"I am truly grateful that we are able to release Natural Time on vinyl. It is such a fantastic audio experience and it is all due to the enormous support we have received from RR GEMS Records throughout our more than four years working together. As we began this task, we realised that we would need another song to fit in with the vinyl format. This compelled me to imagine how I could add something worthy to a record that is a complete journey in itself from beginning to end. As it turned out, composing and recording the extra track went as smooth as honey and I hope that you all enjoy this additional piece of music. I believe it adds an interesting twist and perhaps suggests what is yet to come. I am very thankful for this opportunity. I also want to give thanks to all you wonderful listeners and supporters for staying with us all this time. You are the reason we pour our hearts into this music."
- Muriel, September 2021, Ibiza
Guitars by Radomir Milojkovic, all other instruments by Muriel Grossmann
Composed by Muriel Grossmann
Arranged by Muriel Grossmann and Radomir Milojkovic
Recorded at Dreamlandrecords Studios, March 2021
Mixed & mastered by Louis Henry Sarmiento II, Sonic Vista Studios, Ibiza
When I was asked to write liner notes for this record, I met with Muriel Grossmann to hear the music and make the interview. Listening to the Natural Time record in its entirety, was indeed an experience, like traveling without moving, and I could not help but think, that there is a link to what somebody once said: “There’s a lot of modal music, that is played every day throughout the world. It’s particularly evident in Africa, but if you look at Spain or Scotland, India or China, you’ll discover this again in each case. If you want to look beyond the differences in style, you will confirm that there is a common base. That’s very important. Certainly, the popular music of England is not that of South America, but take away their purely ethnic characteristics — that is their folkloric aspect — and you’ll discover the presence of the same pentatonic sonority, of comparable modal structures.”
The link was not only confirmed, but also broadened during conversation, through another aspect that is equally important to the artist. “For me Natural Time is about bringing forward the essence of ones nature. You have kept your path and one day, everything comes together. In Music it is like in life. It feels like, when living according to that inner call, your energy is having direction. You just know, what you have to do, each step you are taking feels to be at the right time. Same goes for this record and tunes, particularly in Peace for All and Your Pace, it elaborates on the same thought of making things right and bringing forward the best in yourself, other people and the situation you are in. As for African Dance, it’s a homage to this abundant land and it’s great people, while Happiness is a meditation on happy thoughts from moment to moment.”
Finding the right musicians was an important part in the making of Natural Time, musicians who play it peacefully but intense. “I’ve played with Uros Stamenkovic many years ago in Barcelona, before he went to live and play in Toronto, but on his way back to Europe, we started to play a lot more together — a great musician who knows to play for the group and knows what music needs. As for Gina Schwarz, we know each other from Vienna where we played with different groups. Her strong bond with music comes through with every note she plays. With Radomir Milojkovic I have worked for so many years and we made a lot of music together and yet every new record is a new adventure. This time it turned out to be about voyage, open space, driving through woods, desert, mountains, near seaside. We were also trying to implement different kinds of instrumentation and sets of musical drones to the compositions like sarangi, flute, harmonium, bells and others, as we already introduced in our previous album ‘Earth Tones’ DR 07 CD.”
What works good for the conclusion of this liner notes, is what Muriel Grossmann said to me at the end of our conversation. “Natural Time is a simple true message, simply played for people like you and me.”
J. C. Sanders
IMPROJAZZ, France Jun/2018 by Marc SARRAZY
Like a handful of cherries dancing at the end of the branch, prey to the wind, a few notes of beaded, suspended guitar that rock and rise. Who is calling a rhythm like others would perform a rain dance? Thus, in a few seconds, a real musical incantation takes shape that suddenly takes flesh by the thunderous arrival of the tenor saxophone. We have all seen, one winter day closer to the hearth, a bunch of flames instantly born from a carpet of glowing embers, take shape and begin to swell, spinning in a crazy dance, growing, inexorably amounting. This picture, this story, is the one told by the album Momentum and this, from the very first measures of the inaugural piece, the aptly named “Elevation”. The music, initially evanescent, embarks on a perpetual, almost spiritual quest, which inevitably rises to the sound of a primordial groove, supported by the sturdy swaying of the double bass play and by the odd structures attracted by the rhythmic excitement of the drummer.
The pieces of the disc often come close to the ten minutes; it is the ideal time for the musical work to present itself blooming in the reminiscences. The ideal time for light saxophonistic fevers spinning in its own drunkenness, because the improvisations unfold freely, inside the rhythmic waves and the effervescence sound. The pieces follow each other, the harmonies come into resonance and reverberate, “Momentum”, as an evidence, “Chant”, natural and universal, “Sacred”, a true hymn turned to the passion for freedom, the incandescent “Horizon”, the powerful “Rising” that responds as an echo to “Elevation”, finally “Gratitude”, as a thank you to the master, lucid and serene. By its structure indeed, its flamboyant path, its moving chants and the solar flights of the saxophone, Momentum can be read as a poignant homage to A Love Supreme.
Muriel Grossmann, who had embarked on a rough free jazz in the late 2000s, crossing the roads of Joachim Kühn and Wolfgang Reisinger, began to refocus on her quartet training with guitarist Radomir Milojkovic, faithful accomplice of the saxophonist: he develops a pointillist game adorned with sparkling trills, who also stubbornly works the resonance of a single note in the manner of … David Gilmour. With the team of Gina Schwarz and Uros Stamenkovic the group has found its ground and the Coltrane aesthetics, initiated since the excellent Earth Tones (2015), was confirmed with Natural Time (2016), a record just as deep, and today with Momentum, the trilogy has found its culmination.
Vibrant, passionate, exhilarating, the music of Muriel Grossmann captivates majestically. And Momentum: a monument of what is called spiritual jazz. Marc SARRAZY, ImproJazz, June 2018
Muriel Grossmann, Austrian saxophone player & composer has played & recorded with Jazz greats, such as Joachim Kühn,
Christian Lillinger, Robert Landfermann, Wolfgang Reisinger; Currently performing w. Radomir Milojkovic-g, Llorenç Barceló-organ, Uros Stamenkovic-dr. Muriel has released many records like Natural Times, Momentum, Golden Rule, Reverence, Quiet Earth, Union & Universal Code....more
I finally got to see the band at Yes last year,was moved to tears and have the(partly) signed live version
I bought the double vinyl of this for my friend's daughters 18th,,a rugby playing drama school harpist in Calderdale ..Harmony of Nature just sets what is going to unfold and the moment it begins I feel the stress leaving me wattyness
Such a beautifully crafted album. Such intense rich weaving of sounds and feelings. It’s one of those albums you are happy to share at the same time want to keep as a personal secret.
Amazing stuff by Mr Halsall. I suggest anyone reading this to spend some time in his early stuff too. Song to Charlie is monumental. il-berts
Difficult to name a favourite track, however if I was forced to choose an all time favourite album this would certainly be up there at the top. I'm in the UK but it was a friend in South Africa that introduced me to Gondwana. Absolutely beautiful album from start to finish, amazing musicians and composition both. Thank you, it inspires me to become a better musician. raiscott