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Irene Schweizer & Gunter Sommer: Irene Schweizer & Gunter Sommer

Glenn Astarita By

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One of several duet recordings featuring world class drummers/percussionists, pianist Irene Schweizer and free-jazz drummer Gunter Sommer take flight into the ozone with this 1987 live recording originally released on LP.

The scenery changes often through buoyant spirit along with an uncanny sense of direction, which is evident upon the opening moments of “Dresdener”. On “Verspielte Zeiten” Ms Schweizer employs classical structures and overtones combined with humor and wit. Here, the duo become slightly rambunctious as some of this elicits thoughts of fast-paced Silent movie comedies ala Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd. Modern and traditional concepts coalesce. No, this is not simply a series of rehearsed compositions yet is that of two artists who improvise live onstage not knowing where the next twist, turn or angle will lead them. Sommer is a magician behind the kit whether banging small cymbals, roto-toms, and high pitched drums or swinging his ass off. On “Monte Marenzo”, Sommer is a one-man rhythm section which is also evident on the vivacious piece appropriately titled, “Schweizersommer”. Here, Ms. Schweizer provides the listener with music history 101 which runs the gamut from Albert Ammons style stride piano, classical, free-improvised, world and much more as motifs arise from the ashes and are visualized into something equally abstract. “Schweizersommer” is 19 minutes in length as the duo display amazing virtuosity, endearing simplicity and complex dialogue often supplemented by difficult unison lines along with a few humorous escapades tossed in for good measure. Simply put, a tour de force from two masters. Let’s hope the tradition continues which would follow Ms Schweizer’s latest and quite brilliant endeavor with renowned Swiss drummer Pierre Favre. * * * * ½

Intakt web:www.intaktrec.ch.


Title: Irene Schweizer & Gunter Sommer | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Intakt Records


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