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Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer sets her free flowing improvisational tendencies aside for this relatively mainstream set featuring a series of duets with her compatriot, alto saxophonist Co Streiff. These grand madams of modern jazz take the listener on a direct path to joy and wonderment throughout this gorgeously stunning set of predominately Streiff original compositions. In fact, this is one of the most significant piano/sax duets this writer has heard in quite a few years. The twosome excels when combining lushly enacted melodies with rhythmically induced passages and tuneful improvisational sequences. Ms. Streiff’s whispery lines attain a happy medium with Schweizer’s macrobiotic way of reworking simple melodies into grand opuses. Many of these pieces boast addicting hooks and bluesy dreamscapes. Hence, you can easily visualize the smiles on the artists’ faces in the studio, as the listener might be beckoned to drift way into an inexplicable state of bliss. On the piece titled “So oder so,” the duo commences at a torrid pace, while eventually descending into a succession of sonorous unison choruses. The musicians display uncanny intuitiveness as they weave in and out of a hodgepodge of alluring sub themes, for an outing that should withstand the sands of time. Vigorously recommended.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.