further concerts occurred thereafter.
In Europe, the only other group working in the area of mixing large-scale composition and improvisation is the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, though Schlippenbach's interests here appear to have been channeled into the equally fine Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra.
Shoemaker, Bill (1984). Globe Unity Orchestra, Downbeat, vol. 51, no. 3, (March), p. 51. A report of the Orchestra's US debut at D.C. Space in Washington DC.
Schlippenbach, Alex von (1993). 20th anniversary. Notes accompanying the FMP CD of the same name that provide probably the best abstract of the group's evolution, development, personel changes and last concert. As much, anyway, as it is possible to squeeze 20 years of activity into 1,000 words.
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