Peter Kowald RIP
Peter Kowald RIP
by Milton Jones
Peter Kowald bassist from Wuppertal, Germany passed away at 2:00 am Saturday September 21, 2002 in NYC.
Peter died of a heart attack at the home of Patricia and William Parker after performing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at B.T.M. with Masahiko Kono, Tatsuya Nakatani and Kazuhisa Uchihashi. Emergency workers vainly tried to save him, working intensely for 45 minutes.
Details regarding funeral arrangements and a memorial will be posted at a later date.
Peter Kowald distinguished himself as one of the leading players of the free school style of improvising. He was well known and respected on both sides of the Atlantic both in his native Germany and in his adopted home of New York City by musicians and fans alike.
He made numerous recordings for the German FMP label with his long time collaborators Peter Brotzmann and Alxeander von Schlippenbach. From 1973 to 1978 he was the principal bassist for the Globe Unity Orchestra. Kowald participated in a wide variety of collaborations, working with dancers, poets and artists, in addition to all of the musicians he worked with. Kowald recorded many duos with European, Japanese and U.S. musicians, including bass duets with Barre Phillips, Joëlle Léandre and Barry Guy.
He also released solo bass recordings - the most recent being "Was Da Ist", resulting from a self-proclaimed year at home, ending in May 1995. Kowald also performed in groups with Evan Parker, Hamid Drake, Fred Anderson, Wadada Leo Smith, and Gunter Sommer. In 2000, he embarked on a solo tour of the U.S., traveling by station wagon.
Since settling in New York, Peter established himself with many of the important players on the Downtown scene, including bassist/composer William Parker and many others of note. During this year's Vision Fest in New York City, Peter maintained a ubiquitous presence both as a performer, while also working the food stand.
As recently as Wednesday (9/18/02) of this week he performed with great intensity with the ensemble of saxophonist Blaise Siwula, drummer Jeff Arnal and guitarist Dom Minasi. On Sunday (9/22/02) he was scheduled to perform with his "Last Global Village" ensemble at CBGBs Lounge Free Style Events Series.
He was a lovely and generous spirit who will be missed by his many fans.
For further info on Peter Kowald, please go to: http://www.shef.ac.uk/misc/rec/ps/efi/ and http://www.kowald.de/indexe.htm