Like his contemporaries, saxophonist Steve Lacy and trombonist Roswell Rudd, Swiss drummer Pierre Favre played Dixieland before embarking on a career in free jazz. Favre was self-taught on drums. He began working professionally at 17; he played with touring American musicians like Lil Hardin Armstrong and Albert Nicholas in the mid-'50s. In the '60s, Favre played with such bop musicians as Bud Powell, Benny Bailey, and Booker Ervin. He also worked in Switzerland for Paiste & Sohn, the cymbal- and gong-making company. In the mid-'60s, Favre developed an interest in free jazz, forming a trio with pianist Irene Schweizer and bassist George Mraz (who was eventually supplanted by Peter Kowald). Saxophonist Evan Parker joined the band in 1968, making it a quartet. In the late '60s, Favre played with saxophonist Peter Brotzmann, drummer John ...
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