The Vortex Jazz Club is delighted that the Intakt Festival 2017 will be at the club. You can see a complete schedule in our programme calendar with links to book your tickets.
OO LONDON – ZÜRICH
INTAKT RECORDS IN LONDON
DATES: 16 APRIL – 27 APRIL 2017
WHERE: THE VORTEX JAZZ CLUB
INTAKT FESTIVAL WEBSITE www.intaktrec.ch/london2017
DOWNLOAD THE INTAKT CATALOGUE
OO Sunday, April 16, 2017, 7.30 pm + 9.15 pm
BARRY GUY – 70th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
For the opening night of the Intakt Festival at the Vortex we are delighted to be celebrating the 70th birthday of one of the genuine pioneers in European music, a completely individual and highly influential figure, Barry Guy.
In the 1970’s Guy was active both in the fields of classical music – at the highest level, for example with John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Orchestra, and with Christopher Hogwood’s Academy of Ancient Music – and also of free improvisation. He is founder of the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, the Barry Guy New Or- chestra and most recently the Blue Shroud Band.
He is one of the most influential composers in current jazz and in new music, In small ensembles with Evan Parker, Maya Homburger, Howard Riley, Marilyn Crispell, Augusti Fernandez, as well as with younger musi- cians such as Lucas Niggli and Jürg Wickihalder, his mastery of improvisation marks him out as one of the very great bassists of Europe.
Barry Guy’s series of recordings for the Intakt label, ever since the 1980s, have left a significant mark. His music and his total commitment are a constant inspiration.
MAYA HOMBURGER – BARRY GUY
Maya Homburger: Violin Barry Guy: Bass
“Homburger and Guy are not only wonderful instrumentalists, but also musical story-tellers brimming with ideas.” This was the verdict of the respected Swiss broadsheet the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
Violinist Maya Homburger and bassist Barry Guy, who have lived together for many years in a small town close to Zurich, have also worked together with the leading ensembles in the field of historically informed performance. This led them to a clear view of how the methods of articulation, the timbres and tonal systems from the baroque could be applied to the performance of contemporary music. They have applied their unique combined skills and instrumental mastery as a performing duo to find new ways to bring these genres closer together.
Their music spans over more than a thousand years: from the ninth century hymn “Veni Creator Spiritus”, to the rosary sonatas of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, and onwards to a tribute to the Hungarian composer György Kurtágs or to Guy’s own contemporary compositions. Homberger and Guy are capable of taking the listener’s breath away with the music of any period. Music of the past and of the present coalesce in a way that informs and illuminates, and yet the diversity of the aesthetic worlds and sentiments remains intact. Through the contrasting and counter-positioning of music from earlier periods with improvisation, the listener gains more perspective, and a deeper understanding of both.
CD: Maya Homburger – Barry Guy. Tales of Enchantment. Maya Homburger: Baroque Violin, Barry Guy: Bass. Intakt CD 202
HOWARD RILEY TRIO WITH BARRY GUY & LUCAS NIGGLI
Howard Riley: Piano Barry Guy: Bass Lucas Niggli: Drums
The working association of Howard Riley with Barry Guy started back in the 1960s. It may be relatively little known, but is of vast significanc.
Riley and Guy have been involved for many years in a deep exploration of the piano trio and how it can be redefined. “Reinventing the piano trio” was how Duncan Heining described this process in an in-depth article about Riley.
Influenced by the classic trio of Bill Evans-Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian, they transported the piano trio into the field of free improvisation, and developed new means of interaction.
A number of historically significant albums have resulted: “Discussions” (1968 with Jon Hiseman), “Angle” (1969 with Alan Richard Jackson), “The Day Will Come” (1970), “Flight” (1971 with Tony Oxley) and “Synopsis” (1973) are all there, and bear witness to the ground-breaking evolution of this partnership.
Riley and Guy worked together consistently, and led their innovatory evolution jointly and from the front, but they always knew they wanted to work with different drummers. Riley and Guy have also played together in other groups, such as the London Jazz Composers Orchestra. Indeed Riley even wrote a composition for the LCJO. For their Vortex concert the huge energy and vitality of Swiss drummer Lucas Niggli will be powering the Howard Riley Trio – a very exciting prospect!
EVAN PARKER – BARRY GUY
Evan Parker: Saxophone Barry Guy: Bass
Evan Parker is THE saxophonist; Barry Guy is THE bassist. Both are legendary figures in the field of im- provisation. They have also been close friends and colleagues for many years. Their association can be traced right back to the first few minutes after the original cosmic big bang of British improv: they met in 1966 playing in the Spontaneous Music Ensemble at the Little Theatre Club. From that point, each of the two musicians’ individual, epoch-determining styles has evolved, and countless recordings have borne witness to Guy’s and Parker’s pioneering work. Through the years, however, they have continued to work in common projects – in Barry Guy’s London Jazz Composers Orchestra, in the New Orchestra, in the Evan Parker Trio, or the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble. The two good friends have also taken their opportunities to enjoy the freedom and congeniality of performing as a duo.
