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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jean Buzelin. Disques, livres & Co » Chroniques 2016. 14 Octobre 2016.
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
Freistil Magazine #83, Feb 2019
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