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Irene Schweizer / Han Bennink: Welcome Back

Read "Welcome Back" reviewed by John Sharpe

For such an assuredly rhythmic player Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer shows an unexpected affinity to drummers, who feature disproportionately as partners in her discography. But even so Welcome Back constitutes only the second entry to pair Schweizer with maverick Dutch drummer Han Bennink, following their eponymous debut (Intakt, 1996), which was itself preceded by years of engagement stretching back further still. In spite of their impeccable avant-garde credentials (both have been at the forefront of European improv for the last ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Irene Schweizer - Han Bennink: Welcome Back

Read "Welcome Back" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer and Dutch drummer Han Bennink share a long and fruitful lineage within the Euro improvisation scene as Welcome Back marks the their second duo recording. However, the pianist has recorded duets with venerable drummers, Andrew Cyrille, Baby Sommer and others of note, while Bennink has participated in duets with pianists, Cecil Taylor and Myra Melford to cite a few. The musicians' respective legacies could in theory, populate a book. Yet, they're at it again with these ...

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Irene Schweizer - Pierre Favre: Live in Zurich

Read "Live in Zurich" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer's celebrated duets with jazz drumming greats, Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink and Gunter “Baby" Sommer must have been impressive spectacles. This album denotes her third duo album with her infamous fellow countryman, drummer Pierre Favre. Needless to state, the artists' extraordinary interactions are in full force via these concise pieces that were not arranged or rehearsed prior to the live gigs, spanning March 22-24, 2013 at a venue in Zurich. Even though these works skirt the free-zone, ...

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Irene Schweizer / Dewan Motihar / Barney Wilen / Manfred Schoof: Jazz Meets India

Read "Jazz Meets India" reviewed by John Kelman

Years before John McLaughlin began a deep investigation into the music of India that resonates to this day, there was Jazz Meets India. It wasn't the first time that Indian music had crept into popular western culture--The Beatles and John Coltrane, amongst others, had already seen to that--but this 1967 MPS date was an early experimental meshing of linear Eastern modality with free jazz improv. There have been plenty of failed cross-cultural experiments, but thanks to Promising Music's ongoing MPS ...

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Trio 3 + Irene Schweizer: Berne Concert

Read "Berne Concert" reviewed by John Sharpe

Almost without anyone noticing, Trio 3 has become one of the great working bands in jazz. That's not the default outcome of longevity: though saxophonist Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille first got together under the Trio 3 moniker back in 1992, they have become, if anything, a more cohesive unit over time. Their previous release, Time Being (Intakt, 2007), was one of their strongest, with an acute group aesthetic brought to bear on a fertile blend ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Trio 3 / Irene Schweizer: Berne Concert

Read "Berne Concert" reviewed by Nic Jones

Maybe a look at the participants is enough to make clear that the music they produce is going to be something. This program doesn't disappoint, even while many expectations may be confounded. As is often the case, when musicians are caught for posterity in a live setting, the music comes from a different place, and those expecting high energy workouts are going to be disappointed as the reality is somewhat different.

Of course it has to be emphasized that the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Schweizer / Anderson / Drake: Willisau & Taktlos

Read "Willisau & Taktlos" reviewed by Nic Jones

Pianist Irene Schweizer, tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson and Hamid Drake on drums are individually benign forces of nature, no question about it, and the performances documented here testify to the fact. All three players are deeply alert to the integral values of free playing and they mine the seam so deeply that it seems as though their creativity is bottomless.

“A Former Dialogue" is taken as a duo by Schweizer and Drake and the extraordinary empathy of their work is ...

PROFILES

Irene Schweizer: Ramifications

Read "Irene Schweizer: Ramifications" reviewed by Clifford Allen

One of the leading exponents of free piano playing in Europe from the late 1960s onward, Swiss-born Irène Schweizer occupied a somewhat lonely place in the high-energy FMP canon as she worked with Peter Kowald, Evan Parker, Manfred Schoof, the Wuppertal reedman Rüdiger Carl and others in European free improvisation's heyday. Renowned as a soloist and for her duets with many of today's most innovative percussionists, she also co-led the Feminist Improvising Group in the 1980s and the trio Les ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Irene Schweizer: First Choice - Piano Solo KKL Luzern

Read "First Choice - Piano Solo KKL Luzern" reviewed by Nic Jones

Comparison between the opening bars of the lengthy title track on First Choice and Cecil Taylor's solo work reveals interesting details. Where Taylor's more reflective passages tend often to preview bombast and iconoclasm writ large, Irene Schweizer's approach to the piano seems more reflective--more prone to rumination on an idea or a fragment of an idea--and it makes for music that holds the attention more by stealth than by sheer impact. Over the course of these nineteen minutes, there isn't ...

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Ir: Where's Africa

Read "Where's Africa" reviewed by AAJ Staff

By Ken Waxman

Take your pick: this is either a return to swing-bop roots for Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer or the weirdest duo session she's ever made. That's because Schweizer, who has had a commitment to the European avant-garde since the late '60s, here plays an entire program of jazz and pop standards, plus one original.

Stranger still, her partner here is the many years younger, Zürich-based alto saxophonist Omri Ziegele, whose recorded forays with over-the-top, often electrified bands like ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Ir

Read "Ir" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Most independent recording labels have their bellwether artists, those musicians on the roster central to the label's identity and mission. Hatology has Joe McPhee. Peter Brötzmann is commonly associated with FMP. Tzadik revolves around John Zorn. In the case of Intakt it's Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer. Schweizer has been playing actively for nearly half a century and the last several decades of her career have been faithfully documented on Intakt. Ideally, labels and artists share a reciprocal relationship. It's the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Irene Schweizer and Omri Ziegele: Where's Africa

Read "Where's Africa" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

This duo outing, featuring saxophonist Omri Ziegele and Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer, thrives on the contrasts of the two artists' styles. Schweizer's approach is joyous and ribald, a loose and free-flowing love affair with her instrument. Alto saxophonist Ziegele has a robust tone, a bit raw-edged, intense and imaginative. On Where's Africa the duo dives into five tunes by Don Cherry, three Monk compositions, Duke Ellington, Kurt Weill, and Johnny Mandel's “Suicide Is Painless" (the “Mash" theme song), and Rodgers ...


Emmanuel

From Without You; a collection of 11 classic pop and jazz standards.

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