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Irene Schweizer/Andrew Cyrille is yet another superb display of Irene Schweizer’s recorded duet performances with modern masters of the drums. Here, the brilliant Swiss based pianist performs alongside the incomparable Andrew Cyrille. Recorded live in 1988, Ms Schweizer and Mr. Cyrille grab your full fledged attention from the opening track or as they say in boxing – “the opening bell”. On “Smashing Napf” the two musicians engage in some hefty call and response dialogue as though they were taunting one another. A cavalcade of rhythms ensue as Ms Schweizer, besides establishing themes and melody is fully adept at banging out heavy handed block chords and pulsating arpeggios. On “From Stafa to Willisau Via Music”, Ms Schweizer commences with brilliant chord progressions similar to a concert hall pianist in full stride. Here, Cyrille pushes and prods the proceedings as the duo engage in vertically inclined movements, which for the most part is delightfully devastating! Throughout, Andrew Cyrille performs as if he were a battering ram, intent on breaking down barriers with his polyrhythmic yet multifarious approach to the drums. Some playful and pensive moments occur as Schweizer and Cyrille partake in intricate yet colorful dialogue.
On “Fiction Of The 13th Kind”, Ms Schweizer displays Art Tatum-like speed complete with sweeping crescendos, swirling chord voicings and acute rhythmic development as Cyrille perpetuates the turbo-charged pulse....The intensity level is at times mind-boggling! Things quiet down just a bit as Cyrille utilizes rim shots as if he were a tap dancer, dancing along to Ms Schweizer’s polytonal thematic developments. The final piece, titled, “A Monkish Encore”, features a Thelonius Monk derived motif and hinges on free-jazz, as if they were two artists creating an impressionist painting. Hearing is believing!! * * * * ½
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