Swiss trumpeter Marco von Orelli (George Gruntz Workshop Big Band, Tommy Meier Root Down) possesses a manifold musical persona. He's composed for TV, theater and collaborates with many notable European jazz artists and improvisers. But as a leader, Alluring Prospects poses deep insight into his enthralling compositional pen, bridging classical, jazz and the improvisational element into multilateral array of largely, energizing frameworks.
With slight doses of classical austerity amid twisting choruses and stately themes, the ensemble also executes concise unison lines with asymmetrical infusions of loose groove improv, embedded within these complex arrangements. For example, on "Ghost Dance, von Orelli's muted phrasings summon notions of pathos, countered by trombonist Lukas Briggen's flickering passages, leading to frothy call and response episodes. But they seamlessly transform the progressive jazz undercurrent with a spunky rock pulse via a horde of chameleonic changes.
Estimable Swiss pianist and solo artist Michel Wintsch adds subtle synthesizer lines into various movements as he complements and retorts the hornists' clamorous thematic segments, tempered with wit and whimsy. At times the band gets a bit rowdy with terse statements and a profusion of contrasting improvisational encounters, synchronized with sinuous explorations. On the final track "Vita," Wintsch's simmering synth riffs and otherworldly treatments interconnect his band-mates' rugged developments. Here, the soloists are opposing forces engaging in battle. Yet they temper the pace and embark upon numerous modes of reinvention. Indeed, von Orelli is an active mind on the loose, evidenced on his second album for the Switzerland-based hatOLOGY record label. And his multifaceted arrangements present a loaded deck that tenders a 360-view of von Orelli's impressive talents and forward-looking vision.
Track Listing: Prolog – Lisboa Days; Ayako; Monte Verita; Ghost Dance; Triptychon; Boat People; Vita.
Personnel: Marco von Orelli: trumpet; Lukas Briggen: trombone; Michael Wintsch: piano, synthesizer; Kasper von Gruningen: double bass; Samuel Duhsler: drums.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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