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Albums by Irène Schweizer

First Choice - Piano Solo KKL Luzern
To Whom It May Concern - Piano Solo Tonhalle Zürich
Wilde Señoritas / Hexensabbat

Irène Schweizer

One of the most important players in European jazz, Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer has made music bristling with spontaneity and curiosity for more than four decades now. Enraptured by the high-energy acrobatics of Cecil Taylor in the late 60s, she left the safety of straight jazz and fell in with fiercely individualistic players like Evan Parker and Peter Brötzmann, but not even the most aggressive partners have curdled the lyricism at the core of her style. She’s worked occasionally as a drummer, and her piano playing is also highly rhythmic – she’s a natural for duets with drummers, like the opening track of the recent live disc Willisau & Taktlos (Intakt), where she and Hamid Drake dart and jab like Astaire and Rogers dancing on coals. But she might be even stronger solo: without a drummer’s toes to step on, she can stretch out into that role as well. Her left-hand parts are thunderous and lively, with a strong sense of space and syncopation, and her ebullient, pixie-ish melodies adapt the township jive of South Africa – a style she picked up from the legendary Blue Notes, who stayed for a
spell in Switzerland after they fled the apartheid regime in 1964.
Peter Margasak, Chicago

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