CD: Barry Guy – Evan Parker. Evan Parker – Barry Guy. Birds and Blades. Studio & Live. Barry Guy: Bass, Evan Parker: Tenor-, Soprano Saxophone. Intakt CD 080 (2 CD).
JÜRG WICKIHALDER – BARRY GUY – LUCAS NIGGLI BEYOND
Jürg Wickihalder: Saxophone Barry Guy: Bass
Lucas Niggli: Drums
This is the meeting of three European musicians from different generations – three artists each with a vast palette of sound, three virtuosic instrumentalists, three breathtaking improvisers – each with his own musical background. Barry Guy the pioneer of European improvisation is joined by two younger Swiss players. There is Lucas Niggli, the rhythmic magician of the younger European generation, who moves effortlessly between the worlds of jazz, noise and ethno. His percussion playing is impulsive, sensitive and full of amazing colours and drive.
The youngest member of the trio is the saxophonist Jürg Wickihalder. He has been a musical associate of artists such as Irène Schweizer, Chris Wiesendanger and Ulrich Gumpert. He is steeped in the musical language of Thelonius Monk and Steve Lacy. Wickihalder takes the role of leader of this trio and has written most of the compositions for it. He is, according to the UK writer Andy Hamilton, a “master of melody”. His compositions – colourful, soulful and edgy at the same time, are the basis for all kinds of musical dialogue, and for adventurous forays into the exciting, vivid and varied language of contemporary jazz.
CD: Jürg Wickihalder, Barry Guy, Lucas Niggli. Beyond. Intakt CD 277
OO Monday, April 17, 2017, 8.30 pm + 10.00 pm
TREVOR WATTS – DIETER ULRICH
Trevor Watts: Saxophone Dieter Ulrich: Drums
As a founding member of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Trevor Watts was already helping to shape the course of jazz history back in the late 1960’s. The world of jazz has gradually taken note of quite how impressive an instrumentalist and improviser he is. He is known as well as the composer of ensemble pieces built on complex overlaid rhythms, which have been toured extensively under the banner of Moiré Music. In addition, Watts makes an impression and is thoroughly convincing in the context of smaller-scale free improvisation. Among his hallmarks are the long and intricate lines he plays, and his sense of phrasing is completely ‘sui generis’ and inimitable.
In the mid-eighties, the Scottish-born bassist Lindsay L. Cooper (1940–2001) brought Watts and the Swiss drummer Dieter Ulrich together to form a trio which did two short tours of Switzerland. The Swiss Tagesanzei- ger newspaper, in an ecstatic review, characterized the sound of this trio as “absolute music.” Unfortunately, the sad and premature death of Cooper was to bring this project to a sudden end. For Dieter Ulrich – who performed in bands with Urs Blöchlinger, Werner Lüdi, Omri Ziegele and Co (Cornelia) Streiff, and also toured with Michael J. Stevens, Oliver Lake and William Parker- the collaboration with Trevor Watts remains firmly in his memory as one of the most intense, formative and successful collaborations of his entire musical career.
In the planning phase of this Intakt Records Festival, Ulrich was given the opportunity to assemble a group of British musicians to play a set with him. He made his mind up very quickly, and so this concert by Watts and Ulrich will also be a poignant and distant reminder of their one-time friend, colleague and a magnificent bassist, the late Lindsay L. Cooper.
LUCAS NIGGLI – JAN GALEGA BRÖNNIMANN – ALY KEÏTA
Lucas Niggli: Drums
Jan Galega Brönnimann: Bass Clarinet Ali Keïta: Balafon
Aly Keïta is a pre-eminent exponent of the balafon, the West African xylophone. The musician, originally from Côte d’Ivoire, introduced the sound of the balafon into the music of Joe Zawinul, Omar Sosa and Jan Garbarek. Together with the Swiss clarinettist and saxophonist Jan Galega Brönnimann, and Swiss drummer Lucas Niggli, he blends traditional African repertoire and rhythms with jazz and improv.
This trio has another dimension, that of a specific human and emotional connection which has its origins in a place very distant from Switzerland, and which goes decades back into the musicians’ pasts. Both Niggli and Brönnimann were in fact born in Cameroon, they have been friends ever since babyhood, and grew up with the sounds and rhythms of West Africa all around them. The repertoire they play, and the fluency with which they can interact with each other know no limits. The French jazz critic Thierry Quénum wrote in the liner notes for their album “Kalo-Yele” (moonlight): “Each of these musicians can handle the melody as well as the rhythm, the musical territory they inhabit is close to the edges of jazz and world music. Is it jazz? The answer has to be yes, because to expect the unexpected could well be the motto they live by.”
