Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer's celebrated duets with jazz drumming greats, Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink and Gunter “Baby" Sommer must have been impressive spectacles. This album denotes her third duo album with her infamous fellow countryman, drummer Pierre Favre. Needless to state, the artists' extraordinary interactions are in full force via these concise pieces that were not arranged or rehearsed prior to the live gigs, spanning March 22-24, 2013 at a venue in Zurich. Even though these works skirt the free-zone, ...read more
Years before John McLaughlin began a deep investigation into the music of India that resonates to this day, there was Jazz Meets India. It wasn't the first time that Indian music had crept into popular western culture--The Beatles and John Coltrane, amongst others, had already seen to that--but this 1967 MPS date was an early experimental meshing of linear Eastern modality with free jazz improv. There have been plenty of failed cross-cultural experiments, but thanks to Promising Music's ongoing MPS ...read more
Radio Rondo was recorded at a Swiss jazz festival in May of 2008. The program is split into two halves, the first of which is a Irene Schweizer solo; the second, featuring the pianist in the company of bassist Barry Guy and his longstanding orchestra.
What makes the music notable is the degree to which it's reflective of fearsome intelligence at work. As a pianist, Schweizer has taken the time-honored route in her working through influences and emerging with her ...read more
Almost without anyone noticing, Trio 3 has become one of the great working bands in jazz. That's not the default outcome of longevity: though saxophonist Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille first got together under the Trio 3 moniker back in 1992, they have become, if anything, a more cohesive unit over time. Their previous release, Time Being (Intakt, 2007), was one of their strongest, with an acute group aesthetic brought to bear on a fertile blend ...read more
Maybe a look at the participants is enough to make clear that the music they produce is going to be something. This program doesn't disappoint, even while many expectations may be confounded. As is often the case, when musicians are caught for posterity in a live setting, the music comes from a different place, and those expecting high energy workouts are going to be disappointed as the reality is somewhat different.
Of course it has to be emphasized that the ...read more
Pianist Irene Schweizer, tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson and Hamid Drake on drums are individually benign forces of nature, no question about it, and the performances documented here testify to the fact. All three players are deeply alert to the integral values of free playing and they mine the seam so deeply that it seems as though their creativity is bottomless.
A Former Dialogue" is taken as a duo by Schweizer and Drake and the extraordinary empathy of their work is ...read more
One of the leading exponents of free piano playing in Europe from the late 1960s onward, Swiss-born Irène Schweizer occupied a somewhat lonely place in the high-energy FMP canon as she worked with Peter Kowald, Evan Parker, Manfred Schoof, the Wuppertal reedman Rüdiger Carl and others in European free improvisation's heyday. Renowned as a soloist and for her duets with many of today's most innovative percussionists, she also co-led the Feminist Improvising Group in the 1980s and the trio Les ...read more
Comparison between the opening bars of the lengthy title track on First Choice and Cecil Taylor's solo work reveals interesting details. Where Taylor's more reflective passages tend often to preview bombast and iconoclasm writ large, Irene Schweizer's approach to the piano seems more reflective--more prone to rumination on an idea or a fragment of an idea--and it makes for music that holds the attention more by stealth than by sheer impact. Over the course of these nineteen minutes, there isn't ...read more