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This album offers a blend of short free improvisations, and creative jazz tunes. The quartet never moves far away from tonal playing, and when it does it takes the listener by the hand. The rhythm section (bassist Herbert Kramis and drummer Mark Huber) takes bigger liberties. The music covers a large spectrum of jazz styles, from hard bop to French jazz, and of course that particular Swiss essence: precise, intellectual, and occasionally lifeless, which is sadly the case here. Saxophonist-flutist Carles Peris, and pianist Bruno Steffen are technically proficient but they lack fire, and a sense of drama. It's all too clean and measured, even in the free improvisations. One of the highlights is the Steffen-penned "Modem," in which the way Peris handles the melody on flute becomes strongly reminiscent of vintage Moe Koffman. Kramis' quirky compositions also provide good moments; one wishes he had more tunes to contribute. Peris' three short "Zahlenreihe" numbers have a light pastiche quality to them, but they remain just that -- light -- except for the third, one which has more bite. 70 minutes is a long duration for an album that remains somewhat clinical and uninvolving.

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