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ALBUM REVIEWS

Stewy von Wattenwyl: After the Rain

Read "After the Rain" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

After the storm has passed through, after the rain, with the sunbeams peaking though the breaking clouds, the day takes on an unblemished clarity. The horizon's sharp edge separates land from sky. Details of the landscape shine with fine detail. That after-the-rain clarity and focus is what elevates the artistic endeavor. Swiss pianist Stewy von Wattenwyl, with recordings like the trio outing Dienda (Brambus Reocrds, 2005), and the quartet set with saxophonist Eric Alexander, Live at Marians (Bemsha Music, 2009), ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stewy von Wattenwyl Generations Band: Live at Marians

Read "Live at Marians" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Swiss pianist Stewy von Wattenwyl blasts into this high energy set, Live at Marians, with a blistering one-two punch of Wes Montgomery's “Fried Pies" and John Coltrane's “Moments Notice." The leader pounds the keys in a McCoy Tyner mode, and saxophonist Eric Alexander sounds raw and just barely tamed. This is not a sound that can be called laidback; this is a gale force wind gusting into town.Von Wattenwyl, a well-versed keyboardist, has a discography that includes a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stewy von Wattenwyl: Wabash

Read "Wabash" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

It never hurts to have a great CD cover. Wabash, from Swiss keyboardist Stewy von Wattenwyl, features art reminiscent of Miles Davis' sometimes maligned On the Corner (Columbia Records, 1972). But while the Davis cover seemed to project hipness with his cartoon characters, von Wattenwyl's pencil-necked, slouching musicians--beside, upon and within a monolithic music machine--seems to be an invitation to a good, unpretentious straight-ahead listening experience, and that's just what you get with the CD.

Von ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stewy von Wattenwyl / Nick Perrin: I Got a Right to Sing the Blues

Read "I Got a Right to Sing the Blues" reviewed by Jack Bowers

In music as in sports, the best players always make whatever they do seem deceptively easy. Guitarist Nick Perrin and pianist Stewy von Wattenwyl are so loose and casual that one might think they were jamming in a basement or garage instead of cutting an album in a recording studio, belying the years of study, discipline and hard work it took to get them to that point. The duo format requires unremitting focus and the ability to listen carefully and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stewy von Wattenwyl: Dienda

Read "Dienda" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Dienda, Swiss pianist Stewy von Wattenwyl's fifth album for Brambus Records, is an impressively recorded studio date, which wouldn't mean much if von Wattenwyl and his colleagues were less than impressive. Happily, they are not.

Von Wattenwyl, whose reputation is growing in his own country and elsewhere, clearly has found his own voice within a framework of elegance reminiscent of contemporary masters Barry Harris, Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan and Kenny Barron; and power that calls to mind McCoy Tyner, Mulgrew ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stewy Von Wattenwyl: Dienda

Read "Dienda" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

In a review of Live at Bird's Eye, a CD by the Stewy Von Wattenwyl Trio featuring Eric Alexander, All About Jazz reviewer Jack Bowers praised saxophonist Alexander's ability to use his technique to form an emotional bond with the listener. That is what the best artists do, and it's what the pianist on that particular disc--Stewy Von Wattenwyl--does so well here on Dienda. It's obvious from the very first notes of Gershwin's “My Man's Gone Now"--a dark, lonely sound--and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Stewy von Wattenwyl Trio Featuring Eric Alexander: Live at Bird's Eye

Read "Live at Bird's Eye" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Pianist Stewy von Wattenwyl, a rising star in his native Switzerland (where they even know how to pronounce his name), invited one of America's outstanding young tenor saxophonists, Eric Alexander, to accompany his trio last spring on a ten-day tour of Swiss nightspots, one evening of which was recorded at the Bird's Eye club in Basel.

Alexander, who recently turned thirty-five, is a throwback to the days when jazz soloists valued story-telling and interplay above all else, using their technique ...


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