For nearly thirty years, since his first solo performance in 1974, German trombonist Conrad Bauer has been intensely exploring the inner logic on unaccompanied trombone, as an adjunct to his group activities. And for more than twenty years, since the releases of his first solo records, Bauer has offered his exploded view of the solo trombone to the world at large. His perspective is exploded both technically and historically - one that encompasses the wide range of techniques available to the contem porary trombonist, as well as the web of genres in which the instrument is imbricated, including march, parade, circus, early jazz, bop, free improvisation, new music, even other related traditions like alphorn and bugle call. Think of these all as sharpnel, shards of earlier identities, once relatively exclusive, that have been blown apart and currently float around each other, equally available to the sensitive musician. Add to them a repertoire of individual Conrad-isms (the high-squeak/lip-flutter combination at the 2 minute mark of the opening track, for example, is characteristically Conrad), moves nobody else makes, and you have one of the most fiercely original voices in improvised music.
When you have worked as fiendishly hard and experimented as exhaustively as this Bauer has to come up with a unique vocabulary, it's a challenge - perhaps the challenge - not to make individual techniques into a fetish. On Hummelsummen, Bauer's fifth solo record, he overcomes this temptation by concentrating on the storyline of each piece, subjugating the technical to the narrative, so that the arc of each track creates the frame for everything that happens within it … A celebration of sixty years on earth (2003), three decades exploring solo trombone. Conny Bauer: fancymonger, storyteller, busy-bee.