Irène Schweizer

Many and One Direction

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Pianist Irène Schweizer is best known for her splendidly energized avant-garde recordings in a host of settings. A ferocious performer, her solos have always typified the wildly enthusiastic free improvisation of the Europeans. This solo recording, though, is a change of pace for Schweizer. The intensity is turned down a notch or two, the emphasis is on sound, color, and structure, but the results are somehow hardly less exciting. Not by any means a throwback to tradition or an escape to decades past, the pianist explores eleven original tunes, Carla Bley's lovely and challenging "Ictus," and Monk's little known "Chordially," all with great success. She comments in the liners that "Demonstrations of skill, for its own sake, ... playing a great many notes in a short time -- none of this interests me any more." As this recording shows, her technique is still at the top of her game (although she occasionally swings a tad stiffly), and her earlier fans and followers will not be disappointed -- though they may be a touch surprised.

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