Christian Muthspiel – trombone, piano, e-piano
Steve Swallow – bass guitar
“On Simple Songs, Muthspiel and Swallow admirably demonstrate the beauty and perfection that the art of the duet can offer.”
“It’s a true miracle of lyricism.”
LONDON JAZZ NEWS
“A few years ago I undertook a project that I never hoped, let alone expected to ever take on stage.
It all started as a kind of self-therapy: Following a sudden and, in more ways than one potentially ruinous hearing loss, and after months of intonation impairment of my inner ear and horrendous tinnitus symptoms, I had to teach myself to hear again; to hear in a musical sense – pitch, intervals, harmony, tonal quality, and so on. Following months of self-prescribed silence – the only state I could bare and which I sought mostly in frequent and extended mountain tours – I began to cautiously approach musical progressions again and develop trust in my hearing by resuming, hesitantly at first, my instrument practice and composition work. The result – without a goal or the pressures of production – was a handful of mostly harmonious songs: clear forms with simple changes and melodies, each strictly woven from just a small building block. In other words: SIMPLE SONGS.
I sent a few of these songs to Steve Swallow, with whom I had already had the great pleasure of playing in my quartet (with Matthieu Michel and Franck Tortiller). His reaction was my rescue, giving me hope and boosting my motivation: He encouraged me to extend the songs into an entire cycle and to record them in duo formation for a CD.
In the light of the events that led up to this project, standing on stage with Steve as my duo partner, inspirational master and wise friend is nothing short of an extraordinary gift.” Christian Muthspiel