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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Irene Schweizer - Pierre Favre: Live in Zurich

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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, structural song-forms tender the underpinning for the musicians' uncanny intuition that of course, matures over time amid insights garnered from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Irene Schweizer / Dewan Motihar / Barney Wilen / Manfred Schoof: Jazz Meets India

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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 reissue series, this conjoined septet of European improvising trio, traditional Indian classicists and a couple of additional horn players proves ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Guy / London Jazz Composers Orchestra / Irene Schweizer: Radio Rondo

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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 own voice. Here, that's marked by a certain restlessness not necessarily reflective of her musical personality; a largely irrelevant point, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio 3 + Irene Schweizer: Berne Concert

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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 of testing compositions and compelling open improvisations. Berne Concert boasts a similarly fruitful amalgam, with Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer added ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio 3 / Irene Schweizer: Berne Concert

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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 trio of saxophonist Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille is a longstanding one and its efforts on ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Irene Schweizer: Ramifications

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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 Diaboliques (with bassist Joelle Lèandre and vocalist Maggie Nichols) from the 1990s onward. Her highly percussive and volcanic improvisations, coupled ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Irene Schweizer: First Choice - Piano Solo KKL Luzern

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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 a second that's wasted.

There might be no little irony in a title like “Into The Hall Of Fame," but ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Irne Schweizer/Omri Ziegele: Where's Africa

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By Ken Waxman

Take your pick: this is either a return to swing-bop roots for Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer or the weirdest duo session she's ever made. That's because Schweizer, who has had a commitment to the European avant-garde since the late '60s, here plays an entire program of jazz and pop standards, plus one original.

Stranger still, her partner here is the many years younger, Zürich-based alto saxophonist Omri Ziegele, whose recorded forays with over-the-top, often electrified bands like Billiger Bauer and Noisy Minority are nothing like the cerebral improvisation in which the pianist specializes. Yet she and the ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Irne Schweizer: Vintage and Retrospective

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Most independent recording labels have their bellwether artists, those musicians on the roster central to the label's identity and mission. Hatology has Joe McPhee. Peter Brötzmann is commonly associated with FMP. Tzadik revolves around John Zorn. In the case of Intakt it's Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer. Schweizer has been playing actively for nearly half a century and the last several decades of her career have been faithfully documented on Intakt. Ideally, labels and artists share a reciprocal relationship. It's the charge of the label to act as advocate for the artist and the job of the artist to supply the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Irene Schweizer and Omri Ziegele: Where's Africa

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This duo outing, featuring saxophonist Omri Ziegele and Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer, thrives on the contrasts of the two artists' styles. Schweizer's approach is joyous and ribald, a loose and free-flowing love affair with her instrument. Alto saxophonist Ziegele has a robust tone, a bit raw-edged, intense and imaginative. On Where's Africa the duo dives into five tunes by Don Cherry, three Monk compositions, Duke Ellington, Kurt Weill, and Johnny Mandel's “Suicide Is Painless" (the “Mash" theme song), and Rodgers and Hart's “Isn't It Romantic."The set has a relaxed feeling to it, exploratory, like a kicked-back after hours ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Co Streiff - Irene Schweizer: Twin Lines

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Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer sets her free flowing improvisational tendencies aside for this relatively mainstream set featuring a series of duets with her compatriot, alto saxophonist Co Streiff. These grand madams of modern jazz take the listener on a direct path to joy and wonderment throughout this gorgeously stunning set of predominately Streiff original compositions. In fact, this is one of the most significant piano/sax duets this writer has heard in quite a few years. The twosome excels when combining lushly enacted melodies with rhythmically induced passages and tuneful improvisational sequences. Ms. Streiff’s whispery lines attain a happy medium with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Tchicai-Irene Schweizer Group: Willi The Pig

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August 1975 heralded the first Willisau Jazz Festival in Switzerland. The performance by the quartet featuring Danish saxophonist John Tchicai and Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer made its way into a pair of microphones, and shortly thereafter onto a limited edition LP--which of course went right out of print. Free jazz afficionados interested in the active European improv scene of the '70s will be grateful to know that they can now get their hands on this document without hunting endlessly through used bins.

Hot-pink Willi The Pig strides confidently down the middle of the road on the cover drawing, but the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Tchicai/Irene Schweizer Group: Willi the Pig

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Another rarity excised from the attic of time this recording was taped at the first Willisau Jazz Festival, an event that has since provided a forum for some of the finest groups in improvised music. Released initially in a run of 500 copies it quickly went out of print and has since never been reissued. At Schweizer’s behest John Corbett opted to include it in his Unheard Music Series and the results of that fateful and far-reaching day are finally in circulation once again.

Of the players on the roster for this date John Tchicai is probably the most widely ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Irene Schweizer: Many And One Direction - Piano Solo

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The great Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer goes it alone on her latest release, Piano Solo – Many and One Direction. Here, the critically acclaimed pianist pursues various angles via her noteworthy affinity for rhythmic movement and altogether penetrating execution as each piece is strikingly unique......

On “Huben Wie Druben”, Ms Schweizer constructs Bill Evans-type harmonics and melodies while featuring her rhythmically active left hand, that at times conveys somewhat of a classical outlook. Here, the pianist creates enticing melodies along with shifting meter and acute improvisation, which equates to – superb invention! The piece titled, “Jungle Beats. Dedicated to D.C.”, ...



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