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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

Pierre Favre Ensemble: Le Voyage

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Pierre Favre is a scion of the improvisation scene in Europe and beyond. There's always been a reflective element in his drum and percussion work that suggests a slightly conservative disposition which has been manifested in a kind of politeness and reticence. Those two qualities in many respects sum up the music on this disc. While the antithesis of those qualities does not necessarily make for compelling music, in this case of this recording the overall mood is slightly soporific, as if the music could at any time simply merge with the background, never to catch the ear again.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pierre Favre: Albatros

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Renowned Swiss drummer Pierre Favre imparts his kaleidoscopic tonal palette into these intricately exercised and probing duets with fellow countryman, guitarist Philipp Schaufelberger. The musicians cover a gamut of twists, turns and subtle theme building maneuvers, including airy environs and an abundance of tradeoffs. Moreover, Favre balances out the set with structured patterns and asymmetrical rhythms in concert with his melodic fills. “Seeing" presents an ambient vista, with Favre's delicate drumming and soft cymbal hits offering a solemn underpinning to Schaufelberger's gentle plucking, flickering notes and echo-laden treatments. They project a blissful state that may intimate a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pierre Favre / Philipp Schaufelberger: Albatros

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A sense of “music-minus-one" is pretty pervasive on Albatros. Regardless of what instrument is played, the presence of an additional musician might have elevated the music and the discourse from which it springs, to a more ear-catching level than that attained by this configuration of musicians. As it is, this duo of guitar and drums is marked by perfunctory air. The waddling progress of “Pino Caro" seems faintly contrived, while “Seeing"--all three-and-a-half minutes of it--is heavy with the fragrance of what might have been, as the duo conjures an air of contradictorily unsettled solemnity. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pierre Favre / Samuel Blaser: Vol A Voile

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On one level, this program of trombone and drums duets possesses very little in the way of the sound of surprise, once the ear becomes accustomed to the sparseness of the lineup. Perhaps inevitably, this means that for all their obvious empathy, the musicians don't really grab the moment, nor do they ruffle the surface calm of the music they make. In view of the promise sometimes tantalizingly shown, this makes for a frustrating listen. Of the two musicians involved, drummer Pierre Favre has a long pedigree in the European improvisation scene. Samuel Blaser shows hints of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pierre Favre: Fleuve

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With Fleuve, drummer and percussionist Pierre Favre demonstrates that not only is he a master of his instrument, but he also has complete command in the fields of composition and arrangement.

The music dances (often literally), and is light, airy and transparent. Favre seems to go out of his way to choose instrumentation that works against such a result by being bottom-heavy: acoustic and electric bass, tuba, serpent and bass clarinet are included. However, to lighten things, soprano saxophone is used instead of bass clarinet at times, while harp and guitar are added to the mix; plus, of course, Favre's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pierre Favre Ensemble: Fleuve

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It's hard to imagine that a group as bottom-heavy as percussionist Pierre Favre's new ensemble could actually sound light and ethereal. But Fleuve does just that. With a septet featuring two basses, tuba/serpent, percussion and, at times, bass clarinet, there's no shortage of warmth and depth. But with guitar, harp and soprano saxophone fleshing out the middle and top end, Fleuve manages to have both weight and an airy ambience that works, in no small part, due to Favre's carefully crafted compositions and the kind of sonic transparency that's long been a defining aspect of the ECM aesthetic.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mark OLeary / Steve Swallow / Pierre Favre: Awakening

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Awakening is the sort of recording that makes demands of its listeners. Mark O'Leary (electric guitar), Steve Swallow (bass guitar) and Pierre Favre (percussion) manage to create a charmingly introspective record by insulating what is invariably solid jazz with a fusion of rocky harmonies. In a genre dominated by musicians keen on experimentation, being good by default may easily just streamline into mediocrity. As a whole, Awakening is anything but mediocre. It's a surprisingly pleasant recording propelled by an impressive array of songs that lull listeners into concentrating on each note intently, not wanting to miss a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Albert Mangelsdorff/Arild Andersen/Pierre Favre: Triplicity

