Wädi Gysi

Show-Down in Zurich & Tokyo

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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek

This live pairing of the Swiss guitarist Gysi and the German multi-instrumentalist and instrument inventor Reichel (the daxophone) is one built upon not only respect for the other's considerable abilities, but on the idea that to communicate a sense of place, the external, could be done with the intention of doing so from internal speaking. A communication of honesty, warmth, and good humor were necessary, of course, to begin the place touchstones on the musical ground of what was to be asserted, then caught in the air between the pair, and sent out into an enthusiastic audience. From the Asian trip there are conceptual frameworks and ideas carried by each improviser, but they are kept to the margin and come in accentually only briefly. Melody and/or harmony occur purely accidentally. What is dictated to a kind of form, that is, the actual body of music that comes forth is an internal, almost meditative impressionism that is uttered from one side to the other. Therefore, notions of jazz improvisation and rock phrasing come to the fore as methods of speaking, almost as if they were dialects, but never do they become languages in and of themselves. Humor is the interlocutor here, the way certain phrases angle out and provoke witty response, and this is reflect in the titles "I Wanna Hug 'n' Hurt Ya' I & II," "My Uncle Is a Snack Bar," and "The Hum of Your Thighs," being only a few. This is one of the finer Reichel collaborations, and one that offers glimpses of music beyond anything we have yet heard.

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