CD-recommendation: Ali Keïta, Jan Galega Brönnimann, Lucas Niggli. Kalo-Yele. Intakt CD 261
IRÈNE SCHWEIZER – LOUIS MOHOLO MOHOLO
Irène Schweizer: Piano Louis Moholo Moholo: Drums
Drummer Louis Moholo Moholo and pianist Irène Schweizer have been friends since the early 1960’s. At that time the South African drummer was a member of the Blue Notes, the band of exiles led by the pianist Chris McGregor who had guest residencies at the Jazzcafe Africana in Zurich. It was there that the young pianist got to know South African music, and their brand of jazz influenced by township and kwela. This influence was formative for Schweizer and has stayed with her ever since.
One of the most extraordinary musical documents emerged from the 1986 Zurich Jazz Festival, which was
presenting South African musicians as its main programming strand. The concert by Irène Schweizer and Louis Moholo morphed into an aesthetic and a political protest against apartheid in South Africa, and also against the banks, and Zurich as a financial centre, which was colluding actively with the apartheid regime.
The album “Irene Schweizer / Louis Moholo”, with its opening track “Free Mandela,” documents this event. It was one of the very earliest releases on the Intakt label. “His rhythmic strength is what I really love about his playing,” says Irène Schweizer about her friend and musical colleague Louis Moholo Moholo. “I see similarities with Elvin Jones in the period he played with Coltrane.” And the feeling is mutual: for Moholo, Schweizer is not just a musician of real stature, but also a sister who provided support to him and to his community in the darkest days of their struggle for freedom and against apartheid.
CD: Irène Schweizer-Louis Moholo. Free Mandela. Intakt CD 006
OMRI ZIEGELE WHERE’S AFRICA
Feat. Irène Schweizer + Louis Moholo Moholo Omri Ziegele: Saxophone
Irène Schweizer: Piano
Louis Moholo Moholo: Drums
Omri Ziegele is one of the leading figures on the Zurich jazz scene, not just as saxophonist, band-leader and composer, but also as a promoter and a brilliant connector. For more than two decades he has led the Zurich- based octet Billiger Bauer (meaning ‘cheap farmer’) and played in his trio Noisy Minority with Ray Anderson. He also has a trio with Christian Weber and Han Bennink, and works with the younger generation of Zurich musicians.
At the end of the 1990’s he used to play regularly in a duo with the pianist Irène Schweizer – she is two genera- tions older than him – in the Cafe Casablanca in Zurich, where they would perform pieces from her core reper- toire. The result of that collaboration was a fabulous duo CD entitled “Where is Africa”. In the intervening years, the duo has expanded into a trio through the involvement of the Basle-based South African drummer Makaya Ntshoko, which has led the group increasingly in the direction of the music of Ntshoko’s homeland, and the rich repertoire of compositions by Johnny Dyani, Dudu Pukwana, Dollar Brand. It is a particular pleasure therefore to bring into being this London encounter of the Ziegele-Schweizer duo with the great Louis Moholo Moholo.
CD: Omri Ziegele Where’s Africa Trio. Can Walk on Sand. Omri Ziegele: Altosax, Voice, Irène Schweizer: Piano, Makaya Ntshoko: Drums. Intakt CD 167
OO Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 8.30 pm + 10.00 pm
IRÈNE SCHWEIZER – MAGGIE NICOLS
Irène Schweizer: Piano Maggie Nicols: Voice
Maggie Nicols and Irène Schweizer – two trailblazers in European music, two fighters for freedom. Maggie Ni- cols sang in London in John Stevens’ Spontaneous Music Ensemble, worked with Keith Tippett, Trevor Watts and Lindsay L. Cooper. Irène Schweizer played at the jazz cafe “Africana” in Zurich, toured with Pierre Favre and Peter Kowald, and was known for her appearances at the meetings of Free Music Production in Berlin. What is less known is quite how important Irène Schweizer’s time in London was for her. She lived there as a young woman for a long time, and became familiar with jazz in Ronnie Scott’s club. Schweizer and Nicols met in the 1970’s as part of FIG (Feminist Improvising Group). They continued together when FIG became EWIG (European Women’s Improvising Group), performing in the 1980’s at the early Taktlos Festivals and at the legendary Canaille Festival, which took place at the Rote Fabrik in Zurich.The trio Les Diaboliques with Schweizer, Nicols and the French bassist Joëlle Léandre is an important group doing pioneering work, fusing improvisation, jazz and dramatic elements. They have made several impressive CDs and a DVD documentary which are a testament to their art and their originality. Schweizer and Nicols have been performing duo concerts since the 1970’s. These are two great musicians whose dialogue is not just
intentional, but also indispensable.
