INTAKT RECORDS – CD-REVIEWS

PIERRE FAVRE
DrumSights
NOW

Intakt CD 260 / 2016

 

 

Daniel Humair hat angeblich mal gesagt, dass das Schlagzeugsolo keine Berechtigung hätte - außer bei PIERRE FAVRE. Denn der sei ein Sänger. So taufte der ja auch 1984 sein Drumensemble Singing Drums. Nach fünf Jahren Vorarbeit stellt er nun mit NOW (Intakt CD 260) sein neuestes Drumprojekt DRUM SIGHTS vor. Mit an der Hochschule Luzern geschultem jungem Volk wie Valeria Zangger (die mit Rahel Kraft als 2 henning träumt und mit dem Pianisten Yves Theiler TheZan bildet), dem aus Bern stammenden, ebenfalls luzernisierten Markus Lauterburg (der selber Mumur leitet und mit Klangcombi Volksmusik neu erfindet) und Chris Jaeger (der das brüderliche Duo Karamasow und Luca Sisera's Convoi rhythmisiert). Favre stimmt Baby Sommer allemal zu, dass zum Storytelling und Bruchrechnen mit Händen und Füssen das Kleine Einmaleins von Baby Dodds und Philly Joe Jones immer noch unverzichtbar ist und Lektionen direkt vom Schwarzen Kontinent nicht minder. So fliegen hier die Stöcke entsprechend, flockig synchron, mit Tamtam abgefedert, mit Kuhglocken akzentuiert.
Mal als accelerierender Groove mit paukend gewölbtem Keller ('Again'), mal als Besen schwingender Shuffle ('Brushes Flock'), bei dem man Raubkatzen sprinten 'sieht', aber auch Figuren im Ameisenmodus hingeklackt bekommt. Man lernt Synkopen von Sykamoren unterscheiden, während pulsierende Beats mit solchen wechseln, die bockig wie Esel sein dürfen. 'Dance of the Feline' ist der Stomp gestiefelter Katerchen, ein Knockin' on wood abseits heißer Blechdächer. Dafür ist bei 'Along' alles Blech, betickeltes und betockeltes Blech. Für 'Pow Wow' muss man nicht Indianer sein, dieses Tamtam ließe rund um die Welt die Glieder zucken. Bei 'Painted Face' ist nicht unbedingt eine Kriegsbemalung zu vermuten, die krumme Trommelei macht jedenfalls keine kriegerische Laune. 'Tramping' ist zugleich sprechend und groovy, eine dunkel gepaukte Botschaft in Majuskeln, die plötzlich als Ponyexpress zu galoppieren beginnt, so dass sich die Buchstaben überschlagen, aber dann auch wieder wie am Schnürchen reihen. Lauterburgs krawalligem 'Whooly Jumber' lässt Zangger mit 'Nuevel' eine komplexe Vollspektrum- Demo folgen. Und 'Games' überträgt solche Vertracktheit als ursprüngliches Djembé-Übungsstück auf acht flinke Hände und den einen oder anderen Bassdrum pochenden Fuß.
Rigo Dittman, Bad Alchemy 89, 2016

 

 

Anything that comes by way of music from Pierre Favre is a wealth indeed. And here on Now you are once again reminded of how important his far-reaching music derived from his own percussion aristocracy ought to be discerned, perceived and listened to. This heady mix of alternating violence and tenderness, innocence and seduction is as mesmerising as the fabled music of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Mood swings are extreme, telling you that even the Swiss admit that their temperament can reel from sadness (an inimitably 'blue' tint) to a crazed exuberance with little in between. Favre has technique in spades and this disc is the quintessential Favre: surprising, experimental, familiar and at the same time so mysterious that it always keeps you guessing. In fact this is a showcase for the avant-garde sensibility of musicians who lives constantly on the edge. And then to make a record as new and unfathomable as this is to buck the system with even greater force. Of course the drummer is ably assisted by three other fine drummers: Chris Jaeger, Markus Lauterburg and Valeria Zangger.
The melodies are elegant, if slight: This quartet of drummers/percussion colourists play with superb and utter nonchalance. It's hard to say who sounds best; perhaps it does not really matter as there is very little daylight between the drummers. Still Pierre Favre being the elder statesman that he has become in recent years is impressively commanding and authoritative. What's more he seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself.
Raul da Gama, jazzdagama, Canada, May 2, 2016


