Willisau follows up the Swiss trio's The Holistic Worlds Of (Monotype, 2012) and once again the artists are seemingly intent on routing one's imagination through multiple locations, while not embarking upon a utilitarian approach to the core jazz or avant- jazz piano trio concepts. In fact, the band proffers an antidote to the norm, which can be an exciting proposition, especially if you're looking for something outside the scope of modern mainstream jazz and bop fare. Enamored by a crystalline audio engineering process, the live concert setting contains the esthetic of a studio date. This democratic engagement kicks ...read more
So successful was the off-the-cuff meeting that produced For A Little Dancin' (Intakt, 2010) that American reedman Oliver Lake once again renewed acquaintance with the Swiss pairing of drummer Dieter Ulrich and bassist Christian Weber at Zurich's unerhört Festival. But this time out they rang the changes by adding German trombonist Nils Wogram. So far so normal, but it's about as far from a star and pick up band as you can get. Lake, renowned as a founder member of the pioneering World Saxophone Quartet and the still current Trio 3, willingly subsumes himself to a democratic group ethos which ...read more
Having established a template with their eponymous 2007 Broken Research debut and Creak Above 33, (psi, 2010), avant trumpeter Nate Wooley and English drummer Paul Lytton have been looking to stretch the confines of their duo with the addition of impromptu guests. Accomplices on their 2008 American tour included guitarist Fred Frith, pianist Marilyn Crispell, bassist Torsten Müller, and electronics from Pete Swanson from Yellow Swans. For Six Feet Under, the duo enlists the assistance of Swiss bassist Christian Weber, in a move which affirms its restless quest for different timbres.While the usual litany of extended techniques is ...read more
Alto and soprano sax man Oliver Lake has been a key member of a trio with bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille in the past. That band, sometimes with the addition of a pianist, has been responsible for some of this century's most compelling small group jazz. This alto sax-bass-drums trio thus has a lot to live up to, but live up to it they do with For A Little Dancin', and not least because they're a trio whose collective endeavor is shot through with a rarefied level of energy and commitment. They're no mere copycat ...read more
One of the unwritten idiomatic tenets of a lot of electro-acoustic improv is the sublimation of the individual for the collective cause. In the process, the sounds of itemized and identifiable instruments are often replaced with more implicit textures and shapes. Bassist Christian Weber is adept at this strategy having worked with some of the leading luminaries of amplification-inclusive abstract improvisation like Günter Müller and Norbert Möslang. He's also versed in more jazz-grounded improvisation as evidenced by recent projects with pianist Chris Wiesendanger and the ensemble Day & Taxi. Here, however, colors and intimations hold sway more often than explicit ...read more
In his accompanying notes for 3 Suits & A Violin, Dean M. Roberts quite rightly refers to the fact that this music eschews formulaic approaches. It's equally true to say that another of its key elements is the sublimation of individual instrumental identity. For example Hans Koch's saxophones are at one and the same time not only conspicuous in the absence of their conventional sounds, but also arguably intrinsic to the realisation of Weber's ideas.
This all makes for music which periodically seems to just hang in the air, and while there's nothing inherently wrong in this, in lacking, say, ...read more