CDs: Irène Schweizer, George Lewis, Maggie Nicols, Joëlle Léandre, Günter Sommer. The Storming of the Winter Palace. Intakt CD 003.
Les Diaboliques with Maggie Nicols, Irène Schweizer, Joëlle Léandre. Live at the Rhinefalls. Intakt CD 059
OMRI ZIEGELE NOISY MINORITY
Feat. Percy Pursglove Omri Ziegele: Saxophone Jan Schlegel: Bass
Dieter Ulrich: Drums Percy Pursglove: Trumpet
On the Zurich scene, the trio Noisy Minority is like an institution. It is known for performing contemporary jazz as a group with its own expressive identity, as well as a jaw-dropping capacity to put its foot to the floor and speed up. Saxophonist Omri Ziegele, bassist and sound-sorcerer Jan Schlegel and drummer Dieter Ulrich have been in this trio together for twenty years, and each plays his part in a group capable of all kinds of dare-devil exploits and unexpected grooves, but can also float delicate themes. They have a way of hovering between free improv and their spontaneously hatched arrangements, and then of bursting free. They have a relationship with jazz and its tradition which is neither hidebound nor precious. In 2014 the trio invited the New York trombonist Ray Anderson to join them. A succession of concerts and festival appearances ensued in 2015, plus a CD “Wrong is Right”. For this London concert they have re-invited the UK trumpeter Percy Pursglove, with whom they performed for the first time at the 2016 unerhört! Festival 2016 in Winterthur in Switzerland.
CD-recommendation: Omri Ziegele Noisy Minority. Wrong is Right. Intakt CD 262
OO Thursday, April 20, 2017, 8.30 pm + 10.00 pm
SCHLIPPENBACH PLAYS MONK
Alexander von Schlippenbach: Piano
Nobody plays Monk like Schlippenbach. In the same way that Monk would work away at a composition for several weeks, Schlippenbach has involved himself with Monk’s work for many years, listening, analysing, playing, all with the greatest conceivable respect. The 3 CD-set in which Alexander von Schlippenbach and the band ‘Die Enttäuschung’ recorded Thelonious Monk’s complete works constitutes a most impressive testament to this deep involvement in Monk’s music.
For his solo program Alexander von Schlippenbach chooses some of his favourites from the Monk canon, including some of the more rarely performed pieces. For him it was not about arranging, re-harmonising or consciously changing the original forms of Monk’s compositions, because the themes themselves are so multifaceted and complex. Rather, it was Alexander von Schlippenbach’s first and foremost concern to keep very close to these themes and to concentrate his focus on a free interpretation of the melodies, with their rhythmic twists and turns. Schlippenbach also likes to play his own compositions.
CDs: Monk’s Casino. The Complete Works of Thelonious Monk. Alexander von Schlippenbach, Axel Dörner, Rudi Mahall, Jan Roder, Uli Jennessen. Intakt CD 100 (3 CD Box).
Alexander von Schlippenbach. Schlippenbach Plays Monk. Intakt CD 207
OMRI ZIEGELE – JOHN EDWARDS – MARK SANDERS
Omri Ziegele: Saxophone John Edwards: Bass Mark Sanders: Drums
Omri Ziegele’s favourite format is the pianoless saxophone trio. It has freedom and the capacity to spring sudden surprises. There is an openness and roughness about it, it thrives on being unrefined and creatively unstable. There are also all of the manifold possibilities for the drums to suddenly explode, which makes them such a dominant presence in the trio. The Zurich saxophonist Ziegele is a devotee playing in saxophone trios; in fact he has quite a few projects with the same instrumentation.
In 2011, Ziegele was playing with his Schweizer Holz Trio (Swiss wood trio) at a festival in Sibiu in Romania. That was where he heard for the first time the London pairing of John Edwards (bass) & Mark Sanders (drums) in a totally convincing quartet.
One of the specialities of this festival was that there were late night gigs in the neighbourhood bars. Edwards and Sanders were playing at around midnight in such a spectacular, coruscating fashion in their well-honed duo, that the locals – who had mostly popped in for a quiet beer and weren’t expecting a concert at all – were completely captivated and dumbstruck. Ziegele was completely taken aback by the two players. What
impressed him above all was the fact that at no moment did an extra instrument seem missing or necessary. The pair were showing such wiliness and humour in their approach, Ziegel was overcome with the wish to start a project with them, and he has held on to that dream ever since.