Di notorietà almeno nominale, la formazione all-percussion Singing Drums (ECM, 1984) riuniva per invito del fuoriclasse elvetico Pierre Favre due recentemente scomparse autorità del ritmo, Paul Motian e Nanà Vasconcelos, con il contributo del batterista svizzero Fredy Studer, nello spirito di una celebrazione dell'arte della percussione, che non spersonalizzava affatto i singoli, titolatissimi co-protagonisti e ne cimentava in libertà i talenti, tutti marcatamente riconoscibili nell'estensione del godibile album.
Fra le molteplici iniziative e formazioni facenti capo al Nostro, è almeno quinquennale la frequentazione e fattiva collaborazione con tre giovani confratelli, che trova riscontro discografico in una ripresa di studio di circa un anno orsono, in vario modo replica ed omaggio all' indimenticata esperienza.
Esordendo nella tribalità spontanea ed esplosiva di Again, le prodezze dei quattro si concentrano su un gioco di spazzole non esente da effettistica scenica in Brushes Flock, come nel carattere della successiva, breve Roasting Syncope, con maggior movimentazione di pelli ad alta tessitura.
Come nella natura del proprio titolo, Dance of the Feline brulica di misteriosi sentori di giungla e forze animali in agguato, cedendo il passo ad un'effettistica teatrale nella sfuggente Sycamore; la transitiva, flebile Along prosegue in sottigliezza nell'orientaleggiante gioco d'orologeria di Pow Wow, preludendo ai timpanismi roboanti della veemente Tramping.
Breve, quasi effimera vita per le successive Wooly Jumper e Nuevel, abitate da agile e nervoso interloquire di casse sonanti, introducendo la conclusiva, strutturata Games, di fatto articolata piattaforma di giochi percussivi che meglio espone il collettivo talento e l'intesa d'interscambio del quartetto.
Si potranno rievocare a piacimento coralità balinesi o polifonie reichiane, ma poco si potrà sottrarre alle forze spontanee e ai tratti originali di questo dirompente quartetto, "organismo con uno specifico, identificabile sound": la "gioiosa macchina vibrante" con generosità dispensa arte della sorpresa e senso tattico, le padroneggiate stratificazioni ritmiche potranno indurre la sensazione di shifting temporale, ma il tutto è ricadente entro l'equilibrio generale, la "folie-à-quatre" di Favre & C. ostenta ed amministra in realtà ben poca insania, essendo alquanto impeccabile la funzionalità dell'interplay (assai più correttamente: inter-drumming) in questo, rinnovato, "canto dei tamburi".
Invitando a rivisitare il grande quartetto citato in apertura (e, perché no, il monumentale omaggio Drums and Dreams recentemente tributato da Intakt in forma di triplo album esplorante le favreiane prodezze in solo degli anni '70), DrumSights certamente nelle sue espressioni live potrà manifestare ulteriori suggestioni sceniche e spunti creativi, qui palesandosi quale godibile sintesi d'intelligente dimensione del gioco e ludico cimento tra disciplina scrittoria e libertà.
Aldo Del Noce, jazzconvention, Lunedì 02 Maggio 2016

 

Steff Rohrbach, Jazz'n'More, Mai 2016

 

 

Jacques Mühletaler, AMR, Geneve, June 2016

 

Une idée simple : au début était le rythme. Une idée qui fait son chemin : après Singing Drums voici DrumSights. Ils sont donc quatre (Pierre Favre, Chris Jaeger, Markus Lauterburg, Valeria Zangger). Ils ont donc travaillé, improvisé et surtout composé. Ils ont juxtaposé, additionné, associé.

Tout est ici d'une précision remarquable car aucune frappe n'est le fruit du hasard. Il y a d'abord le rythme, ses possibilités, ses conséquences. Il y a ensuite tous les événements possibles (scintillements, réverbération, surimpression, résonance). Il y a enfin ces balais croisés et bruyants, ces roulements trapus, ces accélérations jubilatoires. Il y en aura toujours pour regretter le peu de présence des cymbales au profit des futs et tambours. Il y a donc ici la nouvelle aventure de Pierre Favre et elle n'est pas commune. C'est même tout le contraire.

Luc Bouquet, Le son du grisli, 13.6.2016, France

 

PIERRE FAVRE's [drm] DRUM SIGHTS NOW [Intakt CD 260/2016] is a drum quartet [Chris Jaeger, Markus Lauterburg, Valeria Zangger] playing 12 originals [56:54] from members of the group. Consider this a drum circle of sorts. Its rhythmic base puts it not that far from Baby Dodds' Talking Drum tutorial of 1946, a mere 8 years before Favre first recorded his traditional jazz drumming, 30 years before he was considered an accomplished free drummer and about 16 years before his first solo drum recording.
Robert D. Rusch, cadencebuilding.com, July 2016

 

 