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A musical innovator's sound is unmistakable. For example, listen to any thick slap by Mingus and you know it's him. From the opening moments of Triplicity, there is no question that the trombone is Albert Mangelsdorff's. Mangelsdorff, Germany's most famous musician, participated in many performances under the auspices of the NordDeutscher Rundfunk (German Radio) either as part of its big band or at its many workshops, opportunities for European musicians and Americans either traveling or living abroad to come together in exciting one-off combinations. All of these sessions were recorded and broadcast in excellent quality.Triplicity is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pierre Favre: Saxophones

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Pierre Favre has an interesting resume. Starting out with names like Lil Hardin Armstrong in the '50s, Favre drummed for Bud Powell, Booker Ervin, and other boppers before going free with the likes of Peter Kowald, Evan Parker, Peter Brötzmann, and John Surman. On his new release with the ARTE Quartet saxophones, with Michel Godard adding tuba and serpent, Favre utilizes parallel motion in arranging the horns resulting in a sound that, while modern, references haunting holy choral music of the Renaissance.

Favre's sustained gong tones give “Sito" an electronic impression, even when Godard's breathy serpent begins its song. The ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Pierre Favre on Intakt

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One of the most important skills contributing to the longevity of an improvising musician's career is versatility. A look at several successful examples demonstrates a commitment to adaptability: Evan Parker, William Parker, Kenny Wheeler, Anthony Braxton. Two new albums by venerable Swiss drummer Pierre Favre, one an improvised duet and the other a carefully sculpted quasi-sextet session, show why he has managed to remain relevant since the early '60s while so many others wallow in their back catalogue.

Pierre Favre Saxophones Intakt 2004

Saxophones , duly named because of the presence of the Arte ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pierre Favre: European Chamber Ensemble

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Pierre Favre is not only one of the most musically minded freelance drummers in modern jazz yet also leads the charmingly inventive quartet known as “Singing Drums”. And with his latest endeavor titled European Chamber Ensemble, the maestro extends his quartet with the addition of a dual string section, guitar and bass.

Favre and fellow percussionist Lucas Niggli steer the octet through a series of thoroughly memorable pieces that serve as paradigms for predominately contrasting elements. Yet the leader’s visions once again are put to realization through the musician’s sympathetic passages and expertly articulated soloing. On “Amarcord D’ Un Ross”, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pierre Favre - Singing Drums: Souffles

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Two percussionists, Sax and Tuba comprise Souffles, led by the brilliant Swiss drummer-composer, Pierre Favre. What an interesting concept?! Judging from the unorthodox instrumentation one could very well assume that this might be one of those free-jazz fests featuring inordinate doses of pounding drums and wild improvisational banter.... Not the case here.......Favre’s vision is nonetheless cohesive, vividly picturesque while showcasing his bright, cheerful compositions boasting engagingly memorable melodies along with razor-sharp ensemble work.

Pierre Favre can swing, improvise with the best or absorb the finer elements of world music while firmly planting his often-indelible stamp on matters in general. Here, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pierre Favre Singing Drums: Souffles

Read "Souffles"

Two percussionists, Sax and Tuba comprise Souffles, led by the brilliant Swiss drummer-composer, Pierre Favre. What an interesting concept?! Judging from the unorthodox instrumentation one could very well assume that this might be one of those free-jazz fests featuring inordinate doses of pounding drums and wild improvisational banter.... Not the case here.......Favre’s vision is nonetheless cohesive, vividly picturesque while showcasing his bright, cheerful compositions boasting engagingly memorable melodies along with razor-sharp ensemble work.

Pierre Favre can swing, improvise with the best or absorb the finer elements of world music while firmly planting his often-indelible stamp on matters in general. Here, ...



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