And so it happens that the Intakt Festival in the Vortex is the first encounter between Ziegele, Edwards and Sanders. Pieces have been commissioned specially for the occasion, but these will be just a part of the picture – jumping-off points for an elaborate, switchbacking, grail-hunting and explosive trio which can be witnessed, uniquely, at the very moment of its inception.
OO Friday, April 21, 2017, 8.30 pm + 10.00 pm
BUECHI – KINSELLA – EDWARDS – MARSHALL WOOD AND BONES
Sarah Buechi: Voice, Composition Lauren Kinsella: Voice
Hannah Marshall: Cello
John Edwards: Double Bass
Three locations interconnect the musical careers of the two vocalists in this project. Firstly the Indian city Bangalore, where both Kinsella and Buechi have studied South Indian music for some time. Secondly Dublin, Kinsella’s hometown and a working place for Buechi for four years. Thirdly London, where Kinsella has established herself as an important member of the vivid jazz scene over the last few years, and where Buechi has travelled back and forth during a two year period while her partner resided there. Eight years ago, when they met in Dublin, they quickly realized that they shared a common approach to jazz and improvised music and started experimenting with their possibilities as two singers in a duo setting.
Now, with the invitation of the Intakt Festival London, there has finally arisen the possibility to reunite once more. They will be playing with two great musicians from the London Jazz scene, John Edwards on double bass and Hannah Marshall on cello. The compositions of Buechi serve as a vehicle for the band to weave in and out of written and free music.
Alexander Von Schlippenbach: Piano Evan Parker: Saxophone
Paul Lovens: Drums
Alexander von Schlippenbach, Evan Parker and Paul Lovens – they are the icons of European free jazz. This is the trio of innovation, and also of the conservation and constant renewal of a great heritage of achievement in free jazz. “The immortal trio” is how Alexander von Schlippenbach describes his band on the liner notes for their newest CD, “Warsaw Concert”.
The former Director of the Berlin Jazz Festival Bert Noglik sums up their uniqueness as follows: “The trio’s al- chemy is derived from their years of working together, from their intuitive listening and interaction – the ability to respond in an instant – and from the complementarity of their characters, each adding to the whole as well as challenging each other – a stroke of fortune. Alexander von Schlippenbach likes to talk about the ‘impetus of music making’. Impetus means drive, initiative, force, momentum, temperament. Their common purpose is never to stay still, to keep refining the music, working on the details, the current, the inner strength, so that the result is the greatest joy and clarity possible.”
CD: Schlippenbach Trio. Warsaw Concert. Intakt CD 275
OO Saturday, April 22, 2017, 8.30 pm + 10.00 pm
INGRID LAUBROCK SLEEPTHIEF
Ingrid Laubrock: Saxophone Liam Noble: Piano
Tom Rainey: Drums
In the past few years the saxophonist and composer Ingrid Laubrock has increasingly gained profile in the music scene, playing a kind of jazz that is modern and bold, but also continues the lines of the tradition. Laubrock is considered one of the most innovative saxophonists in New York. The band Sleepthief combines the London phase of her life – she lived there for almost a decade – with New York, where she now lives. The
trio was formed while she was still living in London and playing music with pianist Liam Noble. Also in the trio is the American drummer Tom Rainey, who lives and works with Laubrock in the New York borough of Brooklyn. Sleepthief is a German-British-American band with which Ingrid Laubrock is becoming better and better known internationally. Sleepthief has released two albums with Intakt and has played at the major international festivals. The Munich music critic Harry Lachner describes well what they do: “In this trio, music comes into being from streams of sounds and ideas circulating freely around the group. As is often the case in improvised music, this is done with playfulness and with ease, and is based on an ideal vision in which individuals are fundamentally open-minded and receptive. And yet it is the kind of naturalness which can only exist as the result of a serious, determined and unwavering commitment.
CD: Ingrid Laubrock Sleepthief with Liam Noble and Tom Rainey. The Madness of Crowds. Intakt CD 189
SARAH BUECHI SHADOW GARDEN
Sarah Buechi: Voice Stefan Aeby: Piano André Pousaz: Bass Lionel Friedli: Drums
Sarah Buechi is a virtuoso singer with a clear, unique identity. The diverse musical materials are drawn into various orbits by the gravitational pull of her strong personality, her distinctive voice, her particular approach to composition and the quality of her texts, often multilayered. Travelling, being on the move has been an impor- tant theme for Sarah Buechi. For a year she studied at the renowned Karnataka College of Percussion in Ban- galore. At a workshop by the New York saxophonist Steve Coleman in Dublin, where she was working as head of vocal department at the Newpark Music Centre, she discovered a rhythmic concept based on the simultane- ous use and overlaying of various different extended metres. Sarah Buechi then went to Ghana, where she studied for a month with the great balafon master Bernard Woma at the Dagara Music and Arts Center in the outskirts of Accra.
Sarah Buechi has distilled these influences and translated them into the language of jazz and pop. Her musicians, the pianist Stefan Aeby, bassist André Pousaz and drummer Lionel Friedli, all shining stars of the young, creative Swiss scene, play across and with these various stylistic idioms. Music which comes indeed from somewhere or other, with a strong, unique and clear personality.
CD: Sarah Buechi. Shadow Garden. Intakt CD 259
OO Sunday, April 23, 2017, 8.30 pm + 10.00 pm
CHRISTOPH IRNIGER PILGRIM
Christoph Irniger: Saxophone Dave Gisler: Guitar
Stefan Aeby: Piano
Raffaele Bossard: Bass Michi Stulz: Drums
The quintet Pilgrim, founded by Zurich based tenor saxophonist Christoph Irniger, has become over the years one of the most exciting ensembles in young European Jazz. After the group’s well-received studio recording ‘Italian Circus Story’, Pilgrim – driven by their enthusiasm and inventiveness – has a new live album ‘Big Wheel’ for 2016. Recorded at concerts in Ratzeburg, Berlin and Altenburg, Pilgrim play with huge energy and plenty of room for spontaneity and improvisation, and their music pulsates impressively. Henning Bolte writes in the liner notes: “Pilgrim creates a deep field of sound with alternating foreground and background, full of echo effects, fa- ding surfaces, frizzing lines, and swirls like falling leaves. This tonal richness is no self-sufficient affair, but time after time it emerges from unusual, surprising turning points and dynamic openings.“
CD: Christoph Irniger Pilgrim with Dave Gisler, Stefan Aeby, Raffaele Bossard, Michi Stulz. Big Wheel – Live. Intakt CD 271
AKI TAKASE – INGRID LAUBROCK
Aki Takase: Piano
Ingrid Laubrock: Saxophone
It was to be expected that, one day, these two musicians would find each other and work together. There are several years in age separating them, and yet they have many common traits. Aki Takase is one of the most brilliant pianists in jazz, familiar with the jazz tradition, as well as with the advanced procedures and processes of contemporary music, and has a wealth of experience and a substantial and impressive body of work to her name.
She made the bold move from Tokyo to Berlin, forsaking Japanese culture for the American-European musical world. Just as courageous, as individualistic as Takase, Ingrid Laubrock is another musician well-versed in jazz. Laubrock made her way from Germany, where she grew up, via London to Brooklyn. She is now active among the Brooklyn avant garde. She plays music with Anthony Braxton, Jason Moran, Stephan Crump and Corey Smithe. Takase and Laubrock appeared as a duo for the very first time at Jazzfest Berlin in November 2016. Their Vortex concert will be their second meeting.
CDs: Aki Takase – David Murray. Cherry – Sakura. Intakt CD 278
Ingrid Laubrock with Miya Masaoka, Craig Taborn, Sam Pluta, Dan Peck, Peter Evans, Tyshawn Sorey. Serpentines. Intakt CD 272
OO Monday, April 24, 2017, 8.30 pm + 10.00 pm STEFAN AEBY TRIO
Stefan Aeby: Piano André Pousaz: Bass Michi Stulz: Drums
The Swiss pianist Stefan Aeby is one of the most in-demand young Swiss jazz musicians. He has already appeared in the Intakt festival at the Vortex in Sarah Buechi’s band and also as part of Christoph Irniger’s
Pilgrim. With his band-mates and good friends André Pousaz (bass) and Michi Stulz (drums) he now presents his own trio.
The album by the Stefan Aeby Trio which has just been released, entitled “To the Light” gets under the skin of the listener with the poetic mood which dominates.The trio maintains a core vision of keeping a pared-down sound, which leaves the players time and space to react to each other, and affords the opportunity to just bask in the sound.
Florian Keller writes in the liner notes: “To build their multi-layered sound architecture, these three music fanatics dispense with the weight of the monumental. Instead they use their strong sense of atmosphere to create a soundtrack for the poetry of the quietly unobtrusive.”
CD: Stefan Aeby Trio. To the Light. Intakt CD 274
AKI TAKASE – RUDI MAHALL
Aki Takase: Piano
Rudi Mahall: Saxophone
Aki Takase and Rudi Mahall share a special affinity and enjoy working together. As music critic Ulrich Olshausen wrote about their duo CD “Evergreen”: “They share a common knowledge of the whole of jazz history and their refined craft, but these are arguably not the most important things. Where Takase and Mahall find a completely unified approach is the way they jointly keep the ever-present urge to break for freedom in check. They also have a very specific and shared sense of humour, a shared outlook that, maybe, life should be approached as seriously, and yet also as lightly as possible. Their take on this striking collection of evergreens moves through airy amusement, the carefully judged rapport of their sensitive give and take, intellectual juggling, and even some bizarre dance theatre as they conquer aesthetic heights.
The CD is a stroll through many styles, from stride piano in “You Took Advantage of Me” to free-jazz impressions in “You and the Night and the Music” or the surprisingly pensive paraphrase of “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” “This is vital chamber music,” wrote Olrich Olshausen of the respected Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, “infinitely rich and full of fantasy, featuring the complex and miraculous sound of the best bass clarinettist in the world.”
CD: Aki Takase, Rudi Mahall. Evergreen. Intakt CD 152
OO Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 8.30 pm + 10.00 pm FLORIAN EGLI WEIRD BEARD
Florian Egli: Saxophone Dave Gisler: Guitar Martina Berther: E-Bass Rico Baumann: Drums
Bugge Wesseltoft has explained why he is such a fan of the quartet Weird Beard, led by Zurich saxophonist Florian Egli : “What I really love about Weird Beard is the band members’ musical ideas and inspirations merged into a very fresh and new sound. Hardcore and progrock-like guitar ideas, “closetoprogrammed” and sequenced inspired drums mixed with eclectic “mountainechoed” saxophone and some real deep, free, inspired bass playing.”
Weird Beard’s 2016 album “Everything Moves” is full of character, and draws the listener in. Alongside lyrical episodes, the band has a completely positive and knowing way of creating a deeply unsettled feel. As Florian Keller has written in the liner notes: “..the music of Weird Beard lives and breathes. It contemplates the wide vistas and the laconic calm of a northern European landscape, with a Nordic melancholy hanging like a cloud over it. The listener can be lulled blissfully by warm melodies and sensuous phrases. By turns, Weird Beard can be elegiac, but also perky and upbeat. Sometimes there’s softness and fragility, but then it will turn explosively loud, and it has every possible shade in between.”
CD: Florian Egli Weird Beard. Everything Moves. Intakt CD 265
STEVE BERESFORD – JULIAN SARTORIUS
Steve Beresford: Piano Julian Sartorius: Drums
For more than forty years, Steve Beresford has remained one of the prominent figures in the landscape of impro- visation in the UK. He has worked with Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, John Butcher, John Zorn, Han Bennink, Christian Marclay, and the legendary free improv band Alterations.
When we invited Steve to participate in the Intakt Festival in London, he replied, “Sure, thank you, with pleasure.” However, when we made our first programming suggestion, his response was, “No thanks, what else is on offer?” Thank goodness he did, because what has emerged is a genuinely exciting first encounter. Steve Beresford will work with the young, internationally successful Swiss drummer Julian Sartorius. Sartorius has played for a few years with the singer Sophie Hunger, he is now with pianist Colin Vallon’s trio, and that of Sylvie Courvoisier. He also has a collaboration with New York bassist Shahzad Ismaily. Sartorius’ solo album “Zatter”, released in 2015, opens up a fantastic world of sounds and rhythms – and also heads off into the world of the quiet, the contemplative and the abstract.
CD: Julian Sartorius. Zatter. Intakt CD 242
OO Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 8.30 pm + 10.00 pm
SYLVIE COURVOISIER – MARK FELDMAN
Sylvie Courvoisier: Piano Mark Feldman: Violin
Sylvie Courvoisier, originally from Lausanne, moved to Brooklyn in 1998 and is now as completely at home in America as she is in Europe. Her music-making and her composition reflect neoclassical influences, and she also combines the European improv tradition with the no-holds-barred approach of the New York downtown scene based around John Zorn. Mark Feldman is a musician whose multi-faceted nature is not dissimilar to Courvoisier’s. He is a composer and improviser whose outlook on the world can come from a whole variety of different perspectives.
The duo remains the central focal point of their many diverse activities, the most condensed form of what they do, and also the greatest test of their mettle. “They manage to shine a light on pure emotion”, writes Bert Noglik in the liner notes of the CD “Live at Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne”. “The music there in the room seemed to be about longing. It was immediate, very much of the here and now, but full of the desire to recapture what has passed, and to imagine what will be.”
CD: Sylvie Courvoisier – Mark Feldman. Live at Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne. Intakt CD 210
PIERRE FAVRE DRUMSIGHTS
Pierre Favre: Drums Valeria Zangger: Drums Markus Lauterburg: Drums Chris Jaeger: Drums
The percussionist as a poet; the drummer in the role of a painter of soundscapes; the composer who has a convincing story to tell. Pierre Favre’s first percussion ensemble was called “Singing Drums”, a band-name which sets out its stall clearly: the search for a ‘voice’ for drums. Hardly any other drummers have made drumming and percussion ensembles such a permanent part of their musical activity as Pierre Favre. It was in this context that he has extended the sound palette of the drum kit – listen out for everything from rudimentals deployed in a virtuoso way to wonderfully woven and wafted textures.
Pierre Favre worked on this repertoire with his ensemble – Chris Jaeger, Valeria Zangger and Markus Lauter- burg, three of the most exciting young Swiss players – for the past five years. Although most of the pieces are written compositions, they now play them all by heart, and leave plenty of room for improvisation. Pierre Favre says: “We always play the most complex and edgy sections with a smile.”
CD: Pierre Favre DrumSights. Now. Intakt CD 260
OO Thursday, April 27, 2017, 8.30 pm + 10.00 pm
PIERRE FAVRE SOLO
Pierre Favre: Drums
Pierre Favre is the living embodiment of the culture around drums that has evolved in recent years in Switzer- land. He is also a part of the explanation why there are quite so many drummers in this small and mountainous country. Favre’s own story is that he played drums as a young man in radio big bands and in Max Gregor’s or- chestra. There are recordings representative of those early days with both Louis Armstrong and Chet Baker. And then in the 1960’s he broke free… into the world of free improv. He was on one of the early records of European free jazz, Manfred Schoof’s “European Echo” (1969), alongside Evan Parker, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Fred Van Hove, Irène Schweizer, Paul Rutherford, Peter Kowald and Peter Brötzmann. He toured with Albert Mangelsdorff and Michel Portal, and his regular duo with Irène Schweizer continued in existence for forty years. Favre’s considerable art as a drummer is also to be heard on the 1980 recording “Musical Monsters” with Don Cherry, John Tchicai, Léon Francioli and Irène Schweizer, which has just been released. And Favre went on broadening the spectrum of what he did, working with the singer Tamia and the accordionist Dino Saluzzi, wri- ting for large ensembles, for classical orchestras, and for Arte Saxophone Quartet. However, his solo work stands at the epicentre of his artistic creativity. His first works for drum solo, “Drums and Dreams”, appeared in the 1970’s. They remain a bright beacon and a huge influence for the history of jazz in Europe. His own individual sonority, his deep sense of rhythmic poetry are what mark out his work. “He opens up new vistas for us,” wrote Bert Noglik. “There is space in Favre’s universe for dancing – and for contemplation.”
CD: Pierre Favre. Drums and Dreams. Drum Conversation (1970), Abanaba (1972), Mountain Wind (1978). 3 CDs. Intakt CD 197
COURVOISIER – FELDMAN FEAT. EVAN PARKER
Sylvie Courvoisier: Piano Mark Feldman: Violin Evan Parker: Saxophone
Sylvie Courvoisier and Mark Feldman have been successful in finding ways to extend their duo formation, and explored different ways of completing it – whether in improvising or composition. These ensembles revolve around the same fixed core, but they reach out way beyond the confines of the duo, and allow all kinds of additive new elements in. There is renewal, but the nucleus remains preserved. The recording of “Lonelyville” with Gerald Cleaver, Vincent Courtois and Ikue Mori is just one example of a highly successful extension of the Courvoisier/Feldman duo.
In 2013 Sylvie Courvoisier and Evan Parker released a duo album, and also had a week-long residency at the
Stone jazz club in New York which allowed them to explore and deepen this collaboration with a series of further collaborations in different formations. That led to a concert at the Roulette in Brooklyn, and a recording session for Intakt Records involving Sylvie Courvoisier, Mark Feldman, Evan Parker and Ikue all together. John Fordham of the Guardian praised this release highly, describing it as “a set that shows just how sonically mesmerising and musical free-improv can be.” (July 21, 2016). Stuart Broomer wrote in “The Whole Note“, that it was “one of the most accomplished CDs of the year”.
The Courvoisier-Feldman-Parker Trio’s performance will bring the 12-day Intakt residency in London to a re- sounding and triumphant close.
CD: Sylvie Courvoisier-Mark Feldman-Ikue Mori-Evan Parker. Miller’s Tale. Intakt CD 270
Text by Patrik Landolt, Intakt Records (Translation by Sebastian Scotney)
A season ticket is available for entry to all gigs in the festival http://www.wegottickets.com/f/10666
OUR PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS
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Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung
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Stadt Zürich Kultur
Pro Helvetia Schweizer Kulturstiftung Stadt und Kanton Schaffhausen
Cassinelli Vogel Stiftung
Robert D. Bielecki Foundation
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