|| Heinz Geisser - Guerino Mazzola Duo
Cat. No.: SHCD154
Guerino Mazzola grand piano
Heinz Geisser percussion
1. Someday (Mazzola / Geisser) 36:36
2. Tormenta De Tiempos (Mazzola / Geisser) 36:57
Total time: 73:33
| Listen to an excerpt in
Your web browser should automatically start playing the music.
If it doesn't you probably need to download an mp3 player.
|"Someday" by percussionist Heinz
Geisser and pianist Guerino Mazzola is a companion album to "Folia/The
UNAM Concert" by the same duo. These recordings were made at the Someday
Club in Tokyo and at Sala Carlos Chávez in Mexico City during their autumn
2000 tour of Korea, Japan and Mexico. It is by comparing the "Someday" performances
with each other, and with those on "Folia", that the extraordinary beauty
of the duo's extemporising becomes clear. This is music of great sensitivity
and shared, instinctively attuned responsiveness, with details rich in information
and highly nuanced. Only the third CD by the duo from its remarkable ten
years of existence, "Someday" is a tremendous listening experience. One
to be savoured.
Contemporary free jazz and improvised music are afflicted - to comparably ruinous degrees - by a malaise of overproduction. Musicians of questionable repute are happy for their names to appear on four or five albums per calendar year; musicians of more established renown see nothing amiss in releasing as many as nine or ten. In the context of such heedless profligacy, the Swiss duo of Heinz Geisser and Guerino Mazzola are a refreshing anomaly.
Now heading into their tenth year of collaboration, Someday is only their third
release. Indeed, they've shown more interest in expanding the duo with the addition
of select kindred spirits. These augmentations have taken two different forms:
into a trio, with the addition of a saxophonist - the American Rob Brown on Orbit
(Music & Arts), or their compatriot Mathias Rissi on Tierra and Agua (both Cadence);
or into a quartet with the addition of a guitarist and a stringed instrument -
Scott Fields and Matt Turner on Maze (Quixotic), and Fields and Mat Maneri on
Although the releases by variants of the duo outnumber those by the duo itself,
there's never been any doubt that the pairing of Geisser and Mazzola is the core
element from which these collaborations have been generated. Someday offers a
differently angled perspective, comprehensive and fascinating in its detail, on
their - by current standards relatively underdocumented - working relationship.
Best viewed as a companion - rather than successor - to Geisser and Mazzola's
previous Silkheart CD (Folía/The UNAM Concert, SHCD 153), Someday is, like Folía,
sourced from material recorded on the duo's peculiarly scheduled autumn 2000 tour,
a jaunt which saw them racking up frequent flyer miles with shows in Korea, Japan
and Mexico. It pairs two lengthy tracks, ostensibly similar in duration, structure,
and pacing. Each immediately invites comparison with the other, and, in turn,
Folía; similarities and contrasts in modes of expressivity and interaction are
at once apparent, and melodic lines and harmonic patterns echo back and forth,
highlighting the commonality of origin the two albums share.
Someday - actually the name of the Tokyo jazz club where the first piece was
recorded - deceptively conveys a wistful romanticism, which the moderately dramatic
gesturing of the Mazzola solos which open each piece do little to dispel. As soon
as Geisser enters, however, the complexion of the music subtly but noticeably
alters, and the two pieces almost systematically begin to accrue an impetus which
they release but never lose.
Mazzola’s impressive playing is at times bewildering, near-fractal deluges of
notes, a torrent of highly nuanced detail and information. Its sheer velocity
and density recalls Cecil Taylor, a common comparison and not one Mazzola shirks.
His touch, however, seems lighter - somewhat less percussive and not so inclined
to ear-battering barrages, his quicksilver skims up and down the octaves produce
dazzling tracer lines of motion blur, smearings and smudges of colour evanescing
too quickly for eyes and ears to parse. Rapid note- and chord-flurries are strung
together seamlessly into long, draining, dizzying runs, where frantic bursts of
high-speed syncopation are melded with hyper-kinetic cadences and peppered with
staccato bursts, Mazzola relentlessly plundering the keyboard.
For his part Geisser is ever-versatile, sensitively adjusting the register and
tone of his contributions - surfing Mazzola's irresistible propulsion, forcing
himself into the flow with blunt, hard rhythms, injecting counterpoints (both
forceful and sly), throwing up obstacles for Mazzola to acknowledge, ignore or
skirt around. The structural complexities conveyed and volume of detail transmitted
addle, Mazzola endlessly spooling patterns. Cycles appear, mutate, and are recycled,
a vigorously cerebral processing carried out at relentless high-speed.
The duo's strengths are obvious: this is focused and reactive extemporising,
characterised by skilful timing of momentum and manipulation of directional flow,
derived from a shared, instinctively attuned responsiveness, and an intimate familiarity
with each other's signatures, quirks and habits. This is energy music devoid of
the negative associations - a mindlessly relentless pulse; aggression expunged
in macho catharsis; flabbily unfocused power - the tag might connote.
London, January 2004
Private and individual sponsorship is uncommon in jazz, and almost non-existent
in free jazz. In fall 2000, a world tour by the Geisser-Mazzola Duo was essentially
co-sponsored by Toni Hauswirth, a successful businessman who mainly operates in
the Far East. The tour included a performance at Seoul’s fabulous jazz club "Once
in a Blue Moon", a recital at the Yokohama Jazz Promenade festival, a gig at Tokyo’s
famous jazz club SOMEDAY, a concert at the Mexican Mathematical Society in Saltillo’s
Teatro de la Ciudad "Fernando Soler", and two final performances at Sala Carlos
Chávez and at Sala Xochipilli, both of UNAM Mexico City.
Toni Hauswirth is not only a successful businessman. He is educated, cosmopolitan, and is active as a writer in the areas of modern literature and political history. And, of course, he has a sound instinct for good jazz music. He truly cares for and is wholly committed to the vision of the vital culture of free jazz, and he is prepared to back up this commitment by offering his financial support. He is the type of "citizen of ages yet to come" described by the Marquis de Posa in Friedrich Schiller’s play Don Carlos. For his unique support and the fruitful collaboration it allows, the artists and their cultural agents are deeply grateful to Toni, and dedicate this CD to him.
Heinz Geisser and Guerino Mazzola