All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

5

Daniel Schlaeppi: Voices Live

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
For what more could one ask?

A live gig, excellently recorded; an appreciative audience; a band which is sharp as a tack that comes charging out of the gate smoking, playing music to which one cannot help but move.

The previous live album of bassist Daniel Schlaeppi, was Dimensions Live, and he brings us this time a set from Jazzfestival Schaffhausen with a band that has no harmony instrument. Consisting of two saxophones/bass clarinets, Jurg Bucher (who appeared on Dimensions) and Domenic Landolf, who are backed, supported and pushed by the superb drummer Dominic Egli and of course Schlaeppi, the sound produced is wide open and yet precise and taut.

Bucher (left channel) and Landolf (right channel) sound like fraternal twins in that their unison playing is clean, with slight phrasing differences that feel very natural, but also that their solo improvisations, although different, seem to come from the same source and many times play off each other. Schlaeppi's sound is huge, centered and propulsive and it is balanced by the precise, yet highly energetic drumming of Egli.

The one hour set consists of eleven Schlaeppi compositions of which three are short bass solos that function as aural "palate" cleansers, allowing the audience to reset their bearings after the previous journey. The music is quite intense, but has much hip irony in that its antecedents are clearly in be-and hard-bop (down to the unison thematic intros), but overlayed and stretched by modern harmony and phrasing (both melodic and rhythmic). The music is easily appreciated on many levels, while remaining challenging and unpredictable.

"Graupenschauer," which opens the set, is typical of the proceedings. It starts with a deep, funky off-center bass ostinato (maintained throughout the piece) that is lit up by the entrance of Egli, making it real body music. The theme, played in unison by the horns, sounds like a very slowed down bop theme, and actually initially feels misplaced when heard in front of the funky bass riff. Landolf starts the soloing playing anywhere but on the beat, with perfectly placed accent commentary by Egli. The tension builds until the soloing is actually handed off to Bucher by overlapping notes with Egli becoming more and more active. The unison theme returns and serves as a nice way to resolve the tension that has been built up.

"Voices," the longest track, beginnings with a repeated bass pedal point note and swings like crazy when Egli comes in. Intro phrases are traded by the horns as the tension again builds, the theme is again played in unison, followed by repetition in harmony, then more overlapping phrases leading to the solos which float over the steady bass pulse and an always very busy, but steady Egli. A rhythmically free and softer section follows with a Landolf solo that gradually merges with the drums and bass back into rhythm. This dissolves to a free bass and drums duet, which leads back to the pulsing theme—just wonderful.

The rest of the tracks are just as good. "Far Out Blues" is just that, and is almost sinister (in a good way), "Call Me Bop" is a lot of plain fun to hear as this band's twist on the bop idiom. "Play of Colours" slows things down with a beautiful, folk-like tune played by two clarinets, and is followed by "Trial And Error" which ends up being a real blowing tune on quite disguised "I've Got Rhythm" changes. "Catwalk" closes this terrific set with a completely different gently lilting but somewhat funky feel that is a perfect way to end.

What a band -Schlaeppi solidly supports the three other players—and yes, Egli is as much a part of the "front line" as the awesome duo of Bucher and Landolf.

Highly recommended.

Track Listing: Graupenschauer; Quiet Please; Voices; Far Out Blues; Call Me Bop; Grow Up; At First Sight; Play Of Colours; Trial And Error; Nine; Catwalk.

Personnel: Daniel Schlaeppi: bass; Jurg Bucher: saxophones, bass clarient; Domenic Landolf: saxophones, bass clarinet; Dominic Egli: drums.

Title: Voices Live | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Catwalk

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Voices Live

Voices Live

Catwalk
2014

buy
Essentials

Essentials

Catwalk
2014

buy
Essentials

Essentials

Catwalk
2012

buy
Forces

Forces

Catwalk
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Always Forward CD/LP/Track Review
Always Forward
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Music of Richard Whiting CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Richard Whiting
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Barefoot Dances and Other Visions CD/LP/Track Review
Barefoot Dances and Other Visions
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor CD/LP/Track Review
Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker CD/LP/Track Review
Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966! CD/LP/Track Review
The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966!
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "Fred Hersch Trio: Live in Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Fred Hersch Trio: Live in Europe
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 26, 2018
Read "Humanities" CD/LP/Track Review Humanities
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring - Live in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring - Live in San Francisco
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 8, 2018
Read "Penmanship" CD/LP/Track Review Penmanship
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 6, 2018
Read "Empty Castles" CD/LP/Track Review Empty Castles
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 22, 2018
Read "Picture in Black and White" CD/LP/Track Review Picture in Black and White
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 15, 2018