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ALBUM REVIEW

Bertrand Denzler / CoÔ: Arc

Read "Arc" reviewed by John Eyles

This release is particularly welcome as Potlatch Records has not released an album since Infra by Pascale Criton, in September 2017. As the label issued its first album--No Waiting, by Derek Bailey & Joëlle Léandre--in 1998, this is an opportunity to mark the ground-breaking label's twentieth anniversary, and send congratulations to proprietor Jacques Oger. It is fitting that an album featuring Bertrand Denzler marks the occasion, as he has been a Potlatch regular, in various guises. Recently, saxophonist Denzler has ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Two Contrasting Releases From Bertrand Denzler

Read "Two Contrasting Releases From Bertrand Denzler" reviewed by John Eyles

Although the Swiss-born saxophonist, improviser and composer Bertrand Denzler has a modestly-sized discography compared to some saxophonists, the recordings within it reveal a diverse range of collaborations and activities with a consistently-high quality level. For many years he has participated in ensembles such as Hubbub, The Seen and Trio Sowari, his distinctive saxophone sound being one of the key ingredients of the groups' sounds and successes. But such long-term projects have never prevented Denzler from pursuing a range of short-term ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Neukollner Modelle: Sektion 3-7

Read "Sektion 3-7" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Legendary free-jazz pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach joins the core trio Neukollner Modelle for this 2-CD follow-up to Sektion 1-2 (Umlaut, 2016). Here, top-flight European adventurists mold variable jazz vernaculars into a signature modus operandi, propelled by the superb Scandinavian drummer, Sven-Ake Johansson. Moreover, the program poses a mélange of rhythmically charged motifs, fractured voicings, and whirlwind-like improv segments amid the construction efforts and other parts where the band seemingly uses a wrecking ball to disassemble micro-themes. von Schlippenbach's ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Three contrasting Bertrand Denzler releases

Read "Three contrasting Bertrand Denzler releases" reviewed by John Eyles

It seems that Swiss-born tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler is already involved in so many contrasting groupings that he would have no need to be joining or creating yet more. Active groupings of which he is a member include Hubbub, Mark Wastell's The Seen, Trio Sowari, Zoor, plus a trio with Eddie Prevost and John Edwards. Some others seem dormant, but not actually extinct, including the saxophone quartet Propagations, his own Bertrand Denzler Cluster, and a duo with Hans Koch. In ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Bertrand Denzler Cluster: Y?

Read "Y?" reviewed by Robert Spencer

I put this one on, and I thought, “Hmmm. Unusual instrumentation. Vibes? Marimba? Xylophone? And what's that? Synthesizer? Or some other kind of electronic thingy?" Turns out to be a prepared piano, a la John Cage's groundbreaking sonatas of the late Forties, and here masterfully deployed by Benoît Delbecq, who also plays a standard piano. But the prepared piano has a fascinating and much-varied sound, aided by the bass of Hélène Labarrière, who so intertwines with it that together they ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Bertrand Denzler Cluster: Y?

Read "Y?" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Among the crop of new releases from the audacious and very much avant-garde Leo Lab records is something by a band, which calls itself “Bertrand Denzler Cluster”. Y? was recorded live on 2 tracks by Radio DRS at Jazzfestival Schaffhausen, Switzerland, May 4, 1998.

Tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler along with his Quartet are at times fiercely energetic, loud, dissonant or serve up kaleidoscopic-like interludes and conversational group interplay. The title track and opener “Y?” clocks in at 21 minutes and ...


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