:: Pierre Favre – Philipp Schaufelberger

Percussionist-composer Pierre Favre is one of the central figures in Swiss jazz (not to mention European improvisation as a whole). His early recordings supported the Italian guitarist Franco Cerri; later in the 1960s he worked with Schweizer, bassist Peter Kowald, saxophonist Evan Parker, trumpeter Manfred Schoof and others involved with the nascent “new music.” Forty-two years after his first date as a leader (Santana, PIP, 1968), Favre continues to be an important name among the masters of European improvised music–.. Favre’s language is well-developed, especially through solo-exploration/composition -.

Schaufelberger has worked with Favre and fellow Swiss drummer Lucas Niggli since the 1990s, appearing in both improvised and contemporary classical contexts. His approach to the instrument offers curious rhythmic counterpoint to Favre, low- to middle-register repetition and spiky, cyclical forms drawing, presumably, from West African influences not dissimilar to the drummer’s areas of study. Courtly jabs imbue “Pino Caro” Favre decisive yet sparse in a bobbing meter as Schaufelberger’s lines tread similarly ambiguous territory.

“Seeing” is marked by long, bowed gong tones and hanging plucks, Favre’s metallic artistry somewhat akin to disembodied feedback. Even when ostensibly atmospheric (and it isn’t always), the music on Albatros is still fraught with tension, sounds and events popping out in relief with subtle textural shift. At times airy and in other instances coiled, Schaufelberger and Favre make a well-matched pair.Sublime.

Clifford Allen, NI KANTU Blog, USA, January 2011