Album: Yves Theiler Trio

yt_cd_coverVor vier Jahren erschien das Debut-Album des Yves Theiler Trio und wurde von der SRF2-Kulturredaktion gleich zum Trio-Album des Jahres gekürt. Eigentlich hätte er schon früher nachdoppeln wollen, sagt der 28jährige Pianist aus Zürich, aber ein Personal-, beziehungsweise Instrumentenwechsel hatte eine Verzögerung zur Folge. Statt dem Fretless-Ebass von Valentin Dietrich ist nun der Kontrabass von Luca Sisera zu hören, mit dem Theiler auch in der Band Roofer zusammenspielt. Der Klang des Instrumentes zusammen mit Siseras fluid-melodischem Stil verleihen dem rhythmisch explosiven und doch kristallklar präzisen Sound des Trios eine geradezu sonnige, neue Wärme.

Yves Theiler TrioSo viel wird bereits im ersten Stück des von Radio SRF2 ko-produzierten Zweitlings “Dance in a Triangle” klar. Es heisst “For Bass” und beginnt mit einer fast zweiminütigen Einführung, wo eine fein gesponnene Bassmelodie von einer insistenten, einzelnen Pianonote und Perkussion vorwärtsgetrieben werden, ehe Theiler einen druckvollen Groove und eine labyrinthartige Melodie ins Geschehen einführt, die irgendwo zwischen Afrika und Erik Satie angesiedelt ist.

Yves Theiler_live_1Mit dem Perkussionisten Lukas Mantel arbeitet der Pianist seit zehn Jahren zusammen. Das daraus resultierende telepathische Verständnis erlaubt es dem Trio, die überaus subtile Komplexität von Theilers Kompositionen – sie beginnen zumeist mit einer Improvisation allein am Klavier – mit einer rhythmischen Dynamik auszuleuchten, welche der atemberaubenden Virtuosität des Gebotenen einen starken, emotionellen Rückhalt gibt. Mit jugendlicher Verspieltheit jongliert Theiler mit Techniken und Stilen aus der ganzen Welt zwischen Eritrea, Ahmad Jamal und Post-Rock. Dennoch tritt nie das Gefühl auf, man habe es mit einer Elster zu tun, denn jeder Musiker hat seine eigene Stimme und schreckt nicht dafür zurück, sie laut und deutlich einzusetzen. Ein Album voller Witz, Energie und kühnen Kurven.

Yves Theiler Trio, “Dance in a Triangle” (MGB Jazz 18)  
Link für Yves Theiler Konzerte

How Did They Do? Jazzahead! report


Photo: Michael Hornung

It’s a strange beast: the jazz trade fair. There’s networking, business talks and sets of exactly 30 minutes, with audiences legging it from one hall to another to catch as much music as they want. It’s pretty intense. Wisely, Erika Stucky, with Marc Unternährer and Lucas Niggli, had been invited to open Jazzahead – not only is she an anarchic ‘force of nature’ but she embodies a side of the Swiss spirit I like: bohemian, gifted and pushing music as far as they can (see video of her in the men’s toilets at Jazzahead below).

Erika Stucky with Lucas Niggli and Marc Unternährer, filmed by Chris Philips of Jazz FM.

“I see what you mean about the drummer.”
Generally, the Swiss night was one of super-quality, despite most bands starting nervously. The better musicians were able to get drawn into their own sound and so, lead the audience into places where magic can happen. I wrote of Elina Duni‘s voice before and it rang clear and true in this gig with her quartet – I wasn’t the only one whose neck hairs were electrified when she sang ‘Fëllënza’. I’d pointed out to a UK promoter how wonderful Norbert Pfammatter is in the band, his playing is so sensitive it’s as if there is no drummer but a sweeping landscape in which Elina stands. During the gig this promoter leant over and said, “I see what you mean about the drummer.” From the audience’s response to Elina they were equally captivated. In the future, whatever context she performs in, I want to see her going places.

Maybe the most obviously successful act was Julian Sartorius’ drum solo
Someone else who made their mark was Christoph Irniger, warming into Pilgrim‘s set and launching a cracking sax solo that blew the cobwebs away. His time in New York came


Plaistow. Photo: Ingo Wagner

through in the attack he gave it. I was holding my breath at the start of Plaistow‘s gig because like so many bands they are an experience that needs time and a concentrated atmosphere – not what you get in a showcase. However, their narcotic concept with it’s fascinating rhythms had a booker for a big London club tell me they were the most engaging band of the night. Another, and maybe the most obviously successful act was Julian Sartorius‘ drum solo. It was a big ‘wow’ and my mate, Jez Nelson, a key jazz radio presenter said, “It’s hard to do something like that, but he was genuinely inventive.” Elisabeth Stoudman gives a wonderful in-depth review below.

