2

Trio Heinz Herbert: The Willisau Concert

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Trio Heinz Herbert: The Willisau Concert
It can't do any harm as an aspiring musician if a close relation runs a record company. But let's be clear that the young Swiss threesome Trio Heinz Herbert's appearance on the esteemed Intakt imprint is based entirely on merit, without a whiff of nepotism on the air. Right that's got that out of the way. In fact The Willisau Concert constitutes the band's fourth album (sort of, as they shared a split CD, before issuing two others solely under their own name on small local labels). As the title indicates, it documents their performance at the 2016 Willisau Festival, and consists of six collectively birthed explorations.

At the core of the unit are the brothers Landolt, Ramon on keyboards and Dominic on guitar (who share the surname with Intakt founder Patrik). But crucial to their approach is Mario Hänni on drums who astutely treads the sometimes fraught borderline between elastic grooves and improv textures, albeit with rocky attitude. All three utilize effects, with Ramon Landolt's synthesizer providing some of the most original aspects of their sound, as he imbues the circuitry with real personality and life. Together they take the seat-of-the-pants outlook of jazz to a realm beyond genre which touches variously on metal, minimalism, noise and indie pop.

"Granulare Liebe / LEI" with its indeterminate metallic sounds bubbling out of a mix of clattering rattles and guitar tweakings builds into a fusillade of percussive pulsation, before stilling to reveal waves of electronic washes, then a final anthemic pounding. Its energy and rhythm is what separates it from much ambient music. In fact the gradually evolving patterns suggest nothing so much as a plugged in, souped up version of The Necks.

The stop start cadences of "Fragment Z / Brugguda" lead into the most jazzy offering on the disc with the spare piano lines of "Hyper Down" underpinned by a slightly ominous throb, while Dominic Landolt's guitar driven thumping alternates with more pointillist passages on "Heinz Steps."

It's on "Planet Cita K," with its echoes of 70s krautrock pioneers Tangerine Dream and Can, that the outfit comes nearest to the space jazz tag that's been used to describe them. Indeed the ethereal voice samples before the incrementally swelling crescendo might even be Sun Ra. Needless to say the subsequent ovation is well deserved, and should be the first of many for a group following a bright star.

Track Listing

Granulare Liebe / LEI; Fragment Z / Brugguda; Hyper Down; Heinz Steps; Planet Cita K; Gumpi Ball.

Personnel

Dominic Landolt: guitar, effects; Ramon Landolt: synth, samples, piano; Mario Hänni: drums, effects

Album information

Title: The Willisau Concert | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Intakt Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Django-shift
Django-shift
Rez Abbasi
Read West Meets East
West Meets East
Adam Shulman Septet
Read Fela's First
Fela's First
Fela Ransome Kuti & His Highlife Rakers
Read The Rise Up
The Rise Up
Mehmet Ali Sanlikol
Read New York Moment
New York Moment
JC Hopkins Biggish Band
Read Pollinator
Pollinator
Matt Ulery
Read Hug!
Hug!
Matt Wilson Quartet

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.