Christoph Irniger Pilgrim: Crosswinds

Don Phipps By

Sign in to view read count
Christoph Irniger Pilgrim: Crosswinds
With Crosswinds, Christoph Irniger's quartet Pilgrim offers a scintillating trip into a musical subconscious —a dream state where one opens doors only to find more doors —a spiral staircase where the top is always just beyond reach. For the most part, the album consists of tunes that are both sparse yet engaging. And it is this mix of idioms that makes the album so successful.

Irniger's raspy breathing is often heard in his sax playing. His attacks are warm and straightforward but somehow eerie. His combination of effects contrasts with bassist Raffaele Bossard's dark wooden tones and the arcs created by Michi Stulz's drumming, which always seems to emphasize the right beat at the right moment in time. Dave Gisler exhibits his guitar prowess by, at times, settling beneath the music with eerie electronic scrapes or through full frontal attacks, like those that end "Crosswinds" or "Inside." Stefan Aeby too offers color and texture to the musical imaginings, for example his upper piano chords on "Miniature" atop Gisler's wailing guitar or his rolling efforts on the jagged switchbacks of "Point of View," where he offers counterpoint to Bossard's hard plucks and Irniger's sax lines.

Irniger composed all but three of the pieces on the disc. Aeby composed the whale-song-like "Miniature," Bossard, the strange effervescent "Aeon," and the entire group created "C Major Improvisation." Yet even in those pieces not composed by Irniger, the musical arc is maintained—a deep dive to the bottom of a chasm of mystery.

As Irniger states in the liner notes, Crosswinds is "about the game between the inner child and adult in us." It is this play, between the real and unreal, the dream and the waking state, the subconscious and the conscious, that make Crosswinds a uniquely riveting affair.

Track Listing

Big Wheel; Luce Oscura; Point of view; Miniature; Crosswinds; C Major Improvisation; Studio Song; Inside; Aeon.


Christoph Irniger: tenor sax; Stefan Aeby: piano; Dave Gisler: guitar; Raffaele Bossard: Double Bass; Michi Stulz: Drums.

Album information

Title: Crosswinds | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Intakt Records

Post a comment about this album



Shop Amazon


Read Light In The World
Light In The World
Nocturnal Four
Read A Time And A Place
A Time And A Place
Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language
Read Mayan Suite
Mayan Suite
Brian Andres
Read When You Find It
When You Find It
Arthur White and Merge
Read Rainbow Baby
Rainbow Baby
Cathlene Pineda
Read An Open Dialogue
An Open Dialogue
Linda Sikhakhane

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.