Samuel Blaser on records

Samuel Blaser "As The Sea"Samuel Blaser released his new CD, “As The Sea”, on HatHut records ont the 26th of February. You can listen to “As The Sea Part One” and download the full album on his bandcamp page.

Samuel Blaser with Paul Motian

Samuel Blaser with Paul Motian

Two years ago at Cully Jazz Festival, he was the opening act for Wayne Shorter. He played his cards magnificently well. With an original concert-concept, he gave a jazz interpretation to Baroque and Renaissance music. It was a première before the launch of his CD in New York. Since he had a plane to catch for New York at the crack of dawn, it’s via mail that he explained to us the why’s and wherefore’s of his project « Consort in Motion » with Paul Motian.

 “I’ve always been influenced by baroque music. My professor at the Conservatory at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Pierre Henry, was an excellent teacher, but at that time I used to only listen with one ear because the only thing I could think about was playing jazz. Today I play jazz and I find myself immersed in classical music. For this record, I reworked a lot of Claudio Monteverdi’s material because he is an innovative person, the inventor of opera. It seemed important to me to set off from someone like him in order to build something new. I’ve also reworked some compositions by Marini and Frescobaldi.

 Each track was approached differently. Sometimes, as with the track that’s on the Swiss Vibes compilation, (« Lamento della Ninfa »), I kept the melody intact. In the original version, the melody is played by a soprano and 3 tenors, whereas in this case it’s played by piano. In other instances, I only took the beginning and end of a composition and played around with it. Each time I try to extract the original material and to simplify it.

Samuel Blaser_cover The record « Consort in Motion» was recorded in 5 hours in New York with Paul Motian. I wanted to work with him because he’s played with everyone and because his very particular cymbal sound suited the project. The other musicians are a mix of people I knew well and some who had previously played with Motian.

It was important to record the CD in these conditions. For the Cully concert, I played with a different bassist and drummer (Gérald Cleaver). We rehearsed for an hour the day before, that was enough for us because my music is largely improvised and we’re used to playing together. I was really proud to get up on stage at Cully Jazz with this music, improvised music of the day!”

 Samuel Blaser

PS. This article was first published on in french in April 2011. Translation Beatrice Venturini.

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