Franpi Barriaux, Citizenjazz, France, 12 Juin 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Swiss by birth, Pierre Favre recorded his first solo drum record in 1971. As a purveyor of Western improvised music rooted in jazz, Irene Schweizer, Peter Brötzmann and John Surman were his immediate peers. His scope soon expanded exponentially to encompass traditions from around the globe. These revelations led to an embrace of percussion as group activity, not just the province of a single player behind a single kit relying rudiments and regimens as the basis for expression.
NOW and DrumSights, the cooperative percussion choir behind it, have direct antecedents in Favre's earlier ensemble Singing Drums, which formed in 1984. The guiding philosophy is essentially the same in the gathering of like-minded players to devise composition-based challenges and above all preserve a sense of fun. Chris Jaeger, Markus Lauterburg and Valeria Zangger are Favre's compatriots in the enterprise bringing a blend of classical and in-the-field training along with keen ears and deft appendages.
Favre structures the disc into twelve discrete pieces taking the lion's share of compositional space with seven tracks and the leaving the remainder to his colleagues. "Again" and "Games" as galvanizing bookends with tumbling polyrhythms converging and diverging in call and response patterns around a resilient core beat. "Brushes Flock" sets tight instrumental parameters around the titular implements and the players respond with a whisking barrage of peripatetic commotion that rises and recedes in relative volume.
Jaeger's "Roasting Syncope" is one of several pieces that recoup absence of length with a concision of executed ideas as a bass drum serves as anchor for revolving parade of percussive suitors from cymbal to snare to cow bell. Less than a minute long, "Sycamore" merges implements of metal and wood in an atmospheric amalgam while along does the same with bells and scraped surfaces in twice the time. Favre's pliantly-deployed "Pow Wow" is designed to evoke Native American intimations without ever referencing such rhythms explicitly.
"Tramping" builds on the basic framework of its terser predecessor "Painted Face" with a phalanx of tom toms forwarding martial cross-rhythms that build to a booming echo within the German studio space. There's a palpable feeling of delight here and elsewhere that cuts to the crux of the appeal of this sort of specialized aural adventure for both players and listener. Pounding on a drum or bearing immediate witness to the same even if one isn't a direct participant taps something primal and vibrant in both constituencies. A natural response from the audience end is dance, something that is outright encouraged by a lot of what joyously develops here.
Derek Taylor, Dustedmagazine, April 21, 2016

 

Antonio Sanchez' acclaimed drum score for last year's Birdman movie has alerted a wider audience up to how expressive all-percussion music can be. This album features a dozen pieces composed by the 79-year-old Swiss percussion marvel Pierre Favre for his DrumSights quartet. Favre made an ECM album called Singing Drums in 1984, and he still leads groups that layer multiple rhythms with a warmth and vocal-toned naturalness that hides their astonishing complexity. Brushes-dominated pieces are ruthlessly badgered by bass-drum booms and woody tappings; deep fusions of conga and tom-tom rhythms ring and chime with metallic upper sounds; rubbery, racing-heart rhythms are pursued by thundering hooves; and there are byzantine conversations on taxing meters like the 5-6-5-5 pattern of the brittle, chattery Pow Wow. Every track has character, but the almost 10-minute Games (originally written for the African djembe), a mix of soft and hard sounds, martial, sensuous, relaxed or breakneck grooves, could be a sampler for the whole remarkable venture.
John Fordham, The Guardian, 11 August 2016

 

 


Jean Buzelin. Disques, livres & Co » Chroniques 2016. 14 Octobre 2016.

 

Spezial zum 80. Geburtstag von Pierre Favre, div. Autoren, Jazz'n'More, Schweiz, Mai/Juni 2017 (PDF-Datei)

 


Ken Waxman, The New York City Jazz Record, May 2017 USA

 

Undoubtedly the first all-percussion group was formed when our distant ancestors began collectively banging on reverberating surfaces. Since then, like the differences between foot travel and airplane flights, drum ensembles have become more sophisticated and inventive, whether outputting traditional African sounds or replicating scores in so-called classical music. Active from 1970 to 1992, Max Roach’s M’Boom was the most notable all-percussion ensemble in jazz and improvised music. Taking sticks – and brushes – into his own hands, veteran Swiss percussionist Pierre Favre’s Singing Drums (ECM) was a 1984 international variation on that theme, featuring Brazilian Nana Vasconcelos, American Paul Motian and fellow Swiss Fredy Studer. DrumSights’ Now is the most recent iteration of this ensemble. While the quartet is now all-Swiss – Chris Jaeger, Markus Lauterburg and Valeria Zangger fill the other stools – like a contemporary meal created using a traditional recipe, quality and taste is still paramount.

Although Zangger has a notated music background while Jaeger and Lauterburg are experienced improvisers working in other bands and earlier Favre percussion ensembles, no fissure is apparent on Now’s 12 tracks. And despite Favre composing the major statements, this is primarily group music, with the rhythmically complex results both sonorous and percussive. On “Tramping” for instance the friction created by slamming four bass drums in unison could reference troops marching or the sound of rhythmic gymnastics. Meanwhile “Dance of the Feline” sounds more equine than feline with pops, plinks and rolls resembling hoof beats rather than paw patting, with the excitement level heighted into an intense quartet dead-heat finish. Wood block and cymbal accents break up wire brush gymnastics on “Brushes Flock”, but the timing and adroitness resemble the aural capturing of tap dancers’ art.

Combining the rugged intensity of African polyrhythms, the boldness of theatrical underscoring and the exquisite between-the-beat sophistication of jazz drummers, this newest chapter in Favre’s on-going percussion discussion will interest more than drummers. Who says you can’t follow the beat of a different drum?

Ken Waxman, www.jazzword.com, May 8, 2017 (For The New York City Jazz Record May 2017)

 

 

 

 

Christoph Wagner, Jazzpodium, Juli 2017

 

 

 

to Intakt home