153

Pierre Favre on Intakt

Andrey Henkin By

Sign in to view read count
One of the most important skills contributing to the longevity of an improvising musician's career is versatility. A look at several successful examples demonstrates a commitment to adaptability: Evan Parker, William Parker, Kenny Wheeler, Anthony Braxton. Two new albums by venerable Swiss drummer Pierre Favre, one an improvised duet and the other a carefully sculpted quasi-sextet session, show why he has managed to remain relevant since the early '60s while so many others wallow in their back catalogue.

Pierre Favre
Saxophones
Intakt
2004

Saxophones , duly named because of the presence of the Arte Quartett (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone), is a set of tightly composed, semi-classical works, at times for solo drums (Favre being one of the innovators in this genre), at others for drums, the quartet and the additional voice of Michel Godard's tuba. Favre's presence on this record is more as behind-the-drumkit baton waver - except for the solo pieces, his drumming is strictly, though inventively, supportive. A wonderfully conceptualized album, Favre presents 11 pieces, most short statements, only the 11-minute "Anecdote" working in a suite-like format. Parallels to recent albums can be made with John Surman's Free and Equal (ECM) or Evan Parker's Alder Brook (Leo), other works which incorporate horns outside the typical solo-oriented jazz tradition. Favre's compositions make good use of the textural possibilities of the group's tonal range, be it with long tones or staccato bursts. At 50 minutes, the album can function as one multi-part piece, the solo drum sections used to break up the many varied, though overwhelmingly somber and gracious, melodies.

Irène Schweizer/Pierre Favre
Ulrichsberg
Intakt
2004

As melodic and restrained as Saxophones is is how bombastic Favre's live duet Ulrichsberg with countrywoman pianist Irene Schweizer can be. Schweizer and Favre have played together as early as 1967's Santana trio date with the late Peter Kowald (one track here is dedicated to him). The pianist also has made a career of working in tandem with creative drummers: Han Bennink, Favre previous to this album, Andrew Cyrille, Günter Baby Sommer, Louis Moholo (all also available on Intakt). This hour-long set is a masterful conversation on an array of topics. Schweizer avoids the heavy handedness of some other pianists concentrating more on wild intervallic jumps, tension-ridden passages and stylized jaunts. Favre, who has played in trad groups and free jazz combos has an amazing arrangement of techniques and approaches at his disposal; there is no direction Schweizer can go in without Favre providing the most tasteful accompaniment. It is this taste that separates these six pieces (5 to 15 minutes in length) from much improvised music—these musicians play free but think compositionally, creating a cohesion unexpected but certainly welcome.

For more information, visit Intakt on the web.

Personnel

Saxophones : Pierre Favre: drums, percussion; Michel Godard: tuba, serpent; Beat Hofstetter: soprano saxophone; Sascha Armbruster: alto saxophone; Andrea Formenti: tenor saxophone; Beat Kappeler: baritone saxophone.

Ulrichsberg : Irène Schweizer: piano; Pierre Favre: drums.


Shop

More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Marc Copland: Zenith and Haunted Heart" Multiple Reviews Marc Copland: Zenith and Haunted Heart
by John Ephland
Published: March 11, 2016
Read "Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads" Multiple Reviews Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads
by John Eyles
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "The Unity Sessions / Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" Multiple Reviews The Unity Sessions / Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "John David Souther: Black Rose and Home By Dawn" Multiple Reviews John David Souther: Black Rose and Home By Dawn
by Doug Collette
Published: March 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!