Next year I expect to see more Swiss women onstage
Julian is also part of the Colin Vallon Trio – another artist I expect much of. His set was not only elegant but so assured; it showed the quality of Swiss musicianship. Luca Sisera’s Roofer played a more traditional style well, whilst pommelHORSE had more character but were also left wanting. To be fair they’d been delivered a bit of a blow when key member, Lukas Roos, left the band two weeks before this gig. I see a nugget of some possibility, especially with Olivier Zurkirchen on keys and one UK programmer said the band brought a narrative to their music he liked. Weird Beard looked more comfortable on stage than they did last year and delivered their ideas clearly with Martina Berther on bass. Next year I expect to see more Swiss women onstage – and that’s an order…

Thomy Jordi nearly blew my hair off
It was a pleasure to attend the Gala Concert at Die Glöcke with Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin and Hildegard Lernt Fliegen because this is where some of the showcase bands could be heading: a high level of recognition with audiences delighting in their music. Both received genuine standing ovations. Ronin’s music and lighting design isn’t messing. It delivers punch after punch, even when Sha is at his most sublimely subtle with his saxophone becoming a hoarse and whispering human voice, or when Nik delivers a melody so painfully sweet that it’s a beautiful surprise. Kaspar Rast is equally imaginative on drums and Thomy Jordi nearly blew my hair off with some electric bass notes worthy of Goldie’s Metalheadz label.


Hildegard Lernt Fliegen. Photo: Ingo Wagner

Such a touching ending
Hildegard’s show was a superbly staged bonanza of ingenious ideas with Andreas Schaerer even conducting the band in an improv – pretty risky in such a context. You may think a vocalist sounding a muted horn or beatboxing whilst singing isn’t your thing, but I would challenge anyone not to fall under his spell. The highlight was how the band brought it right down to such a touching ending. In the encore they sat with their legs dangling off the front of the stage, looking like a bunch of kids playing a charming round on blockflutes. It was a rip-roaring success. Schaerer has driven himself hard since I first saw Hildegard play in 2012 and he’s showing how Swiss music can make a big impact on the world out there. Boom!

Julian Sartorius @ jazzahead! 2016 by Elisabeth Stoudmann


Julian Sartorius

Unlike Colin Vallon or Elina Duni who are already well known on the European jazz scene, Julian Sartorius is the new boy at Jazzahead! Although his solo project is not constrained by any genre barrier, he’s been considered before, part of alternative rock circuit. Backstage, Julian is tense: he’s coming down with the flu and fears this will hinder him. The Bernese drummer comes on stage, as always, aloof and a little shy. Had he not been announced, one could almost have mistaken him for the technician come to do one last check before the set. He sits down and turns instantly into a one-man band.

The audience holds its breath…
Sartorius puts on an impressive show. As expected, there are rhythms that interlock with each other like pearls in a necklace. Some sequences are set up in advance, others are totally improvised. His pockets brimming with drumsticks, Julian Sartorius stays unperturbed throughout. He can drop the sticks at any second to suddenly strike a percussion with his hand or place a felt mat on a cymbal. He then puts odd objects on his snare drum: percussive bits and pieces that he strokes, rubs and strikes with amazing feeling. Tension mounts in a jubilant crescendo. The audience holds its breath, captivated, when without warning, Julian Sartorius stops everything. Time’s up. The thirty minute showcase – that only felt like five – has passed. The audience is galvanized, excited, happy. We can only hope that Julian Sartorius has the flu before every gig. It seemed to serve him well!

Videos of bands at jazzahead!

Arte TV
Elina Duni Quartet

Luca Sisera’s Roofer


Weird Beard



The Chikitas – « Wrong Motel »

Le duo genevois The Chikitas sort son troisième album, « Wrong Motel », sur fond rock décomplexé.

IMG_0771À tous ceux qui cherchent un rock lisse et sans saveur, passez votre chemin. The Chikitas représente l’antonyme même de ce concept. Le duo féminin genevois s’illustre par la fureur de sa proposition. Chant et riffs de guitare électrisants délivrés par Lynn; rythmique défoulante portée par Saskia. Leur union explore et triture toutes les facettes les plus brutes et authentiques du rock, en y infusant le meilleur du punk et du grunge.

Dès la naissance de leurs deux premiers albums, « Butchery » (2011) et « Distoris Clitortion » (2014), The Chikitas ont convaincu par la qualité et le tempérament de feu de leur univers. Après avoir écumé les scènes suisses, les Romandes sont parties à l’assaut de la France, de l’Europe de l’Est et, point d’orgue à leur palmarès, du CMJ de New-York. Reconnaissance scénique, couronnée par les professionnels d’un Rock-Award à la Demotape Clinic 2015 du m4music et d’un Rock-Award au Swiss Live Talent 2015.

3000px_RGB_web_TC_CD2016_coverPour leur troisième album, The Chikitas ont posé leurs instruments à Tucson, en Arizona (USA), pendant vingt jours. Avec la complicité du producteur Jim Waters (Sonic Youth, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion),   le duo a relevé le défi d’un enregistrement analogique pour cristalliser l’essence du son qui l’incarne. Le résultat ? « Wrong Motel » un album qui se doit d’être vécu comme un voyage d’une délicieuse brutalité. L’atmosphère est rythmée par ce crin tantôt punk, tantôt grunge, toujours rock. Un rock sans compromis hurlé, tourmenteur, déchaîné. Un rock qui, parfois, se laisse toucher par du beat-box et du rap, qui se calme pour mieux se rebeller, qui se dévoile sous un groove suggéré.

Au final, « Wrong Motel » est un concentré d’une lourdeur et d’une ferveur tumultueuse; une compilation savamment réfléchie de compositions métalliques, directes et sincères. La seule chose qui pourrait nous manquer, c’est de voir les morceaux prendre vie sous les coups, riffs et hurlements de The Chikitas. Mais ça, c’est pour très bientôt.

The Chikitas – « Wrong Motel »,
deepdive Records
Album disponible dès maintenant

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