You may not easily forget Omri Ziegele -- if only for his unusual name, although that is probably not enough to make him a star, and that is not what makes this recording. Neither are you likely to forget too quickly his four-part suite entitled Billiger Bauer and written and arranged by Ziegele and performed by a stellar Swiss nonet. Combining an eclectic combination of big-band thrusts, avant-garde dissonances, and conventional melodies, Ziegele presents a largely indefinable collection of in-and-out pieces that are surprisingly accessible, focusing on alternating musicians, tempo, and palette. Most of the players are not likely to be recognized, and those that are -- such as trombonist Hans Anliker -- will not disappoint. Ziegele's occasional lyrics, spoken in near-perfect English, are only moderately interesting, if only for their breadth. On the final "Echoes of R.C.," written by prominent poet Robert Creeley, there is a strong circus-like atmosphere with fine drumming and arranging. This is the sort of medium-size ensemble that helps to reinvigorate a sagging big-band tradition with slightly off-beat writing and a diversity of styles. Sometimes the band may lose focus a bit, but it snaps back quickly. Tightly spaced harmonies keep the music from getting too abstract, while the substantial freedom permitted the players ensures that it almost always remains fresh.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy