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As a trio, this crew went as far as they felt they could go, so now they've added a keyboard man for more than just color. Impressionistic improv with occasional dada impulses, these Swiss jazzbos keep you thinking they are about to be straight ahead before turning things into a thrill ride that makes you think it might roll off the rails but their command keeps that from happening. If you like guitar led, forward looking jazz that likes to take risks, this is certainly the thrill ride you've been looking for.
Bucher Sommer Friedli & Aeby, four musicians from Switzerland come up with their fourth cd ‘Where is Now?’ Rhythm section bass&drums added with piano, Fender Rhodes, guitar, kalimba & harmonica brings a fresh combination with a lovely raw and unpolished musical edge.
The quartet plays balanced compositions with a high melodic exposure between improvised and popular music. A game of composition and improvisation in exiting arrangements. The guitarist and pianist use several effects. Guitar player Michael Bucher, inspired by Pat Metheny, used the tremolo, fuzz (distortion) and harmonizer. A special effect in which óne tone will be transformed into a harmony. Beautiful adds for this grooving guitar player. Pianist Stefan Aeby used, beside the wonderful Grand piano, the Fender Rhodes with a lovely big sound and a raw edge. These layers come up with fresh, new sounds which transforms it sometimes into psychedelic music. Unfortunately ‘Where is Now?’ is now and then a litte academic with ‘One for Mike’ on the bottom line. A trite compostion which is totaly different from the rest of the repertoire. How varied can you be? But still, this fourth cd of Bucher Sommer Friedli & Aeby is worth listening. Songs like ‘Lady Rosebud‘ (with kalimba – thumb piano), ‘Luki’s Dream‘ and special ‘You and me’ sound marvelous. You will be taken away in a dynamic musical story, told by four experienced musicians. The music is filled with wonderful tiny ornaments, which may be show up after a few times listening and you never ask yourself ‘Where is now?‘ It’s here, at this moment and I love it!
Published: www.musicframes.nl - by Mattie Poels
Bucher Sommer Friedli, a young Swiss trio consisting of guitar (Michael Bucher), bass (Patrick Sommer), and drums (Tobias Friedli), claim in their press information that they "have it going on." The proof positive is in their latest CD, thermi.
The trio’s concept is based in their compositions, not in any one "style" of jazz. This allows enough freedom for each of the players to show off considerable chops and taste.
The first dose comes in the first cut, "Seven" which, as you may guess, floats in 7/4. What’s different is the smoothness with which the trio assays the snaky rhythmic theme. Bucher has his Scofield thing happening, Sommer seems to come out of Steve Swallow, and Friedli can lay claim to any one of a number of influences. "Moment I" is a short snapshot of a Bill Frisell-like theme that should have been explored.
"Thermi" is a melancholy 12/8 rumination that crawls in and out of tempo at will. This very pretty piece will have you reaching for your repeat button as Bucher reminds you of mid-70s John McLaughlin over some great bass and drums.
"Bill" must be a tribute to the afore-mentioned Frisell. This up-tempo piece in 5 could come from any one of his albums.
"Moment II" send us into "Nordstrand," a line in 3 (BSF seem to revel in odd meters) that explores the sonic possibilities of Bucher’s guitar before he flies into a fiery solo that delights with its inventiveness. "Song for B" is a too-short, gorgeous ballad with lovely harmonies. "Triptrip" lopes with an almost country and western feel, once again recalling Frisell.
Next is "Six," and guess what meter it’s in? That’s right, and it’s a wonderfully waltzing dance. "Moment III" recalls McLaughlin/Cobham duets from the days of Mahavishnu.
One listen to "Some Blues" will have you shouting "Metheny!" And you’d be right. This Pat theme continues into the next tune, "April," another sweet ballad, and follows up with "Cruisin’," a rocker straight off Metheny’s American Garage.
Pretty percussion effects help define "Unschuld" as a slow waltz with wonderful potential, but just as quickly, "Moment IV" arrives to take us out with an electronic question mark, a long pause, and a calming period to end the sentence.
Great compositions, beautifully played, thermi by Bucher Sommer Friedli is a must-buy. Absolutely.
Published: www.jazzreview.com von Rob Johnson